posted on October 08, 2013 15:17
What if Obamacare flops? What if the public has sticker shock? What if voters blame both sides for the shutdown?
From the White House down, Democrats seem awfully confident the shutdown-Obamacare standoff will end well for them.
Plus, they say, Americans will love Obamacare once they get to know it. But suppose all they know is that their insurance company raised their premiums? Will they blame the company, or Republicans governors and legislators, or Obama?
Democrats point to how this ended in 1995. But this is 2013. It’s Obama, Reid and Boehner, not Clinton, Dole and Gingrich. It’s Obamacare+Shutdown, not just the shutdown.
Republicans have their talking points down; Carter spelled them out: We’re reasonable folks. Let’s fund the programs we agree on. We’re ready to negotiate.
Do Obama and Reid look unreasonable, refusing to negotiate?
Here is what you can be sure about: America is far more bitterly divided today than 20 years ago. Republicans have poll-tested their messages, as I’m sure Democrats have. And, above all, people have an innate suspicion that government screws up whatever it touches.
I hope Democrats haven’t mis-underestimated the enemy, as George Bush would say, or misread the battlefield.