Anyone who tells you the GOP is a lock for holding onto the House of Representatives while taking back the Senate in the midterms doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Why? Because it’s April. The election isn’t for another seven months. That’s a huge block of time, especially knowing how the speed of online media has accelerated news cycles and shortened voter attention spans.
I’m old enough to remember way back in October when Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) disastrous filibuster and the subsequent government shutdown were the inciting incidents that would surely hand over control of the House to the Democrats. Online and traditional media were abuzz with predictions of a narrow edge for the Democrats in the midterms.
And then, within days, everything went to hell. Health and Human Services flummoxed the roll-out of Healthcare.gov and a late-October shitstorm landed on President Obama’s head due to his “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” line.
Control of Congress, at least according to the very serious cable news and Sunday morning talkers, shifted wildly within a very small window of time, but today we’re supposed to believe Mitch McConnell is staring at his sleestak-ish reflection in the mirror and repeating to himself, “Hi there, handsome. You look like the next Majority Leader. Why yes, I do!”
Not so fast. There continues to be one major wild card.
The Republican Party has committed itself to making the Affordable Care Act the centerpiece of its midterm strategy.
Here’s Star Wars cantina alien and RNC chairman Reince Priebus on Friday:
“I don’t think there’s any serious observer that believes Democrats can take the House, and the Senate is slipping away from them,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told reporters on a conference call Friday. “And that’s because Americans are hurting from this law.”
Generally speaking, no one’s really “hurting.” This is Priebus trying spread the myth that Obamacare is destroying jobs (it’s not), bankrupting average Americans (it’s not) and stealing money from Grandma’s Medicare checks (it’s definitely not). They figure if they can continue to roll out their conga-line of Obamacare myths, most of which are untrue, they can keep up the ruse through and including Election Day.
The only problem? They’re setting their strategy based on events from October and earlier when the ACA was much more unstable. As of midnight last night, surveys show that around 9.5 million Americans are now covered by insurance policies via the Affordable Care Act (other surveys show even more). That’s well beyond the seven million enrollee goal the administration was shooting for last year… READ MORE