I continue to believe that, as a matter of policy, the defense increase—which at least begins to undo the very considerable damage from a wildly and disproportionately anti-defense sequester—swamps in importance everything else in the deal. Everything else is basically a wash. The defense increase is a real plus.
I continue to believe that, as a matter of politics, the deal is very good for Republicans. If passed, it takes another government shutdown off the table, and allows Republicans to focus on fighting President Obama rather than each other. In particular, it allows Republicans to focus on Obamacare.
And so I believe this is a good deal for conservatives. Let me put it this way: Even if you're a conservative who cares less than I do about defense and doesn't give much of a hoot about helping out the GOP as a whole, you should support or acquiesce in this deal. Building support for the delay, dismantling, and repeal of Obamacare is the most important domestic policy item on the conservative agenda. If conservatives defeat this deal, they're ensuring that at least for the next month—but maybe for longer—they'll be helping the administration in its desperate effort to distract from Obamacare and will be allowing the media, and to some degree the nation, to talk instead about a potential government shutdown and GOP infighting.
So, to my fellow conservatives: This may not have been the deal you'd have negotiated. But it now serves the cause of conservatism to approve it, move on, and re-focus on Obamacare.
Obamacare has now been unpopular for more than an Olympiad—an amazing feat for a law that’s just now going into effect. It’s been unpopular since the summer of 2009—which, come to think of it, is about the time that President Obama first starting saying that if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan; if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor; and if you’d like some oceanfront property in Arizona, you can have some oceanfront property in Arizona. But it’s particularly interesting to see how much less popular Obamacare has become over the past year.
Could the focus on Obamacare in the last couple of weeks before Tuesday's Virginia gubernatorial election enable the Republican nominee, Ken Cuccinelli, to come from behind in the homestretch? He's run a pretty awful campaign so far, and has been trailing badly for months, but ...
Nineteen conservative activists have signed a letter to Republican leaders in Congress urging the body to fight to delay all of the provisions of Obamacare set to go into effect in 2014. (Update: the number of signatories has increased to 33.)
A new Fox News poll says that independents support the repeal of Obamacare by a whopping 40-point margin (65 to 25 percent). That’s more than twice the margin by which Ronald Reagan beat Walter Mondale, or Franklin Roosevelt beat Herbert Hoover.
The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll indicates that the only group of Americans who remain strongly supportive of Obamacare are self-described “liberal Democrats.” Even “moderate or conservative” Democrats have started to jump ship en masse — as they’re now more likely to oppose Obamacare than to support it. Given that most Democrats (57 percent, according to the poll) claim to be either “moderate” or “conservative,” this poses a major problem for the Obama administration’s centerpiece legislation.
After a year spent largely out of the limelight, Obamacare’s individual mandate is back — as the core symbol of Obamacare’s unprecedented threat to Americans’ liberty. In truth, the mandate never really left; it simply faded a bit from public view.
The Obama administration must have been hearing some awfully threatening noises from the business community lately, because its unilateral delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate, from 2014 to 2015, is otherwise very difficult to explain. The delay is an embarrassing move for the White House and will create some serious new headaches for Obamacare’s defenders.