Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stop Clowning Around, Dems!

There are perks to being right about important topics, and we got to experience one of those perks yesterday watching President Obama's 'victory lap' speech in the White House Rose Garden, lauding the success of the first four years of the ACA. The President not only praised those who have supported the ACA so far, but also echoed what we and others have said recently: That it's time for Republicans to get over the fact they lost this one.

To our surprise, some conservative pundits like Ramesh Ponnuru finally seem to be taking the President's suggestion to heart that they lost the war over Obamacare, and now they need to move on.

But a lot of our colleagues in the media seem to be having some difficulty with that. The three major cable news channels all seem like clowns, each stuck doing their own schtick - the missing airplane story on CNN, Chris Christie-palooza on MSNBC, and whatever the latest right-wing, anti-Obama hate messaging is on Fox.

We can't help but look at this situation and be reminded of one of our staff favorite fictional political characters, President Jed Bartlet, as he'd reach a conclusion or solve some problem. As soon as the problem was solved, Bartlet seemed to ask, "What's next?"

For Democrats, the answer should be simple right now: Get back to work - and be proud of what you've done.

Logic will tell you that Democrats really shouldn't have such a difficult time running for office this fall. From Republicans like Florida's Governor Rick Scott, who is fundraising with the founder of a series of abusive teen boot camps, to Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker, a politically owned tool of the Koch Brothers, it's not as though the modern Republican Party has any honest or serious leadership.

If that fact wasn't obvious before, the ridiculous budget proposal from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, that was revealed yesterday, should have reminded Americans how unserious Republicans are today. One member of our staff literally thought Ryan's latest revamped plan was a joke, since yesterday was April Fools Day.

As Greg Sargent noted on Tuesday, Republicans only have one plan to run on this fall - namely, that they think Obamacare sucks. As the facts continue to show, however, a growing number of Americans don't agree with them. A majority of Americans support the ACA now - which is why Democrats must run on the success of the program, even as they try take care of Obamacare's loose ends.

In places like Kentucky, that means that candidates like Alison Lundergan Grimes - who is challenging Senator Mitch McConnell for his seat - can't do what Alex Sink did in Florida. Sink lost, in part, because she didn't loudly, proudly, and effectively stand up for what she supported. For Democrats, that means supporting the Affordable Care Act - not avoiding the topic as Grimes seems to be doing.

From Froma Harrup to Bob Shrum, the smart Democratic pundits and campaign advisors are all saying the same thing to Democrats this year: Embrace Obamacare!

It remains to be seen, however, whether candidates will listen to wise council, or to the clowns on cable "news."