Since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have basically been falling over themselves in celebration at some of the issues that have plagued President Obama’s signature piece of legislation. Many Republicans feel that the healthcare law’s issues almost guarantee them success in next November’s 2014 midterm elections.
There’s just one problem — issues with “Obamacare” or not, Republicans are still Republicans.
Just wait until the primaries really get going and these Republicans are having to pander to their base to get votes. Especially those candidates who are facing stiff challenges from tea party-backed candidates. The ridiculous comments and out of touch stances they’ll have to come out in support of to gain the support of these right-wing radical voters will be nothing short of priceless.
Anyone remember “legitimate rape?” Think that, only much more of it. This time, quite a few congressional Republicans are facing stiff challenges from extremely radical tea party candidates who often appeal to the type of conservative voters that tend to vote in Republican primary elections.
So, they’ll have two choices to make:
- Believe that they’ll win their primary without pandering to the radical members of their party, hoping to avoid saying something that might hurt them in the general election.
- Pander to the radical right-wing voters in their party, but by doing so risk appearing more radical which often doesn’t play well during the general election.
That’s the real problem for Republicans — themselves.
Conservative voters love these radical tea party candidates, yet these radical candidates often perform poorly in the general election. It’s a paradox they face heading toward the midterms. And it’s the reason why I don’t think the current issues with “Obamacare” will matter all that much.
Sure, right now they seem like a big deal. But as we’ve already seen, the website is working much better and sign-ups for health insurance through HealthCare.gov are drastically increasing. A few months from now the issue with “Obamacare” will be a distant memory, but one constant will remain — the radical, out of touch ideology of the Republican party.
It’s why potential candidates like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are so politically intriguing. While polls show that someone like Christie appears to be the best hope Republicans might have in 2016, “true conservatives” can’t stand him. They’d rather have somebody radical and unelectable like Ted Cruz instead.
It’s why I’m still concerned about 2014, and emphasize the need for liberals to get out and vote — but I’m not too concerned about the issues “Obamacare” has experienced. Because the biggest issue facing Republicans next November won’t be their Democratic counterparts, it’ll be themselves.