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Archive for the ‘Pelosi’ Category

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the Democratic Party crank up their smear machine. This week, Nancy Pelosi said something stunning. Here’s what she said:

PELOSI: I asked a Republican friend why his party remains so opposed to extending the lifelines to struggling families and hungry children. This colleague’s response was telling in its blunt nature and it’s stunning in its honesty. What he said was that, to the Republican Caucus, these people are invisible and the Republican Caucus is indifferent to them.

Greta played that disgustingly dishonest diatribe during her interview with Sean Hannity. This video is instructive to Republicans:

This isn’t the first time a Democrat lied about an anonymous Republican who had the dirt on another Republican. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Harry Reid said he had proof that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid income taxes for the last 10 years. Of course, he didn’t offer proof of his accusation. Most Republicans still think that Harry Reid was simply lying through his teeth.

When it comes to dirty politicking, Democrats don’t hesitate in lying through their teeth. When Harry Reid lied through his teeth during the presidential election, I didn’t question Reid’s honesty. I knew he was a liar. I’m not questioning Pelosi’s honesty now. I don’t have to because it’s apparent that she’s lying. What’s troubling about Pelosi’s statement is that it’s proof that lies roll off her lips effortlessly.

This isn’t the first time she’s been caught lying. Let’s remember that she said with a straight face that unemployment checks help grow the economy. Nobody’s that stupid. Let’s remember that she’s the liar that insisted she hadn’t been briefed about the Bush administration’s waterboarding of high value target terrorists. Then there’s Pelosi’s insistence that the Catholic church’s position on human life only started 50 years ago and doesn’t impact abortion in any case.

The best way to determine if she’s lying is by determining whether her lips are moving. If they’re moving, it’s almost certain that she’s lying.

While Greta interviewed Sean Hannity tonight, Greta told Sean that he’d taken Pelosi’s bait before asking why he’d respond to Pelosi’s lies. At first, I sided with Greta on this. Then Hannity talked about the amount of lies coming from Democrats. I still don’t agree with how Hannity responded but I don’t entirely agree with Greta either.

I agree with Greta that Hannity shouldn’t respond with a statistical argument. That being said, I agree with Hannity that Republicans can’t just pretend Pelosi’s lies don’t exist. My point is that Republicans have to respond to Pelosi’s lies by going on offense. Start with highlighting the fact that Democrats will say anything if they think it’ll change a few votes. Highlight the fact that this isn’t the first time Ms. Pelosi got caught lying by citing the other times she’s told outright whoppers. In this instance, I’d fight Ms. Pelosi’s lies by questioning who this Republican friend is. Next, I’d ask why she called this Republican a “colleague.” Does that mean this alleged Republican is a member of the House of Representatives?

If she’s unwilling to provide the details, I’d then go on Greta’s show and say that I’d questioned Ms. Pelosi about who would say such a despicable thing but that she wouldn’t identify this alleged Republican friend of Ms. Pelosi’s. Finally, I’d state that I’m highly skeptical of her allegations, followed by the fact that I think she’s lying.

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This NYTimes article lowers the boom on vulnerable Democrats. Meanwhile, this video will certainly pop up in campaign ads this fall after CBO’s announcement:

Here’s the devastating part of the CBO’s announcement:

A new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office says that the Affordable Care Act will result in more than 2 million fewer full-time workers in the next several years, providing Republican opponents of the law a powerful political weapon leading up to this year’s midterm elections.

The law is also expected to have a significant effect on hours worked, the nonpartisan budget office said in a regular update to its budget projections released Tuesday. With the expansion of insurance coverage, more workers will choose not to work and others will choose to work fewer hours than they might have otherwise, it said. The decline in hours worked will translate into a loss of the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time positions by 2024, the budget office said.

The administration’s spin on this report was disastrous. One of the talking points sounded like the reduction in hours would let people cut their hours to keep their subsidies. The administration then suggested that those people will be able to pursue more creative activities. What they didn’t say is that other families would get hit with paying those subsidies.

The simple fact is that the Anything But Affordable Care Act is a job-destroying disaster. The administration will attempt to suggest otherwise but that’s pure spin. The proof is in the monthly jobs reports, most of which have been disasters.

What isn’t getting reported enough is that the subsidies cover the health insurance premiums but they don’t subsidize those policies’ high deductibles. In most of the policies sold, those deductibles are enough to bury families in debt.

What that means is that the Anything But Affordable Care Act a) is expensive, b) is a job-killer and c) will devastate Democrats next November.

Glenn Reynolds’ latest USA Today column highlights why the Anything But Affordable Care Act, aka the ABACA, is destined for failure:

In his excellent book, Two Cheers For Anarchism, Professor James Scott writes:

One need not have an actual conspiracy to achieve the practical effects of a conspiracy. More regimes have been brought, piecemeal, to their knees by what was once called ‘Irish Democracy,’ the silent, dogged resistance, withdrawal, and truculence of millions of ordinary people, than by revolutionary vanguards or rioting mobs.

Simply put, people, making decisions based on their own self-interests, are saying no to the ABACA. They’re saying no because it’s a rip-off. It’s a rip-off because it was designed by politicians, whose highest priority was passing a bill, not cutting families’ health care costs.

While the political class worries about ‘the art of the possible’, families worry about doing what’s right for their families. The fact is that politicians ignored their constituents when they wrote this bill in Harry Reid’s and Nancy Pelosi’s offices. By making this federal legislation, President Obama eliminated the states’ experimentation, which is the strength of the US’s federalist system.

Top-down, government-centric systems don’t work because they implement a system that isn’t individualized. Does anyone think that a nation that loves its iPhones and individualized apps would accept a system where their health insurance and health care choices are made for them?

It’s possible that something called the Affordable Care Act will still be in place a decade from now. If it still exists, which isn’t guaranteed, it won’t look anything like the system that’s currently in place.

That’s because Americans aren’t satisfied with accepting conventional wisdom. When we see difficulties, our initial instinct is to fix them.

Now, as February draws near, things don’t look much better. Far fewer than half the number needed by March 31 have signed up. And, as it turns out, most of the people signing up for Obamacare aren’t the uninsured for whom it was supposedly enacted, but people who were previously insured (many of whom lost their previous insurance because of Obamacare’s new requirements). “At most,” writes Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle, “they’ve signed up 15% of the uninsured that they were expecting to enroll. … Where are the uninsured? Did hardly any of them want coverage beginning Jan. 1?” It looks that way.

Based on public sentiment, this would’ve been the right time to let a good crisis go to waste. It’s pretty apparent that the people are speaking with a loud, passionate voice that they want this system scrapped. They aren’t sending mixed signals on this. They aren’t sounding an uncertain alarm. They’re saying that a) they don’t want to return to the previous system and b) they’re rejecting President Obama’s top-down system.

What they’re saying with exceptional clarity is that they want to design a system that a) puts them first, b) puts doctors, not politicians and bureaucrats, in charge of the health care system, c) lowers health care costs and d) lets them create their own network of health care providers.

The Anything But Affordable Care Act is 0-for-4 on those merits. That’s why it’s destined for failure.

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This editorial includes the usual collection of straw man arguments, which I’m about to deconstruct. This paragraph is especially worth demolishing:

The individual mandate was a Republican idea as well as set forth by the conservative Heritage Foundation in 1989. It was supported by Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley who also introduced bills promoting this legislation. Newt Gingrich was also for this idea.

There’s no disputing the information in that paragraph. These senators supported the Heritage Foundation’s idea. What’s important, though, was that people started making the argument that the individual mandate wasn’t constitutional in the early 1990s. That’s when Republicans, generally speaking, stopped supporting the individual mandate.

Now all these individuals oppose the ACA because it is Obama’s and the Democrats’ signature piece of legislation.

What a stupid statement to make. First, it’s pure projection. There’s no proof of that. Allegations aren’t proof. Allegations is the writer has. Argument? Dismissed as foolish. Second, Sen. Grassley and Sen. Hatch oppose the Affordable Care Act because, in the words of Sen. Baucus, it’s “a train wreck” happening in slow motion right before our eyes.

The Democrats’ arguments are built on the shaking sand arguments that the ACA is working fine or will soon be working fine and that the policies bought through the ACA’s exchanges will be significantly better than the policies families had prior to implementation of the ACA. That’s demonstrably false. Networks have shrunk. Premiums are significantly higher. Facilities that offer cutting edge medical treatment are either being excluded from the exchanges or they’re opting out because the reimbursement rates will drive them into bankruptcy.

Those are legitimate explanations for why Republicans oppose the ACA.

The letter stated Republicans were mostly shut out of the planning and development of the ACA. However, for years, the Republicans were arguing for legislation exactly like the one that passed.

That’s a non sequitur argument. It’s possible for Republicans to be shut out of crafting the ACA after previously supporting similar legislation years earlier. During the 2012 campaign, all of the GOP presidential candidates made substantive arguments against Romneycare.

The biggest difference between Romneycare and the Affordable Care Act is that Romneycare’s rollout wasn’t the disaster that the ACA’s rollout is.

The letter also infers Democrats’ recent dominance of the U.S. House, Senate and presidency contributed to the polarization that now exists in Washington, DC.

This isn’t disputable. The Democrats’ arrogance for which they’re currently getting crucified contributed to DC’s polarization. It isn’t the sole cause of DC’s polarization but it certainly contributed to it.

At the end of the day, though, what’s important is that Democrats not named Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Wasserman-Schultz aren’t arguing that the ACA is great legislation that is helping families. It’s true that the ACA helped people who couldn’t get insurance because they had pre-existing conditions. It’s equally indisputable that the ACA caused millions of people to get cancellation notices of quality health insurance policies that paid for life-saving treatments at the world’s finest research hospitals.

There’s no doubt that some health insurance policies were junk. That’s proof that state health insurance commissioners didn’t do their jobs. They shouldn’t have approved those policies for sale in their states. Likewise, there’s no doubt that some policies that President Obama, Jay Carney and Frank Pallone say are substandard are actually pretty good policies.

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When Bill Hemmer interviewed Frank Luntz about the Affordable Care Act, he played this Americans for Prosperity, aka AFP, ad to lead into the discussion:

The ad features Nancy Pelosi spewing the usual Democratic Party chanting points:

PELOSI: Democrats stand tall in support of the Affordable Care Act.

Then, against a black backdrop, comes this simple, effective message from AFP:

Tell Congress Obamacare isn’t working. Stand tall for patients, not politics.

President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have been exceptionally stubborn in their support of the ACA. Eventually, the people will rebel against them when they see how the ACA is limiting their choices without lowering their costs.

Hemmer asked Mr. Luntz a question that led to this exchange:

BILL HEMMER: The issue is trust. How does that play out in the ad, do you believe?
LUNTZ: That’s exactly the point, Bill. You get it, that it isn’t about the health care act that’s important. It’s about politicians refusing to take accountability when they make mistakes. Clearly, the rollout wasn’t effective. Clearly, people were being thrown off their plans. And health care is just symbolic of a greater problem, that these Washington politicians like former Speaker Pelosi are making promises to the American people that they can’t keep.

It isn’t just that people think Democrats aren’t trustworthy. It’s that they’re mad politicians don’t even listen to them.

Lots of people appear on the Sunday talk shows or on FNC or CNN. They repeat their scripted message as often as it’s warranted. That’s a major mistake. Republicans, myself included, frequently disagreed with Bill Clinton. That said, they learned that listening is a virtue. Democrats seemed to have learned the opposite lesson. Michael Barone noticed that flaw in this column:

If Obamacare’s architects were keen on preventing exit, they blithely ignored voice. The legislation was unpopular when it was proposed, while it was passed and in the months and years afterwards. Barack Obama seldom mentioned it in the 2012 campaign except for the provision allowing “children” under 26 to stay on mommy and daddy’s policies.

That’s another way of saying that Democrats shoved unpopular legislation down the American people’s throats. Then they lied about what the bill wouldn’t do.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that that’s a recipe for disaster.

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This CNN/ORC polling contains some disturbing news for the Obama administration, starting with this:

Inspires confidence
November 18-20, 2013 44% applies, 56% doesn’t apply

According to the report, that’s a huge drop. In 2010 and 2011, 57-58% of people said that President Obama inspired confidence. That’s a 25% drop. The bad news doesn’t stop there:

Thinking about the following characteristics and qualities, please say whether you think it applies or doesn’t apply to Barack Obama.

Is honest and trustworthy
November 18-20, 2013 46% applies, 53% doesn’t apply

As recently as May, 2013, 58% said that President Obama was honest and trustworthy. That’s a 20% drop in 6 months. As a result, people aren’t giving President Obama the benefit of the doubt anymore. That’s why President Obama’s worst days still haven’t arrived. Another ‘casualty’ of President Obama’s drop on the trust issue is that it’ll hurt Democrats in the generic ballot polling.

Michael Barone notes that President Obama defeated Mitt Romney in 209 districts across America. There’s no way of knowing how many of those districts would still vote for President Obama if they got a do-over. In a recent poll, Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama by a 49-45% margin. It’s reasonable to think that some of those 209 congressional districts would flip in a do-over race.

The effects of this polling is spilling over into other things:

Democratic leaders claim the bungled launch of Obamacare is just the latest news sensation, a media-stirred tempest that looks in the heat of the moment like it could upend the midterm election, but ends up fizzling well before voters head to the polls.

Some party strategists say they’re in denial.

And that perceived gap between party spin and facts on the ground is fueling worries that the White House and Democratic higher-ups aren’t taking the possible electoral blowback seriously enough or doing enough to shield their candidates. Democratic contenders in the toughest races are distinctly less convinced that Obamacare will fade as an election-year issue and they can’t afford to just cross their fingers that things get ironed out or that Republicans revert to political hara-kiri.

Democratic strategists don’t need to worry about the party doing more to help Democrats. They’re inextricably tied to the Affordable Care Act. The American people won’t distinguish between Democrats who didn’t defend the Affordable Care Act and Democrats who stuck to the party line. They won’t make that fine of a distinction.

It’s too early to predict a wave election. It isn’t too early to notice that the electorate is mad as hell. That isn’t good news for President Obama.

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God bless George Will for his insightfulness and brevity. Mr. Will nailed it again yesterday with this summarization:

Here’s what Mr. Will accurately stated:

MR. WILL: Tip O’Neill once famously stated that “all politics are local.” In 2014, no politics will be local. This has already nationalized the 2014 elections, which will be about the chaos Nina described.

While Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz insist that they’ll “run on Obamacare and win”, the rank-and-file Democrats are running away from the Affordable Care Act faster than their feet will take them.

That wasn’t Mr. Will’s only witticism. This video is an instant classic, too:

Democrats will undoubtedly attempt to avoid talking about the Affordable Care Act during the campaign. Without a doubt, they’ll attempt to change subjects. They’ll attempt to say that things are fantastic at a time when new cancellations and higher insurance premiums will be getting people’s attention.

It’s premature to talk about a possible wave election but discontent with Democrats is building. That doesn’t guarantee a landslide victory for Republicans but it’s predicting that Democrats won’t retake the House. It’s indicating that it’s quite possible for Democrats to lose their Senate majority, too.

It isn’t far-fetched to think that Democrats will attempt to talk about everything other than the Affordable Care Act disaster. This election won’t be determined by what Democrats want to talk about or what they want to avoid discussing. The 2014 elections will be determined by people insisting on talking about the Affordable Care Act.

People want to vent about this disaster. There’s an old axiom that says “When the people want something badly enough and scream loudly enough for a long time, the leaders will follow.” The Democrat leadership insists that everything’s fine, that Democrats will win by talking about the Affordable Care Act.

The Democrat leadership team is either stupid beyond belief or they’re lying through their teeth. Though it’s difficult to tell at times, I don’t think they’re stupid.

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Friday night on Special Report, Bret Baier closed the first segment of the Roundtable with an email from “Bill in Kentucky,” who offered a worthwhile perspective. Here’s the text of Bill in Kentucky’s email:

BRET BAIER: I just want to end with this email from Bill in Kentucky who emailed today.

BILL IN KENTUCKY: Putting things into perspective: March 21st, 2010 to October 1, 2013 is 3 years, 6 months and 10 days. December 7th, 1941 to May 8th, 1945 is 3 years, 5 months and 1 day.

What that means is that, in the time that we were attacked at Pearl Harbor to the day Germany surrendered, is not enough time for this progressive federal government to build a working webpage. Mobilization of millions, building tens of thousands of tanks, planes, jeeps, subs, cruisers, destroyers, torpedoes, millions upon millions of guns, bombs, ammo, etc. turn the tide in north Africa, invading Italy, D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, race to Berlin, all while we were also fighting the Japanese in the Pacific! And in that amount of time, this administration can’t build a working webpage.

That’s right. It’s taken this administration more time to get HealthCare.gov running than it took the Greatest Generation to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Based on early reports, it might take another 6 months to get HealthCare.gov functioning properly.

If that’s true, that means it took less time to win World War II and Operation Desert Storm. Combined.

More important than the historical perspective, though, is that this administration thought that it was skilled enough to pull this off. Clearly, they’re imcompetent, far too incompetent to run an operation this complex. Incompetence mixed with hubris is an awful mix.

Rahm Emanuel was President Obama’s first Chief of Staff. It’s important to remember that his motto was that they shouldn’t let a good crisis go to waste. That’s the attitude this administration operated from while Rahm was Chief of Staff. Congress operated from that perspective, too.

I’m betting that many of the people who’ve gotten their insurance policies terminated would like to tell Emanuel and Ms. Pelosi that their work product stinks. I don’t think Pelosi and Emanuel would mind, though, because they passed the thing that Democrats have wanted to pass for almost a century.

Their concern for the American people is virtually nonexistent. Satisfying their ideological allies is what’s important for Obama, Emanuel and Pelosi.

Bill in Kentucky’s perspective was badly needed because it highlighted this administration’s incompetence, their disdain for the American people and their rigid ideological bent.

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The loudest message coming from this LA Times article is that the Affordable Care Act isn’t living up to President Obama’s promises. Here’s proof that the Affordable Care Act isn’t making health insurance affordable:

Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage.

Now Harris, a self-employed lawyer, must shop for replacement insurance. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month. She and her husband don’t qualify for federal premium subsidies because they earn too much money, about $80,000 a year combined.

“It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,” said Harris, who is three months pregnant. “This increase is simply not affordable.”

That’s just one example. Here’s another:

Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.

“She said, ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,’” Kehaly said.

Sticker shock is setting in. The middle class, whom Democrats nationwide say they’re trying to build their economy around, are getting hit with massive health insurance price increases. The term middle class squeeze certainly fits this situation. It’s statements like this that infuriate people:

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said the state and insurers agreed that clearing the decks by Jan. 1 was best for consumers in the long run despite the initial disruption. Lee has heard the complaints — even from his sister-in-law, who recently groused about her 50% rate increase.

“People could have kept their cheaper, bad coverage, and those people wouldn’t have been part of the common risk pool,” Lee said. “We are better off all being in this together. We are transforming the individual market and making it better.”

Mr. Lee sounds like a Democrat shill. (I’d say he sounds like Juan Williams or Mark Hannah but that’d be harsh.) How dare he say that they’re booting people off of their “cheaper, bad coverage.” Ultimately, that should be their choice. Further, Lee’s company sold these people’s “bad coverage.”

Is Lee now admitting that they sold crappy policies?

Despite Lee’s statement, the reality is that lots of people liked their policies. They didn’t think of their policies as crappy. Their opinion should be the only opinion that matters. Instead, President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and their faithful shills in the insurance industry and throughout the Agenda Media think that government’s opinion is the opinion that matters most.

How dare they think like that. If the Founding Fathers would be alive today, they’d be spoiling for another revolution. This administration’s actions are the actions of tyrants. On July 4, 1776, brave men issued a statement to the rest of the world. Its title is the Declaration of Independence. It wasn’t titled the Declaration of Government Telling Us What’s Best.

Thanks to the Anything But Affordable Care Act, aka the ABACA, people who had done the right thing by buying health insurance on the individual market have had the government tell them that they’ve made a bad decision. Based on what we’ve seen from this administration, there’s no reason to think that their opinion is valuable.

Supporters of the healthcare law say Obama was referring to people who are insured through their employers or through government programs such as Medicare. Still, they acknowledge the confusion and anger from individual policyholders who are being forced to change.

Cavallaro received her cancellation notice from Anthem Blue Cross this month. The company said a comparable Bronze plan would cost her 65% more, or $484 a month. She doubts she’ll qualify for much in premium subsidies, if any. Regardless, she resents losing the ability to pick and choose the benefits she wants to pay for. “I just won’t have health insurance because I can’t pay this increase,” she said.

According to Cavallaro, the Affordable Care Act isn’t the right title for the legislation. How many Deborah Cavallaros are there out there? How many people are furious that the government told them that people, not politicians, shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions that affect their lives?

Ultimately, that’s the question that’ll change the terms of the debate. Should government, not families, determine what’s best for their families? I think not. Emphatically.

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Most Almanac Roundtable panelists think that conservatives are lunatics who couldn’t do anything right if their life depended on it. Friday night’s panelists were Larry Jacobs and Kathryn Pearson from the U of M, David Schultz from Hamline and Steve Schier from Carlton College. Predictably, the subject was identifying the political winners and losers from the government shutdown. Most of the conversation was about bashing conservatives, especially TEA Party activists. Just when all hope for an informative conversation seemed lost, Larry Jacobs provided this insight:

You know, it’s very interesting. We tend to be very short-term oriented. November, 2014 is the date that’s really going to really make a difference. That’s a long way off. When you look back at the 1995 shutdown, there was a big focus on ‘Did Clinton get a boomerang in his favor in the 96 election’? Research doesn’t really show that and, when you look at this more carefully, I think the news for the Democrats is not so rosy. There could definitely be some Republicans looking at the data thinking that ‘we’re gonna bide our time here. The main thing that I see happening on the Democratic side is President Obama’s approval rating sliding down. There’s been a little bit of an uptick but the general trend has been downward. The bigger point is that 71% of Americans are now saying that the economy is worse off. That’s going to further drive down the president’s approval rating. And we know, probably, that the drop in consumer confidence and other factors will further drive down. All of that will likely create a drag on Democratic candidates going into 2014.

When Christopher Stevens was killed in Benghazi, the administration knew they’d be protected by their media allies. That meant they could stonewall investigators until after the election. That isn’t the case here. There’s tons of time for reality to set in. People are already noticing the expensive insurance premiums, the unreliable health insurance exchange website and the high deductibles.

There’s no question that President Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, Jay Carney and allies like Nancy Pelosi will attempt to hide the fact that the Affordable Care Act isn’t working and isn’t workable. It’s junk. This administration’s spin won’t work. Eventually, reality catches up with the spin. Jay Carney’s and Kathleen Sebelius’s insistance that things are working or that they’re working around the clock to fix things won’t mean much when the conversation at water coolers across the nation is that HealthCare.gov isn’t workiing.

As people find out that the flaws in HealthCare.gov’s aren’t glitches, people will take it out on Democrats since they’re the only ones that voted for the Affordable Care Act. When people find out that the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges aren’t working because the software is deeply flawed, they’ll have reason to think that the Party of Big Government is inept. Once that sinks in, Democrats will have a difficult fight on their hands.

Schultz, Schier and Pearson can think Republicans are big losers and that Democrats will retake the House because of that but that isn’t reality. The reality is that Republicans can point to some votes that Democrats cast against extremely popular things. That’s especially true in the Senate, where Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, Mark Begich and Mark Pryor voted against delaying the individual mandate, against repealing the medical device tax while voting for giving politicians a subsidy for health insurance that isn’t available to other people making the same salary.

People don’t like politicians who expect special treatment while shafting working people. Democrats should expect a particularly bumpy road through next November.

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