By George Rasley, CHQ Editor | 9/27/13
In one of author Joel Chandler Harris’ classic Uncle Remus stories, the wily Brer Rabbit avoids becoming lunch and outsmarts Brer Fox by begging not to be thrown in the briar patch – which is where he actually wants to be.
President Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill are right now playing Brer Rabbit to the Republicans, and they may very well get exactly what they want – a legislatively mandated delay in implementing Obamacare that will allow them to avoid the disaster of launching a program that is in no way ready to go, while blaming Republicans for giving them the time to fix it.
And the Republican establishment, ever ready to avoid a fight on principle, is only too happy to oblige them.
Here’s why a one year delay of Obamacare looks like a good idea, but is actually the worst alternative – particularly for Republican political prospects in 2014.
As things stand now, Obamacare is a train wreck and its October 1 implementation is going to reveal both its policy overreach and the incompetence of the Obama administration.
Small business has already been notified that instead of signing-up online they must fax (!) or snail mail their forms, thereby increasing the administrative burden of the program and delaying whatever benefits it might bestow on small businesspeople.
The Hispanic voters the GOP is so anxious to attract will discover that Obamacare doesn’t speak to them – at least not in Spanish.
And big business has already been given a delay of the employer mandate, which may have looked like a good idea, but actually prolongs the job-killing uncertainty about the cost and regulatory drag of Obamacare for another year.
For most of the past few months, as the Obamacare implementation date of October 1 loomed, it looked like the Republican establishment had opted for cynicism over principle and was prepared to pass a continuing resolution with Obamacare funding intact, assuming that the program would crash under its own weight to the political advantage of Republicans.
When conservatives began to argue that “if you fund it, you own it” and the place and time to stop Obamacare’s destructive effects was on the continuing resolution and before the October 1 implementation date – what Sen. Mike Lee called the “last stop” to halt the remainder of Obamacare by defunding its implementation – the Republican establishment followed their instinct to avoid a fight and began to talk about a delay in the individual mandate as a “compromise.”
If a one-year delay in the individual mandate is a “compromise,” it is a compromise that bestows all of the benefits on Obama and the Democrats, while making the Republicans look weak.
A year’s legislative delay in the implementation of Obamacare is the worst alternative for Republicans – it not only saves the Democrats from the consequences of their own folly – it also prolongs the job-killing uncertainty of Obamacare’s cost for another year.
For these reasons – and a whole lot more – Republicans should either have the guts to kill Obamacare by defunding it, or in what would be an act of pure political cynicism, let it implode and make Democrats own the consequences.