On ABC’s This Week, Paul Krugman opened up a can of whoop-facts on desperate Republicans who are desperately hanging on to the belief that the 2014 election will be about Obamacare.
SENOR: Absolutely. There’s no doubt that this damaging to the Republican brand.
That said, a year from now, this will have been long resolved and I don’t think voters will be talking about this shutdown and the dysfunction. What people will be talking about is the failed implementation of ObamaCare.
There are very few House seats that are really in play. There’s like a tiny percentage of Republican House members that are in districts that President Obama won. There are six Senate seats, Democratic Senate seats that need to be defended that Mitt Romney won by more than 10 percent.
So, the field, both in the House and the Senate, is much more favorable to Republicans. I think this is a bad moment for Republicans. I think it will pass. I think the feel, the history of the party out of the White House winning midterms, combined with the failed implementation of ObamaCare –
KRUGMAN: I want to say something about that for a moment. The ObamaCare thing will also be long past. They messed up the software for the federal version of it. But we have the exchanges working just fine in many states, which means it’s fixable and it will be fixed.
California has a perfectly well functioning exchange, which is running itself. If you can do it for 30 million people, you can do it for 300 million.
So, Obama — that will be — Obamacare will be working fine…
NOONAN: The governors are key, I’ve got to tell you. Everywhere you go among Republicans, they start talking about what’s happening in Washington in the Senate, the House and then they go, our governors are great. And indeed there’s much excitement there. And I think the future of the party, 2016 is there.
Paul, I’ve got to tell you, I don’t think I disagree with your point on Obamacare, of course. I think for the next year as Dan said, it’s going to be a big spreading wound. There’s too much connected to it that is going to be a constant grinding tension. One is this congressional thing where congress passes things, but they get special benefits and the American people don’t get them. You think it…
KRUGMAN: That’s really not true.
But the main point is, software — I mean, a software glitch.
SENOR: It’s more than software.
They have stitched together web platforms for the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Homeland Security in order to make this enrollment work. It’s a technology disaster.
The architect of the website said that if March, that we’ll be lucky if this thing doesn’t look like a third world experience.
KRUGMAN: Right, so they messed up. The thing is, again…
KRUGMAN: California, a state with more than 30 million people, a state with 10 percent of the whole U.S. population, has a perfectly functioning exchange, that says this is doable. That says that they will fix it.
Krugman was correct. The website will be fixed long before the 2014 election, people will be signed up, and nobody outside of the Republican Party will care about the website launch. The idea pushed by Republicans Noonan and Senor that people will be more concerned about the ACA website rollout than the fact that Republicans may very well plunge the economy into another recession this week was flat out delusional.
In case Republicans haven’t noticed, the ACA is getting more popular, and there are more than a few House seats in play. The government shutdown has put at least 24 Republican controlled House seats in jeopardy. It’s double the delusion to think that gerrymandering and the ACA will keep Republicans in control of the House if the economy tanks. If the government shutdown lingers on and the country defaults, next year’s election is going to be all about the economy.
Republicans are still clinging to the hope that the 2014 electorate will look just like 2010, but House Republican antics on the government shutdown/potential default are energizing the Democratic electorate. Paul Krugman brought a signed and dated reality check to the conversation today. If Republicans crash the economy again, the top priority of the country will not be the ACA.
The ACA website will be fixed, but the damage that Republicans could do the economy this week with a default won’t be forgotten on Election Day 2014.