Now that President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act has begun to surpass even his own administration’s expectations for success, perhaps, as the New York Times editorial board suggests, it’s time for the Democrats to come out of hiding and actually fight for themselves and what they believe in rather than trying to perpetually run scared at the slightest hint of distress. And considering the fact that the NYT hasn’t exactly been known for it’s unabashed support of the President in recent years, the pro-Obama stance of this editorial is worth noting. The Times, like so many other mainstream news organizations, went overboard during their coverage of the Obamacare rollout in detailing all the flaws, banging the doom and gloom drum loudly for all to hear, making sure we knew just how poorly everything was going with the website. But now that the clouds have passed and Obamacare is not only still here but growing stronger by the day, it’s encouraging to see an open acknowledgment of just how well Obamacare is actually working despite the monumental – and well-documented – right-wing campaign to strangle this baby in the crib.
But here’s the thing; because even if Democrats begin to come off the fence and stand with the President in support of his historic achievement, using it to (hopefully) propel more Democrats to victory in 2014, Democrats still must confront this recurring tendency we have of being our own worst enemy. Because say what you want about right-wing Republicans, they may have their internal struggles as all organizations do, but they still do a hell of a job rallying around whatever perverse little talking point they choose to promote for the upcoming news cycles. Whether it be the need to destroy Obamacare, or the need to provide automatic weapons to defenseless babies in their cribs to fend off evil, you can pretty much count on them all towing the line while the moderate Republicans dutifully keep their mouths shut as the inmates run rampant in the asylum. Democrats, on the other hand, too often try their hand at morphing into some sort of unidentifiable, useless Demopublican hybrid which does little to promote the issues of the Democratic party and has absolutely no success achieving inter-party cooperation. If the results of the President’s first-term attempts to reach out and cooperate with Republicans aren’t instructive enough to those still wanting to hold hands, it’s hard to imagine what it will take.
Obamacare is a winner for Democrats. Plain and simple. It’s the biggest winner any true Democrat campaigning for office in 2014 could possibly hope for. The Republicans do not have any winners. They were counting on the failure of Obamacare, but when that didn’t happen then they adjusted their strategy appropriately and began to lie about it. It’s a shame when your best shot is to lie about the other guy, but they’re counting on Koch Brother ammunition to make that shot count. Our vote, and promoting the hell out of the success of Obamacare, is what will bring it home for Democrats in 2014.
Keith Owens (AKA Black Liberal Boomer) is a Detroit-based writer who has worked for The Detroit Free Press, Detroit’s alternative newsweekly the Metro Times, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, and other newspapers. He was also a nationally syndicated columnist with Universal Press Syndicate for three years beginning in 1993.