“In terms of Obamacare, don’t defend it, say it was flawed from the beginning and we’re going to fix it,” Ms. Lake said at a poll briefing hosted by the Christian Science Monitor March 25.
That was essentially the strategy followed by Alex Sink in the special election for a House seat in Florida March 11. Ms. Sink had carried the district in her losing campaign for governor in 2010 and wasn’t burdened with having voted to impose Obamacare.
But she lost to an underfunded Republican nobody had heard of in a district that President Barack Obama carried in 2012, despite the presence in the race of a Libertarian who took nearly 5 percent of the vote.
The problem with this strategy is that it’s just a “messaging” strategy. Americans are very, very upset about Obamacare, Ms. Lake’s poll indicates. Democrats must say something to mollify them. They don’t have to mean what they say.
The Obamacare rollout was a “disaster;” the president “failed us,” Ms. Sink told voters. There must be changes in the law, she said, but was vague about what they might be. She criticized Republican David Jolly for advocating repeal. “We cannot go back to where we were before,” she said.
That should have worked, according to Ms. Lake’s polls, and others. They indicate a plurality of Americans want Obamacare fixed but not repealed.
It didn’t, I think because enough voters sensed Ms. Sink was just saying what she thought they wanted to hear. “Alex Sink didn’t propose a single fix,” said Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal. “Nor has any Democrat anywhere really proposed a serious fix, other than delaying the mandates and so forth, which isn’t really a solution.”
The best that can be said for Ms. Lake’s strategy is that Democrats in swing states and districts who follow it aren’t likely to lose as badly as they would if they proudly embrace Obamacare, as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi recommends, or if they attack the seriously ill victims of Obamacare, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has done.
Ms. Lake’s strategy would work better if, instead of a gambit, it were a sincere admission of error.
But it isn’t, an voters know it.
They know the Democrats, up to including (especially including) the President lied their heads off about it, passed it by sleazy, back-alley thug tactics without a single GOP vote, and then stopped or vetoed every single effort to change or fix it.
So every time some Democrat howls that Obamacare must be fixed, and they are just the Democrats to do it, the next question should be, “After what you already did to us, why on earth should we trust you?”