Speaker of the House John Boehner, one of the more sober Republicans in Washington, is warning his colleagues not to go wild celebrating if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Apparently he realizes that it could be in bad taste to applaud the rejection of the Obama Administration’s signature legislative accomplishment. And maybe it’s also because the GOP has little to offer in health care policy beyond tearing up the Affordable Care Act. And that’s really not a very robust platform to run on.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor, meanwhile is vowing to try to repeal every single element of ObamaCare rather than trying to salvage popular parts of the law. That’s a good example of senseless ideological purity. It also promotes the myth that the Affordable Care Act is based purely on Democratic ideas, when it’s actually a fairly moderate collection of initiatives. Cantor’s plan is likely to backfire in the long run, because it will leave Republicans open to charges of hypocrisy if they ever try to reintroduce some of the provisions.
Now that Republicans have developed such reflexive rejection of anything Obama, the Democrats would be wise to propose all manner of legislation, including Republican ideas. That should paint the naysayers into a corner.