Running out the clock can be wise strategy on the football field, but it’s rarely smart politics. Democrats take the limberneck when they look at the latest poll numbers for November and the conventional wisdom, which is not always wrong, is that the race to control Congress is for the Republicans to lose. That’s if the landscape remains undisturbed, of course, and that’s a very big if.
With such an advantage, Republicans will find it hard to resist the urge to stand on the sidelines, avoid big plays, and watch Democratic fortunes implode. The latest CNN/ORC poll shows the public disagrees with President Obama 60 percent of the time or more on the key issues of the economy, the budget, immigration, gun control and health care.
The public clearly doesn’t like Obamacare. The president’s scheme has produced higher premiums, higher deductibles and higher co-pays. Millions have lost perfectly good coverage plans and access to their trusted doctors. The administration couldn’t even create a functional website, despite spending $1 billion to build and promote one.
It’s a fiasco that everyone readily understands, yet certain Republicans are backpedaling on the promise to repeal Obamacare “root and branch,” in the formulation of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, in favor of a vague and timid approach of “mend it, don’t end it.” Others have suggested postponing presenting a comprehensive alternative to President Obama’s failed health-care takeover scheme until after the November midterms. This smells a lot like Mr. Obama’s infamous promise of “if you like your health care, you can keep it.”