Q: Having failed to stop health care reform, Republican leaders have vowed to make repealing it their rallying cry in the November elections. What lessons could they draw from political history and the experience of leaders in other fields?
Repeal is unlikely, impossible before 2013 at the earliest. Nevertheless, it may be a good rallying cry between now and November, as any increase in health insurance premiums in that time can validly be blamed on Democrats, as can any slowdown in the recovery.
Their best tactics will be to emphasize the deficit, the new taxes, and particularly the special deals for individual members and states with which the bill is still replete. A handful of specific examples will have more persuasive power than larger abstractions. But health care will not be the salient issue in November that it is today. Democratic fortunes in the next eight months will rise or fall with the economy and with job creation or loss.
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