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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington September 24, 2013. Washington faces two looming deadlines, with the Democrats and Republicans far apart on a solution. The U.S. government runs out o
The New York Times editorial board has been paying attention, and discovered that Republicans have little to offer beyond gibberish when it comes to what to do about Obamacare. "Though the law itself has never been widely popular," the editorial says, "most people say they like its component parts, and a large majority now says it wants the law improved rather than repealed." That means Republicans are forced to rewrite their playbook on Obamacare, and are coming up with nothing.

The board in particular calls out Sen. Mitch McConnell and Scott Brown, the highest profile candidates with the most ridiculous rhetoric.

Sometimes the dissonance reaches nearly comic levels. The Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, recently won his party’s primary for his Kentucky Senate seat in part by saying he wanted to repeal the health law “root and branch.” Last week, though, he was asked what repeal would mean for the 413,000 people who had signed up for insurance under Kynect, Kentucky’s state-run exchange. “I think that’s unconnected to my comments about the overall question,” he said. Mr. McConnell knows full well, of course, that the popular Kynect program was created by the Affordable Care Act and could not exist without it, but he is hoping to fool his constituents into believing the health care access they like has nothing to do with the law he has fought against for so long or with President Obama.

His campaign even suggested he would allow many of the 300,000 Kentuckians who signed up for Medicaid—solely because of the law’s expansion—to stay covered after repeal, which makes about as much sense as his previous statement. […]

Scott Brown, who failed to sell this kind of nonsense in the Senate race in Massachusetts in 2012, is now peddling it in New Hampshire, where he is running for the Senate by saying the health law is “hurting families.” But not his family, apparently; in 2012, he admitted to keeping his daughter, then 23, on his policy, thanks to the law.

The thing is, Republicans had to know this was coming. They bet the farm on repeal, all the while knowing that, once the Supreme Court ruled the law constitutional, repeal wasn't going to happen and the law would end up helping millions of people. Once those millions of people got coverage, repeal would become politically toxic and they'd have to have an alternative. But they invested so much in playing to the tea party's Obamacare hate, so much in promising that repeal was indeed possible, they couldn't possibly come up with a viable alternative.

Republicans painted themselves into this corner, and the smarter ones among them—McConnell in particular—had to know they were doing it all along. It's a testament to just how unprincipled McConnell and team are that they made promises they couldn't keep and are now still pretending that somehow, they can make this law go away without hurting anyone. Which is as nonsensical as Republicans are sounding right now.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:14 AM PDT.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos and Daily Kos.

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