But Republican operatives responsible for guiding 2014 strategy contend that the party remains as committed as ever to opposing President Obama's health care overhaul, both on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail. Instead, they say that the "repeal and replace" line has outlived its usefulness. […]Ah, fine-tuning, not about repeal, because repeal now is toxic. But it's basically the same thing because they have to keep the base happy, but they have to convince not-the-base that starting over from scratch isn't the same as repeal. And they don't think people want to hear that they have to live with Obamacare for another three years, but they can't do anything about it before then because they can't repeal it, which they still want to do but they can't actually say that word anymore. Yes, that's all perfectly clear.
In fact, one GOP strategist said, among the reasons “repeal and replace” is now such bad messaging is because voters don't want to be told that they have to suffer under law for another three years, at which time their problems might or might not be remedied, depending on who is elected to succeed Obama in 2016. […]
That is why Republicans in the months leading up to the 2014 elections, and beyond, are likely to message their opposition to Obamacare in positive, reform-minded language like “starting over.”
This friendlier rhetoric has begun to appear in some GOP television ads, but Republicans say it hardly equals a party in retreat on this issue.
“We are going to be talking about Obamacare; we are just fine-tuning our message,” one Republican advisor said.
Oh, and they're still going to be bringing a comprehensive replacement bill to the floor before the election. As soon as they can get more than three people to agree on one. Because obviously, they really know what they're doing here.