September 24, 2013
A man holds a sign at the Tea Party Patriots 'Exempt America from Obamacare' rally on the west lawn of the Capitol on Sept. 10. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) PostScript is willing to bet this protester votes in primaries. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Don’t hate the players, Dana Milbank says in his column, hate the game. Congresstypes threatening to shut down the government over Obamacare aren’t, as people like to say they are, crazy, just acting in rational self-interest, the way we all should be. It just so happens that in our case, politicians are chiefly dependent on goodwill from primary voters and primary campaign funders. And the politicians are giving their people what they want. And though it is probably too late for Congress actually to halt implementation of Obamacare, it is not too late to throw a huge fuss over it. So: huge fuss.

Other fans of huge fusses showed up today in the comments to Milbank’s column. True to form, many of them wanted still to argue about Obamacare. Judging by this set of constituents, promising to argue about Obamacare in perpetuity might be an excellent reelection campaign.

But Milbank’s argument is that we the people made this bed in 2010, via redistricting and Congressional primaries, so we have to lie here no matter how funky the sheets get.

jjlj agrees. We had elections, and Obamacare lost:

What the Democrats have never understood is that the tea party reps were elected by their constituents to represent them. If the Dems don’t like it, then get somebody elected to replace them, that’s how it works. Bottom line is that over half the country doesn’t want the ACA and more tea partiers will be elected in 2014. Dems had their chance and blew it. By 2020 the ACA will have been forgotten like the lightweight who is now President.

glaucomatose argues that we had elections, and Obamacare won:

jjlj, that’s a funny sentiment coming from a party that lost seats in 2012 after running explicitly on a platform of repealing the ACA, and is now trying to block implementation after they didn’t have the votes to stop it when it was created in 2010. Or to put it another way that you might better understand: Republicans had their chance to stop Obamacare and blew it. By 2020 the Tea Party will have been forgotten like the lightweights they put up for President.

So one more election should do the trick. Right?

Ha, Buddydog laughs. The next crop of Congresspeople will be just as beholden to special interest and dedicated voters:

This is the only article in the Post that hits the nail on the head. No, Robinson, the GOP is not afraid it will succeed, and no, Sargent, it’s not because of some intra-partisan conflict. It’s because of this: the electoral incentives. Politicians are not dependable for much, but they are 100% reliable in one area; they are focused like lasers at all times on the next election.
With so many safe seats in deep red or deep blue districts, of course it’s going to attract the most extreme members.
And right now, the most extreme partisan elements of this country, despite being a small minority of the actual population, are in the front seat demanding to control the steering wheel.

Certainlyso argues that in that case, it is up to the rest of us to become special interests and dedicated voters:

It’s up to you young voters to change this by voting for those who will actually work to fix the system. And you’ll have to vote in large numbers to take out the influence of the angry, grey wacko bird brigade. IMO, the GOP is mired in a quagmire of idealism gone mad. They will make things worse for future generations if they get their way. The Dems are not as bad but not ideal, either. You’ll have to do the hard work of really looking at the candidates and what kind of future they offer you. IMO, you should go for bold problem solvers, if you can. Party politics be darned – it’s your future.

But dedicated voting is a long-term process — and it’ll be months again before we can even begin to do that. So PostScript can only suggest we all become special interests right now. Or form our own political campaign — the Commentist Party, for years and years more of arguing about Obamacare.

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