Students attend a Defund Obamacare rally in Tennessee. (Luke Sharrett for The Washington Post)
Students attend a Defund Obamacare rally in Tennessee. (Luke Sharrett for The Washington Post)

Democrats are divided as to whether Obamacare should be delayed given the Web site meltdown. Yes, Democrats.

CNN reporter Dana Bash’s tweet asserting that a senior Democratic source told her “to expect every sen dem running in 2014 to back” the proposal to delay the individual mandate was quickly blasted out by Brad Dayspring, communications director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who just days ago was coping with public fury at Republicans for forcing a government shutdown. A Dayspring e-mail declared, “Every Democrat signing on to [New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne] Shaheen’s letter must answer whether or not they also support delaying ObamaCare’s tax penalty. If they do, why did those same Democrats oppose it as recently as three weeks ago, choosing instead to shutdown the government rather than consider the same ObamaCare delay that they now are rushing to support?”

Let’s say the floodgates do open for a delay in the mandate. What follows?

1. For starters, the entire shutdown was unnecessary and a big loser for Republicans. All along, it will be confirmed, the best argument against Obamacare was the Obamacare rollout.

2. Will Democratic Senate incumbents run on, “I was the 60th vote for Obamacare and was willing to let the government shut down, but then I changed my mind?” Brad Dayspring tells Right Turn, “Every Senate Democrat voted against delay three weeks ago, causing the government to shut down. Vulnerable Democrats already know that their vote was a mistake, [they're] changing their tune and now voting to delay ObamaCare is an exercise in saving their own backsides.”

3. Republican candidates will demand to know what the Senate has been doing for three years — certainly not oversight.

4. Democrats’ honest answer would be, “The White House misled us.” That’s politically inexpedient for those who need Obama’s help, and it also suggests they were dupes. Dayspring tells me, “They’ll come up with a thousand excuses, ranging from blaming Republicans to blaming some IT people to blaming [Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius. The truth is each of these Democrats has no one to blame but themselves.”

5. If all of the Democrats running for reelection in 2014 and all GOP senators want to delay Obamacare, would the president veto it?

6. Will Senate and House hard-line Republicans now screw this up by demanding something more than a delay?

Political advantage can shift overnight, so there is no telling how this will play a year from now in the midterm elections. But for the first time since the shutdown fiasco, it seems both Republicans in general and the leadership who counseled against the shutdown will be riding high. For a little while, at least.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.