TPM Livewire

Republicans Will Treat Even The Weakest Defense Of Obamacare As A Gaffe

AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster

In an interview last week, Bill Clinton urged his party to "embrace" Obamacare. Bill Maher had similar advice on Friday for Democrats, scoffing that their "basic talking points always start with an apology."

"Like, 'Obamacare is far from perfect but...'," Maher mocked. "Nothing's perfect! But you don't start by pointing that out about something you're supposed to like."

Maher might as well have been previewing Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz's appearance on MSNBC today.

When Chuck Todd pressed her to name a bill she might introduce to address the health care law's problems, Wasserman Schultz stumbled.

She said there's "no specific bill" that she'd support right now, but acknowledged there will be "issues" with the law that Democrats can resolve if they just have "a chance to sit down with Republicans." After saying there was "nothing glaring" in Obamacare that needed to be addressed, Wasserman Schultz quickly qualified her remarks.

"I'm not saying that there aren't problems," she said.

It wasn't exactly a full-throated defense against the calls to change the law, but Republicans and conservatives had all the material they needed.

The response speaks to how much Republicans believe public perceptions of the law are already firmly established. Obamacare's flaws are self-evident, they say, and any Democrat must — at a minimum — accept that changes are in order.

Anyone who resists that premise, even as tepidly as Wasserman Schultz did, is mocked and ridiculed for being out of touch.