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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Republicans Begin Laying Ground Work to Walk Away From Obamacare Opposition -- By Erick Erickson, RedState

Conservative and Republican affiliated groups have started the 2014 assault against Democrats who support Obamacare. At the very same time, it is increasingly clear Republicans are laying the groundwork to abandon their opposition to Obamacare.

The Business Roundtable, which has a great relationship with Republican Leaders, is now listing Obamacare as an entitlement worth preserving.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former economic advisor to John McCain and who opposed passage of Obamacare, has started a think tank premised on keeping, but fixing, Obamacare. Holtz-Eakin has the ear of Republican leaders. In 2009, Mitch McConnell appointed him to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

The Chamber of Commerce is declaring it will work to fix, not repeal, Obamacare. In fact, just last week the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, “The administration is obviously committed to keeping the law in place, so the chamber has been working pragmatically to fix those parts of Obamacare that can be fixed.”

Concurrent to this, the Chamber of Commerce has begun funding candidates to beat conservatives in Republican primaries.

The Republican Main Street Partnership, headed by former Congressman LaTourette — who is a friend of Speaker John Boehner — is working with the Chamber and party leaders to target conservatives the party leadership finds troublesome. LaTourette has been parroting talking points from the National Republican Senatorial Committee about the Senate Conservatives Fund, Club for Growth, and others.

Ben Sasse, the conservative candidate in Nebraska on the most recent cover of National Review and who has the backing of the Senate Conservatives Fund, RedState, and others, suddenly finds Mitch McConnell and the NRSC holding fundraisers for his opponent. Sasse, it should be noted, is widely considered a brainiac opponent of Obamacare and healthcare policy expert.

And just yesterday, the National Republican Congressional Committee blackballed Jamestown Associates from helping elect Republicans. The NRCC is joining the NRSC in attacking Jamestown. Why? Because Jamestown Associates has been working with conservative candidates the House and Senate GOP leadership opposes.

The lobbying groups who have open access to Republican leaders are abandoning repeal. The wonks the GOP leaders listen to are abandoning repeal. The outside groups the GOP leaders work with have begun attacking conservative candidates. The outside groups who help conservatives are being shut out by the party.

They are laying the groundwork to bail on fighting Obamacare. We’ve seen this coming for two years. They have fundraised again and again on opposing Obamacare. They have had multiple symbolic votes against Obamacare, but each time a meaningful vote has come up, they punt.

Now they are attacking the outside conservative groups who have held them accountable for their failure to act. Now they are targeting conservatives who will fight for full repeal.

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