James Kerian: Democrats Still Suffering From "Pomeroy Syndrome"
During the 2010 elections liberal commentators and self-described journalists were elated to see North Dakota congressman Earl Pomeroytouting his vote for Obamacare. Liberal writers like E.J Dionne insisted that following Pomeroy’s example was the best path to victory for Democrats in 2010.
“The real test is whether Democrats who supported the bill think they have an interest in defending a genuinely historic accomplishment. More and more, they are deciding that they do.”
In 2010 White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod insisted that Obamacare would become popular “over time.” NY Times columnist Paul Krugman assured Democrats that “proposals to guarantee health insurance are often controversial before they go into effect…but always popular once enacted.” Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, guaranteed that Obamacare would help the Democrats keep their House majority in the 2010 elections.
Reality wasn’t very kind to these predictions (Congressman Pomeroy was thrown out of office along with just about every other Democrat who supported Obamacare without being from a deep blue district) but the Democrat political class was not about to be deterred by reality.
Following the 2010 elections Pelosi proclaimed that it wasn’t Obamacare that had cost the Democrats their majority. One, lone democrat congressman was willing to acknowledge that Obamacare had devastated his party in 2010 but he assured everyone that it wouldn’t be an issue in future elections. President Obama embraced the name “Obamacare” and boasted about how soon it would be so popular that the Republicans wouldn’t want to call it that. Liberal columnist Eugene Robinson insisted that the GOP only opposed Obamacare because they were terrified of how popular it would soon be.
The cheer leading inside the leftist echo chamber grew so loud that in July of 2013 Paul Krugman wrote “There’s a palpable sense of anxiety, even despair, among conservative pundits and analysts. Better-informed people on the right seem, finally, to be facing up to a horrible truth: Health care reform, President Obama’s signature policy achievement, is probably going to work.”
Of course, those of us on the right really were scared. We were scared of exactly what was about to happen. Nearly 5 million Americans(including my family) lost their insurance coverage when Obamacare was enacted at the end of 2013. The number was only kept that low by the Obama administration’s repeated delays of the employer mandate. Wouldn’t it be nice if the rest of us could get the exemptions that large corporations are able to get from the Democrats?
Monthly premiums skyrocketed. Deductibles jumped and continue to rise. Millions of Americans lost access to their doctor. From affordability to universal access every promise made by the Democrats turned out to be a lie but, predictably, they remain completely undeterred by reality.
President Obama has asked Democrats to campaign on Obamacare in 2014. Pelosi is assuring everyone that the Democrats are coming into the election proud of what they have done with health care reform. Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultzinsists that “Americans have benefits since 2010. Democratic candidates will be able to run on Obamacare as an advantage in 2014.”
Just last month the liberal talking heads were swooning over the courage and political genius of Senator Mark Pryor as he began to air ads “touting [his] support for health care reform.” Strangely, Pryor has been doing very poorly in the polls since airing these ads but so far no liberal commentator has suggested any connection.
After four and a half years do we need a name for this type of willful self-deception?
Pomeroy syndrome, perhaps?