This is the media bubble we live in. In this bubble, pundits pretend that a Democrat timidly saying "mend it, don't end it" is somehow a full-throated defense of Obamacare. They say these things to answer the accusation that it was the Affordable Care Act which sunk Alex Sink (Sorry, I couldn't resist).
At least, that's what Stephanopoulos did today, when he countered Bill Kristol's usual "repeal the thing because it's terrible" mantra by saying "[T]hat is what the Democratic candidate tried to do in this race, Alex Sink. She said the issue with health care, don't repeal -- mend it, don't end it."
That is the most pathetic excuse for a defense I've ever heard, and it's an invention of Beltway pundits with some help from timid, mealy-mouthed corporate Democrats. "Mend it, don't end it" isn't a defense. It's an appeal, an "I beg you not to kill it" message with no teeth and no strong defense.
I'm going to give Dems some free advice, which they can take for what it's worth, but which they should heed if they want to actually win in November. Here it is:
- Do not apologize for a law which allows millions of (formerly) uninsured people to have access to affordable health care.
- In a district like FL-13 with a lot of seniors, you remind everyone every day, over and over again, that their prescription drugs are now a lot more affordable than they were before the ACA passed. Because closed donut hole. You ask them whether they're willing to sacrifice those cost savings for a bogus clarion call to dump the whole thing.
- Go find those people who are insured because of the ACA and have them tell their stories in short ads to answer the AfP ads. I guarantee you their stories are more powerful and more compelling than someone complaining that they couldn't keep their stupid junk insurance policy, especially when those stories are debunked over, and over and over again.
- PREACH. You preach till you're blue in the face that Democrats have values -- values that include the idea that people shouldn't be shut out of health care because they're not eligible yet for Medicare. You preach about the end of pre-existing conditions and lifetime limits on coverage. You speak to people's guts.
You do not ever apologize. Not. Ever. Did I mention that you don't apologize? Do wingers ever apologize for the outright lies they tell? No. Why? Because when you don't apologize for it, you give it credibility. Hello, Dems???? Wake up, grow a pair.
As for GSteph and his gang of merry pundits, all I can tell them is to get out of the Beltway and talk to real people for a change.