This fascinates me: “For the third election cycle, Democrats are still debating their options for handling the political fall-out from passage of the Affordable Care Act: fight, flight or finesse.” And it fascinates me because there are no options. The Democrats made a big bet in 2009 that they could ram the law through first, then justify it later. They lost that bet; and now come the consequences.
Can individual Democrats survive? Sure… in the House, and in the safer parts of the Senate. But the most viable position – I screwed up, and if you re-elect me, I will vote with the Republicans to repeal Obamacare – is also absolutely anathema to the Democratic establishment. To be fair, there’s a reason for that. The Democratic party has gone all-in on this issue; and if the national cadre can just hold on then eventually the Democratic party will recover, once all the old bodies are removed and a new crop of politicians from the state party apparatuses are brought in. As institutions, both the Democrats and the Republicans profit mightily from inertia*; the Democratic establishment is kind of counting on that right now.
Hard luck on the current crop of Democratic legislators, of course, but they should have been thinking more clearly from the get-go. Maybe you shouldn’t always vote your district or your state; but you should never buck either without being fully aware of the inevitable consequences.
*This would be the part where somebody announces that the GOP will be destroyed within N years unless X Happens / Y Stops Happening / Z Scenario Does Or Does Not Occur. That person’s privilege, but I’ve heard that before, about both parties.