It That Must Not Be Named

Has anyone else noticed that the more sophisticated form of Republican — the same ones who practice concealed carry — are not saying “Obamacare” anymore? I first noticed this when listening to an interview with the local sure loser in D+4 NY-25. This guy, who used to compare the public education system to Hitler Youth indoctrination, was calling Obamacare by its given name, “The Affordable Care Act”.  Another example:

“The sentiment toward the Affordable Care Act is still strongly negative, but people are saying, ‘Don’t throw the baby out” with the bathwater, Glen Bolger, a partner with the GOP polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, told the Washington Post.

When a GOP pollster stops saying “Obamacare”, you know what he’s telling his clients.

Of course, in the more southern, open-carry parts of our great nation, Mitch McConnell and his ilk will still be trying to convince the rubes that Obamacare is bad while the Affordable Care Act is good. And the teanderthals will still be pulling out their pistols (literally) to shoot Obamacare in the face, since their hatred of Obamcare is a religious rite like hating gays, handling snakes or speaking in tongues.

I can’t see the lack of the “O” word in Republican discourse as anything but positive, but maybe some of you feel differently.

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77 replies
  1. 1
    Morzer says:

    Amusingly, Rand Paul squirms like a worm with diarrhea when asked about Kynect:

    A reporter asked Paul if he thought Kynect should be dismantled. Paul responded that he was “not sure.”

    “You know I’m not sure — there’s going to be … how we unravel or how we change things. I would rather —I always tell people there’s a fork in the road. I was in healthcare for 20 years so we had problems in healthcare so we had problems in healthcare but we could have gone one of two directions,” Paul said. “One was towards more competition and more marketplace and one was toward more government control. The people who think that the government can efficiently distribute medicine need to explain why the VA’s been struggling for decade after decade in a much smaller system. And they also need to explain, even though I think we all want Medicare to work better, why Medicare is $35 trillion short. There’s a lot of questions that are big questions that are beyond the exchange and the Kynect and things like that. It’s whether or not how we’re going to fund these things.”

  2. 2
    Schlemizel says:

    Seems they are giving up awfully quickly. I fully expected another couple of years of pissing and moaning about how much it was going to cost and a litany for ginned up failures. If they don’t drag this out until the next presidential election I will be stunned.

  3. 3
    Mudge says:

    At some point using Obama in Obamacare will no longer be an anchor, but a direct acknowledgement of success. Changing to ACA will not give any credit to Obama for success of the act.

  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    @Morzer: That they’ve gone from “OBAMACARE! SCREEEEEEE!” to “I’m not sure” one chunk should be dismantled is a pretty big tell. Also worth noting is that the House has put off its “we have a replacement health care plan, really we do, this time we mean it” announcement until the fall and probably after the election.

  5. 5
    Marc says:

    “If when you say Obamacare you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil socialized medicine that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

    “But, if when you say the Affordable Care Act you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating preventive care that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the prescription drug which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that health care, the subsidized sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.”

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    To be fair, Obamacare is not a BFD like Benghazi!

  7. 7
    Morzer says:


    But think of the steadily increasing number of people who have found that OBAMACARE liberated them from jobs they hated, but were stuck with because it was their only way to get health insurance. I would bet that enough of those people have talked to friends and relatives – and that there’s a groundswell building against Republicans who want to put them back on the “corporate plantation”. Then you have obvious successes like Kynect, which has left McConnell looking like the sleaziest variety of lying thug who wants to swindle his constituents, and suddenly the GOP has to offer a “replacement” (which is functionally identical to Obamacare!) or just stop talking and hope people forget the years of screeching and raging and lying that the GOP offered instead of any constructive approach to one of our major socio-economic problems.

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    There is a dumbass, young Republican woman running for congress in NY’s 21st congressional district on a “Repeal teh Obamacare” platform. The district in question was the site of the teabaggers first overreach when they purged moderate Republican shoe-in Dede Scozzofava from the party causing the district to flip to the Dems for the first time since the Civil War. I guess the fact that the Republicans are running someone so young and so obviously stupid either means they consider Bill Owens to be safe or they really are that clueless.

  9. 9
    Morzer says:


    When you say “young, Republican woman”, further qualifying it with “dumbass” seems hardly necessary.

  10. 10
    smith says:

    This is why I was glad to start calling it Obamacare as soon as they made up the name. I believe even Obama sometimes calls it that. It was inevitable that eventually the benefits of the ACA would kick in so persuasively that even the Fox-fueled paranoia couldn’t compete with reality. The Repugs knew it too — that’s why they were in such a frenzy to destroy it before 2014 when the major benefits of Obamacare became available to large numbers of people.

  11. 11
    Schlemizel says:

    Oh, no doubt, I’m just stunned that the goopers gave up so fast. I was expecting the boogie man style of politics for a while yet. They have not given up on so many other obvious things they are wrong about.

  12. 12
    Morzer says:


    I am a little sad that they haven’t started attacking Benghazicare yet. But, the night is young!

  13. 13
    Schlemizel says:


  14. 14
    Baud says:


    Has Rand Paul ever given a straight answer about anything?

  15. 15
    beltane says:

    @Morzer: This one has no political savvy whatsoever. In her ads, she brags about having volunteered for George W. Bush and Paul Ryan (complete with unflattering photos of them) and helping her daddy in his plywood business. She claims to represent “the next generation of conservatives”.

    Usually I turn the sound off during political ads, but this one is so bad I get a good laugh every time it comes on.

  16. 16
    Morzer says:


    Not knowingly.

  17. 17
    Morzer says:


    Have any of these gems made it to Youtube?

  18. 18
    Morzer says:


    Leviticus? At least, that seems to be the usual GOP answer when asked why they can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

  19. 19
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I was in healthcare for 20 years so we had problems in healthcare

    Cause and effect?

  20. 20
    feebog says:


    Seems they are giving up awfully quickly. I fully expected another couple of years of pissing and moaning…

    In another couple years there are going to be another 7 to 8 million obtaining insurance through the exchanges. There will just a handful of red states that have not expanded Medicaid, or obtained a waiver to cover the very poor like Arkansas. By the end of Hillary Clinton’s first term over 90 percent of our citizens will be covered by health insurance and it will be considered the new normal.

  21. 21
    Morzer says:


    I thought that too. Rand Paul is so incoherent, you wonder how he manages to remember his own name.

  22. 22
    Mandalay says:

    And the teanderthals will still be pulling out their pistols (literally) to shoot Obamacare in the face

    Oh give it up. You sound like Michelle Malkin.

  23. 23
    Morzer says:


    Rather like gay marriage -and you’ll note how even Orrin Hatch has given up on that one. This is why I wish people would stop underestimating the achievements of the Democratic coalition – because it sure as heck wasn’t the GOP who did the heavy lifting on either issue.

  24. 24
    Morzer says:


    He’s referring to an actual political ad by a GOP candidate in Iowa. Follow the link, you should.

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.

  26. 26
    shelley says:

    When a GOP pollster stops saying “Obamacare”, you know what he’s telling his clients.

    And round and round we go. When the ACA was first installed, the Right screamed ‘Obamacare’ , trying to make it stick like the Scarlet Letter. The WH persisted with ‘ACA; for awhile, then gave up and switched to Obamacare. Figured what the heck, may as well own it. Now the GOP, ever vigilant to deny Obama credit for anything, is dropping the O word. It’s an election year, by cracky.

  27. 27
    Debbie says:

    Republicans have always folded like cheap suits when talk turns to actions. Why be surprised?

  28. 28
    beltane says:

    @Morzer: I haven’t looked. The candidate’s name is something like Elsie Stefanik (the spelling is probably botched) if you want to look it up.

  29. 29
    Baud says:



  30. 30
    Morzer says:


    The GOP heroically nailing its feces to the church door in Half-Wittenberg.

  31. 31
    the Conster says:

    20 years from now the teanuts will be screaming to keep the gubmint out of their Obamacare from their hoverrounds, which will actually hover.

  32. 32
    Baud says:


    Because the meme is that Republicans are strong and Democrats are weak, and no one wants to give up that religion.

  33. 33
    Morzer says:


    Elise Stefanik has her own all-singing, all-dancing (!modern, innovative, commonsense solutions Repeal and Replace Obamacare!) Youtube channel, as well as a Twitter communications channel that has some of the dumbest photographs of her “support” that I have ever seen.

  34. 34
    Cacti says:

    In a few years, they’ll be pushing for a name change to “The Ronald Reagan Memorial Freedom Care Act” or some similar revisionist nonsense.

  35. 35
    gnomedad says:

    the same ones who practice concealed carry

    Just occurred to me — is there a “concealed carry is for pussies” meme out there somewhere? Wouldn’t surprise me.

  36. 36
    Felonius Monk says:


    either means they consider Bill Owens to be safe or they really are that clueless.

    Probably neither. First, Bill Owens (D – republican) voted against the ACA. Second, Owens is not running for re-election, so this is now an open seat. Elise Stefanick, the potential candidate who is running these anti_ACA ads, is gearing up for the Rethug primary which is coming up on June 24th. She is the mainstream R candidate and is running against a really ardent teabag. So, in that context, these ads against the ACA are not surprising.

    The Dems, so far, have been pretty invisible. Unless something really changes in the next few months, I think if young Ms.Stefanick wins her primary, she will be the next congress critter for NY-21. Not a pleasant thought for many of us who live here, but I would not be surprised to see the National Dems decline to spend any money on this.

  37. 37
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:


    The GOP heroically nailing its feces to the church door in Half-Wittenberg.

    You win.

  38. 38
    gnomedad says:


    The GOP heroically nailing its feces to the church door in Half-Wittenberg.

    LOL Win!

    ETA @Aardvark:GMTA

  39. 39
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Hell, they will be insisting that the ACA was built on the foundation laid down by Bush the Lesser.

  40. 40
    VOR says:

    @shelley: Yes, but I wonder if the Republican base knows that Obamacare is the same thing as the Affordable Care Act. My guess is no. So this is a very cynical move which allows them to continue claiming Obamacare is the devil while the Affordable Care Act simply needs some tweaking. We are seeing this in Kentucky where McConnell is demanding Obamacare be ripped up “root and branch” while praising the state-run Kynect exchanges – which only exists because of Obamacare.

  41. 41
    Morzer says:


    Polling pretty consistently shows a difference in attitudes towards Obamacare depending on what the label is on the tin. I am sure you can guess which is the more popular choice between the ACA and Obamacare.

  42. 42
    Mandalay says:


    Follow the link, you should.

    I did. That’s why it’s ridiculous to post about “literally” shooting Obamacare in the face. We don’t need to emulate Republicans with absurd overblown rhetoric.

  43. 43
    Morzer says:


    You are applying the adverb to the wrong clause. Literally pulling out her literal pistol is literally what the GOP candidate literally does in that literal ad. Work on your own absurd, overblown rhetoric and outrage, ok?

    “Once she sets her sights on Obamacare, Joni’s going to unload.” Verbatim quote from the ad.

  44. 44
    NotOnScript says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    I was about to repeat what Mr. Monk has already posted. See here concerning the upcoming primary and Wikipedia here regarding the 21st district.

    The TV ad for Elise Stefanik that says she’ll repeal Obamacare and that compares her favorably with George W. Bush and Paul Ryan isn’t even from her campaign! The ad is from (I think) “Crossroads NY”, presumably associated with Karl Rove. That ad was annoying the first two times; it’s on ALL THE TIME.

  45. 45
    MattF says:

    It’s fun to see the wingers stuck between the rock and the hard place. One should note that it took quite an effort to get them there– the success of Ocare was not a slam dunk, to put it mildly.

  46. 46
    Marc says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    First, Bill Owens (D – republican) voted against the ACA.

    False. He voted for the ACA on his second day in Congress. He voted against the Stupak amendment, which would have barred the exchanges from paying for abortions.

    But if this is the kind of support he gets from Very Concerned progressives, no wonder he’s stepping down.

  47. 47
    Mandalay says:


    You are applying the adverb to the wrong clause.

    This is what he posted: And the teanderthals will still be pulling out their pistols (literally) to shoot Obamacare in the face.

    Parse it all you want. It’s just the kind of drama queen drivel that we regularly mock Republicans for.

  48. 48
    Morzer says:


    The TV ad for Elise Stefanik… compares her favorably with George W. Bush and Paul Ryan

    That bar’s set so low, even an amoeba couldn’t get under it.

  49. 49
    Morzer says:


    The only person on here posting drama queen drivel about the ad is literally you. Watch the ad, learn about adverbs in English and generally pull your head out of your sanctimonious buffoon ass. Literally.

  50. 50
    Scott S. says:

    @Morzer: Republican troll sees nothing wrong with threatening gun rhetoric in Republican commercials, is infuriated by non-Republicans disapproving of said commercials.

  51. 51
    Seth Owen says:

    I have always thought the GOP labeling of the ACA as Obamacare was an epic blunder that will cost them for a generation or more.

  52. 52
    TR says:


    Dude, just stop. You’re wrong.

  53. 53
    Kay says:

    We’ll have to make them keep Obamacare. None of the young parents who relied and rely on SCHIP know that it ended up a wholly Democratic fight and former President Bush was so terrified of the program for his Party fortunes in the future that he vetoed it.

    Bush doesn’t get nearly enough credit for pure political hackitude. The whole myth that media built up that he was somehow not “political” is one of biggest lies of his Presidency. He was ready to deny lower income children basic health care – he was freaking sweating bullets and he threw everything he had at it.

    Millions of low and middle income children will be healthier, will live longer, will do better in school, and one Party is responsible for that. We should have called SCHIP and its expansion Pelosicare, or The Democratic Health Care Program for Children.

  54. 54
    TR says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    The Dems have been pretty visible in NY 21:

  55. 55
    Tripod says:

    @Seth Owen:

    High on their own supply. It was self evident that he was Jimmy Carter MkII, so they acted accordingly.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:


    Just occurred to me — is there a “concealed carry is for pussies” meme out there somewhere?

    Haven’t you been paying attention to the open carry movement? They want people to tote around assault rifles wherever they go.

  57. 57

    Yes, but it’s not working. My sources inside the Teabagger community tell me that they know damn well Obamacare worked and everyone believes it worked. It has moved them from anger to despair. The information is very much out there and has sunk in. No matter what cultural shibboleths are spoken out loud, people know that removing Obamacare means removing Kynect, and Grimes and the governor will certainly remind them at every opportunity. The debates should be fun.

  58. 58
    Morzer says:


    Where are your sources located? And what do they think is the next stage in the game? Do they just give up and go home? More rage? More lies more of the time?

  59. 59

    Southern Indiana and North-Central Kentucky. They are reduced to grumbling and not fighting very hard, which is why they lost in the primaries. They won’t vote or be politically activist in the way they have in the last five years. The lies will not change, they just won’t have passion behind them because learned helplessness has set in.

  60. 60
    Death Panel Truck says:

    They’re dropping “Obamacare” because they’re gearing up to take credit for the ACA in a few years when it’s been proven a rousing success that’s here to stay. Ironically, they’d be right to take credit for it – they devised most of it, after all. It only became the most evil thing in the history of the universe when a black Democrat decided to implement it.

  61. 61
    J R in WV says:


    I don’t know that an actual description of the literal actions of a candidate can be described as “drama queen” at all.

    Sorry, I just don’t see it. The drama queen is the republican candidate here.

  62. 62
    jayboat says:


    learned helplessness has set in.

    Can we bottle this and inject it into the ventilation system of the R side of the House?

  63. 63
    Ruckus says:

    I can’t see the lack of the “O” word in Republican discourse as anything but positive, but maybe some of you feel differently.

    I do. Why should they get to change this to suit their needs? It seemed a bad thing when they started calling it that at first but it meant that democrats had to own it, which they should. Changing back to it’s proper name now takes that away. And that is wrong. Conservatives will not be able to truthfully claim they voted for the ACA and not Obamacare but if they deflect ownership away from the democrats, that’s a loss. They wanted us to own it, we did because that’s the right thing to do, now they want to take that away? I call bullshit.
    Never let them win, especially by controlling the rhetoric.

  64. 64
    jl says:

    Just let me know when the program is popular enough and untouchbable enough (like social security. medicaid and medicare) that we need to insist that the ACA be called OBAMAcare.

    You know, that great program that improves my welfare, freedom and the health of the nation, started by OBAMA, remember him, one of the better Democratic presidents we have had in this country.

    Edit: I still fear that Obamacare, ACA, whatever you want to call it is a fragile kludge that may need considerable fixing to be really good AND stable. So ‘great’ here is relative to the previous mess.

  65. 65
    Roger Moore says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    Ironically, they’d be right to take credit for it – they devised most of it, after all.

    No. They devised it as an excuse not to vote for Clinton’s HCR, not as a serious proposal in its own right. That’s why they were unwilling to vote for it when Obama proposed it. They deserve zero credit for something the not only didn’t vote for but vigorously opposed even after it had been passed.

  66. 66
    patrick II says:


    Has Rand Paul ever given a straight answer about anything?

    Yeah, once early on Rachel Maddow asked about his position on the Civil Rights Act. He said he was agin’ it because it was an unconstitutional invasion of property rights. That didn’t work to well for him. Then McConnell called him into his office and, after an interim of no interviews, he came out schooled in the art of republican lying. He is McConnell’s prime student.

  67. 67
    jl says:

    @Roger Moore:

    ” They deserve zero credit for something the not only didn’t vote for but vigorously opposed even after it had been passed. ”

    And it will be very difficult for them to take credit until the GOP changes enough to give a hoot about the goals of the ACA (sorry, I meant OBAMAcare) more than insurance industry and health care provider profits.

    Until then, any claim for an idea (which they then very publicly opposed stridently) will be drowned out by their constant attempts to disguise proposals that sabotage it as proposals for improvement.

    It will end up being a cross between the problems the GOP has in undermining Social Security, and attempts to woo minority voters by reminding them that once upon a time the GOP was against slavery, and no matter what they have done since, that long ago once upon a time thing makes them the real party of racial and ethnic toleration forever and ever (Amen).

    So, the current GOP with its current interests will fail at taking credit.

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    Obamacare actually looks to be better than a lot of us thought. Could it be better? Of course it could. But that can be said of SS, which, as a recipient, seems to run pretty good, it can be said of Medicare, etc. What is for sure though is that all of these programs are far better than before they existed and they have been improved over time. I see the ACA as a pretty good implementation for a major, life changing program. Lots of moving pieces, lots of things had to be implemented and other than a crappy website rollout which got fixed, they have been. And that’s in the face of massive political opposition. When the ACA passed had a friend ask why it had to take 4 yrs to rollout. My answer was, think about what it is that is being done, a whole new massive national program that changes how we pay for healthcare and what we pay for, that affects millions of people and you thought it would just take a wave of a hand to make it so?

  69. 69
    RaflW says:


    Rand Paul: “It’s whether or not how we’re going to fund these things.”

    That’s all, folks. All that blather and squirming to end up with one true sentence. It’s there. He said it. He knows it. And he and his GOP don’t want to fund it. They don’t want to fund the VA. They don’t want to fund Medicare or Medicaid. They sure don’t want to fund Kynect.

    So they blather. And inside of it, the truth slips out.

  70. 70
    RaflW says:


    And the teanderthals will still be pulling out their pistols (literally) to shoot Obamacare in the face.

    OK, you said to parse, so I will: The pistols are literal, not the Obamacare face. Because Obamacare has no face.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    It’s always about money. Some will do anything to anyone for more of it, but it is always about money. Whenever anyone is being a complete dick(and that is the conservative position, always has been, always will be) it boils down to money. They may even believe that they are doing whatever in the name of some cause but at it’s base, it is always about money.

  72. 72
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruckus: It’s always about money. Everything.

    Folks here were surprised yesterday that the marijuana vote in the house was unanimous. I just thought, well what do you know, even the republicans have figured out that there’s a fuck ton of money to be made from legalizing marijuana.

    Money for the states, money for the fed, money for the companies who are awarded sweetheart deals. Money, money, money.

  73. 73
    Ruckus says:

    Taken from the reasonable side there is also less money the state will have to spend to find, try and incarcerate people for pot. I know, a lot of politicians get donations from the prison lobby, but they still have to pay for the privilege with tax money and the return on investment for them is pretty bad. Other than ideological bullshit, states have no reason to continue to have to spend that money. Those same politicians have to spend money to get their kids/family members off(I believe that’s called hush money) when they get caught. All that has to happen is to reach the tipping point and the whole drug crazed pot head thing will implode upon itself. States are getting that started, at least nominally the fed is supposed to be leaving those states alone now, a few more states and the rabid stupidity falls apart.

  74. 74
    Calouste says:

    So no one has yet noticed here that that Republican polling firm calls itself P.O.S.? Of course, it is truth in advertising.

  75. 75
    Earl says:

    Let me guess…you get your inspiration at Starbucks in Boston & NYC.

  76. 76
    The Lodger says:

    @Baud: Is “Rand Paul” his real name? Sounds suspicious to me.

  77. 77
    ron says:

    in 20-30 years some wingnut will write a book titled “Obama Was a Conservative” and one of the pieces of “evidence” will be his adopting the heritage foundation’s blueprint for the ACA.

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