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By their own admission, Republicans in Congress made keeping Obama to one term their primary agenda: not jobs, not fixing the housing situation, not getting the economy under control. No it was stopping Obama. So any legislative victory had to be prevented, even when the legislation was a gift to Republicans.
That’s why passing healthcare reform was such a struggle. Of course, let’s not forget that Obama and the Democrats were fairly tepid about the fight---they completely eschewed the public option---and once the Affordable Care Act did pass, Democrats ran away from it as quickly as possible, because the Republicans had made it toxic with their non-stop mantra of Socialism, Communism, and Death Panels (regardless of how much sense their “argument” made). And because the Democrats were too scared to explain the new law---much less promote it---health care reform lingered as a problem in the public’s mind.
Which made it all the more infuriating, because when you actually talk about the specifics about the evil scary Obamacare, it turns out that Americans largely like what’s in it. (Which is probably why the Republicans wanted to prevent any type of rational conversation.)
So I’m glad to see that Democrats are finally starting to embrace the pejorative “Obamacare” label. Because for all its faults, the Affordable Care Act is a huge leap forward for America. And twenty years from now, when we’re fighting the next progressive battle, we’ll need to (again) remind people that it was Democrats, not Republicans, who have been looking out for their interests.