Anti-Obamacare Rage, Once a GOP Hit, Fizzles Despite Town Halls

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from The Daily Beast,

Heritage Action may be launching town halls against the health-care law, but the rage that fueled the Tea Party wave has died down—and even Republicans are starting to walk away, says Jamelle Bouie.

Tea Party Republicans had a huge hit with their rage against Obamacare. It gave them control of the House of Representatives in 2010, fueled their anti-spending crusade in 2011, inspired the most vocal of the GOP presidential candidates, and elevated a host of right-wing politicians to the Senate, providing a national platform for the crusade against the so-called government takeover of health care.

The magic has fizzled so much that some Republicans have begun to walk away from the project altogether, even as others work to turn Obamacare funding into cause for a government shutdown.

“Next to impossible,” said Tea Party favorite Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), when asked about the odds of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) said much the same thing last month: “Listen, as long as Barack Obama is president, the Affordable Care Act is going to be law.” And even Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the closest thing to a Tea Party avatar, has voiced skepticism that the law can be stopped. Asked by Fox News’s Sean Hannity about his support for the “defunding” strategy proposed by Senate conservatives, Paul said that while he supports it, he “may not be able to guarantee victory.”

None of that has deterred Cruz, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who are the main advocates behind the “defund” strategy.

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