Obamacare has unexpected boosters: the politicians who hate Obamacare.
The more Washington Republicans have fought the unpopular Affordable Care Act, the more popular it has paradoxically become, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll last week.
The partial government shutdown precipitated by the GOP over Obamacare and the DC brinksmanship over the nations debt limit has started to damage Republicans much more than Democrats.
The Republican Partys approval ratings now stand at historic lows, according to Gallup and the Journal/NBC polls. That is an ideological boomerang, Bill McInturff, a GOP pollster who helped conduct the Journal/NBC survey with a Democratic pollster, told NBC.
As the debate has been going on, if there is a break, there is a break against the Republican position.
Whats more, by precipitating a partial government shutdown, opponents have given the Affordable Care Act even more precious public-relations help, drowning out major news coverage of the utter failure of Obamacares website.
But those stories and columns cant compete with the volume of coverage over the effects of the shutdown and the failed Washington talks that surround it.
Because of the shutdown, Upper Keys fishermen cant guide in much of Florida Bay, which is property of the closed Everglades National Park. Military death benefits were initially threatened along with the Head Start early-education program, Meals on Wheels and the nutrition program for poor women and kids called WIC.
Then there are the annoying effects of the shutdown: federal government websites that are essentially closed to anyone seeking basic government data.
That, too, could perversely give Obamacare a measure of p.r. cover. The Obamacare sign-up website has been a failure since it opened Oct. 1. But on that day, the shutdown began. It wont be difficult for many people to surmise that a partial-government shutdown has broken Obamacares website even though its not true.
So Washington Republicans will get the blame for ruining one part of Obamacare for which they have little culpability.
And they get more blame for the shutdown overall.
And theyll likely face more blame if debt-ceiling talks collapse and the economy goes on the fritz (or worse).
Theres reason establishment Republicans called the strategy to tie a temporary budget increase to defunding or delaying Obamacare foolish: Its helping Obamacare and hurting the GOP. Itll likely stay that way for now, unless Democrats overplay what looks like a winning hand and appear to play games.
But despite the raft of polling showing that establishment GOP figures were correct (along with Democrats, nonpartisan pundits and pollsters of all stripes), the far right led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is responding with talking points from a parallel universe that says its not so bad.
There is some precedent for not believing the establishment and conventional wisdom, however. The giveaway of a bank bailout under President George W. Bush was rushed amid Wall Street fear-mongering. And doom-and-gloom predictions about automatic spending cuts (aka: the sequester) never came to fruition after a 2011 budget deal.
But heres what the far right is ignoring: The brinksmanship over the 2011 budget talks led Standard & Poors to downgrade U.S. debt.