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Sage advice from Deadline Detroit to Gary Peters

by: Eric B.

Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:56:57 AM EDT

The House Republican campaign against Obamacare essentially imploded this week after Fred Upton's committee released a report on who is paying premiums that was immediately shredded, not by the president and liberal bloggers/pundits and Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid, but by the insurance industry itself. I won't say that this or Obamacare's enrollment figures were outcomes that were as predictable as the glitches that accompanied the exchange's rollout, but I think most reasonable people expected that the longer the law was allowed to be worked the beter the outcomes. That's one of the things that made Gary Peters' several votes last year to distance himself from Obamacare kind of galling ... he didn't want to have Obamacare hung around his neck, and Republicans tried to do it, anyways.

Now there's always the possibility that there'll be sticker shock later this year when private insurance companies start sending out premium hikes. Leastways, that's what people are concerned about. Should that mean that people back away from Obamacare. Allan Lengel at Deadline Detroit has something pretty smart to say about it.

That being said, why are the Democrats being so wimpy and running for cover over a policy they supported, and one that certainly has plenty upsides?

Why isn't Gary Peters running commercials showing those who have benefited, those who never had insurance who can now get proper care; those who had been previously denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions?

The entire column is like that. It's good advice. There is really no downside to campaigning away from Obamacare. As we've already seen, AFP wasn't intersted in stking to the facts, and that was before the news about Obamacare turned mostly all positive.

Peters has been maddening on this issue. He tells people he's in favor of the law, but then votes with Republicans to delay it (the ultimate hopes of the Republican Party was not to fix it, but to get rid of it). Most people are unaware of what he says, because it appears in the D.C. media and what appears in the state's media are his votes against it. It's trying to have it both ways. But, again, we understand this is to deprive the other side of ammunition, which didn't matter (they just went ahead and made the connection and then made stuff up about the law and blamed Peters for it).

Mary Landrieu in Louisiana has an even higher hill to climb to win her Senate re-election contest, but she's chosen a different path. She's chosen to get out in front of Obamacare and run on its successes. It would be great to see Peters do this, too. Terry Lynn Land is already on record as not just backing repeal of Obamacare, but that she was in favor of a shutdown of the federal government to make it happy. It's a gift that's been presented to him: Support of a wildly unpopular shutdown of the federal government to extort a repeal of a health care law that has benefited thousands of Michiganders and the polling on which continues to inch upwards.

Eric B. :: Sage advice from Deadline Detroit to Gary Peters
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Absolutely correct
Absolutely correct.  The voters who are going to decide this race may differ on Obamacare.  But none of them respect a politician who runs away from his record.  

Gary, they are just going to lie about you anyway.  Time to man up.

Fear factor
When Gary Peters switched campaign managers it probably was for the reasons that were stated, something to do with family or personal matters.  I forget. But shortly after that change, the Peters campaign started holding Land much more accountable on stuff she was doing and saying about women.  Prior to that it almost seemed like the Peters campaign was afraid of offending women if they criticized Land on women's issues because Land is a woman.  

Here's hoping there will be a similar evolution on the Affordable Care Act.  Fear is a terrible way to get to a strategy, and they should just get over their fear of Obamacare and start going after Land on it.  

I hope you're right
What I've seen from the Peters campaign so far is a milquetoast campaign designed not to offend the mythical swing voters in Macomb County. That strategy doesn't cut it in a midterm election, which is decided by turning out the base.

The Democrats own Obamacare, and no amount of spin or triangulation can make the issue go away. I really wish that when the Julie Boonstra ads aired, Peters fired back by bringing out women with life-threatening conditions who are no longer at risk of having their policy canceled or blowing through a lifetime limit on benefits. Perhaps he'll still do that--and bring up Land's flip-flopping on the issue as well.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
My guess is Peters is holding his fire
Other than the family intro, all the pro-Peters ads I've seen have been from outside groups.

Peter's has had some very good messaging in past campaigns. Hopefully that will continue.

One of 27 House Dems to Support GOP Bill
Representative Peters was one of only 27 House Dems to support a GOP bill earlier this year that would have delayed any tax penalties for individuals not signing up for the ACA.

As Sandy Levin pointed up in the debate, delaying the penalties would reduce funds available to support the ACA

"In 2014, we would see an additional one million uninsured," said Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.). "In 2015, two million more people would be uninsured than if the individual mandate stayed in effect. And in 2016, another million people."

Is it just possible that the reason Gary Peters needs advise from Alan Lengel is that Gary Peters is himself conflicted by the greatest of legacies that Barack Obama will leave us?

Hold on
People shouldn't panic.  I recently read a piece somewhere on Kos about Dems holding their fire until later in the campaign.  People shouldn't conflate relative silence on the ACA as meaning that Democrats are scared, rather the fact that the GOP usually outspends in these races, early.  There will be ads touting success stories over the ACA.

People also shouldn't question Peters' stance, either.  This man has voted with the administration on just about every major issue (auto loans, stimulus, the ACA, etc...).  He is not the most liberal congressman, but he is certainly solidly center-left in his voting patterns, on net.

Do not underestimate Gary Peters.  I made that mistake of him multiple times; I've since learned my lesson.

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