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Republicans Risk Sour Grapes Label With Talk of Repeal

Hold the phone, Martha. Congressional Republicans may give Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and President Barack Obama a big present with a beautiful bow wrapped around it.

Apparently unaware that Americans who strongly oppose the Democratic health care overhaul are already poised to vote Republican in November, many GOP officeholders and candidates have decided to focus their energy on repealing the recently enacted law.

Even before the Democratic bill passed the House, some Republican campaigns unleashed a blizzard of e-mails promising to repeal the measure.

Within 24 hours of the bill’s passage I had received “repeal” e-mails from New York Congressional hopeful Chris Cox, Missouri Congressional candidate Bill Stouffer, Kansas Congressional candidate Wink Hartman, Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, Arizona Congressional hopeful Jim Ward, Connecticut Senate candidate Rob Simmons, Texas Congressional candidate Quico Canseco, Wisconsin Senate hopeful Terrence Wall, Arizona Congressional candidate Jesse Kelly, Arkansas Senate wannabe Gilbert Baker and New Hampshire Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte.

No, that’s not the whole list. But you get the gist.

Some of these Republicans are in primaries or in rabidly anti-Obama states, so there is at least some logic to their calls. And, admittedly, some of the e-mails are little more than frantic, over-the-top fundraising letters aimed at tapping the anger among conservatives directed at the law. Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) e-mail is an obvious case in point.

But for others, calling for repeal of the law moments after the bill’s passage is a statement of ideological faith, a rallying cry for conservatives who never liked the bill and wish it had never passed.

On Sunday, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) posted on his Web site that he would introduce a bill this week repealing “President Obama’s government takeover of health care.”

“Unless this trillion-dollar assault on our freedoms is repealed, it will force Americans to purchase Washington-approved health plans or face stiff penalties. It will fund abortions, raise taxes and insurance premiums, while reducing health care choices and quality,” the Senator wrote.

“This arrogant power grab proves that the President and his party care more about government control than the will of the American people. Americans told Washington to keep its hands off their health care in opinion polls, at public protests, and at the ballot box, but their pleas were ignored.”

Not to be outdone, on Monday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the mere mention of whose name can send Democratic true believers into cardiac arrest, posted on Townhall.com, a conservative Web site, that she had already “filed legislation to repeal Obamacare in hopes that we can start from scratch and give the American people true health care reform that won’t break the bank nor rob us of our individual liberty and freedom.”

OK. We get it. They didn’t like the bill and don’t like the law. And they voted against it. Fine.

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