With President Obama's signature now on the Senate version of Obamacare, an important debate is stirring among Republicans and conservatives about what should be their next step.
The debate on whether or not to seek repeal of Obamacare is a stand-in for an even more fundamental discussion about whether the GOP follow the course of the British Tories and Old Guard types like New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller who said their parties had no choice but to accept the Left's claim that government entitlement programs can never, ever be repealed.
Following a March 1 editorial in which The Examiner called on Republicans to promise to repeal Obamacare if it becomes law, a steadily growing chorus for repeal has been gathering strength in GOP ranks. This morning, for example on Fox News, Sen. John McCain argued forcefully that repeal must be sought and has excellent prospects for succeeding. Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steel has said much the same since the weekend.
Others touting repeal have included Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennesse, who promised a repeal campaign soon after the White House Health Care Summit, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina promised yesterday to introduce a repeal measure.
On the House side, House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence and House Minority Leader John Boehner have been promising repeal for more than a week, and Rep. Steve King of Iowa introduced a repeal bill in the lower chamber. This list is far from complete and is growing daily.
But there are still those within the GOP who think in the "Me, too" terms of old guard Tories and Republicans of the Eisenhower era who argued that the only rational course is to seek compromises that mitigate the worst effects of Big Government. Another word for that strategy is "surrender." See David Frum's recent criticism of "radicals in the GOP" on MSNBC for an illustration of this mindset applied to the Obamcare debate.
Is it realistic to think in terms of repeal of Obamcare? The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol lays out the case for a repeal strategy in straightforward terms during an interview on Fox News:
UPDATE: Dozen senators co-sponsor DeMint repeal
Republican senators are lining up to co-sponsor the DeMint repeal measure, with these now included: Lindsey Graham, R-SC, Robert Bennett, R-UT, Kit Bond, R-MO, Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, Mike Crapo, R-ID, John Ensign, R-NV, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-TX, James Inhofe, R-OK, George LeMieux, R-FL, James Risch, R-ID, Pat Roberts, R-KS, and David Vitter,R-LA.