The ACA and Partisanship: Offensive Strategies in 2014 Races

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Democrats and Republicans are taking a page from To Kill A Mockingbird, finding the best defense they have is a spirited offense. Both sides of the aisle this week began doubling down on messages that will be hammered home to constituents in 2014. Ads are already up and running. The National Republican Congressional Committee has radio spots explicitly tying Democratic Representatives: Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), and Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), to Obamacare.

Americans for Prosperity, a political organization connected to the Koch brothers, released an ad targeting North Carolina Democratic Senator, Kay Hagan. In thirty seconds, the ad alleges that Hagan has been “taking care of Washington insiders,” while ignoring the needs of North Carolinian families. At the end appears the hashtag “ExemptMeToo,” referring to the recent exemptions and extensions given by the Administration for dates and requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

The Democratic leadership is sending signals that Democrats need to welcome these attacks, and stand up for the law. In a speech about economic mobility on December 4, President Obama remained confident that regardless of what happened with the rollout of the law, and website, things would turn around.