Waldman ponders national politics after the GOP has learned to live with Obamacare:
The question is, if eventually they have no choice but to accept that the argument over the ACA is settled, what on earth will Republicans do with themselves? Because over the last four years, opposition to Obamacare has taken on such an extraordinary power within the movement that all other issues have paled before it.
Sure, they could revert to the old standbys—Cut taxes! Cut regulations! Strong defense! But those are just positions you can take. Obamacare was a war to be fought. And nothing galvanizes, energizes, and defines us like our wars. That’s particularly true of the zealots who are driving the Republican party and form such a key part of its base. And if they aren’t fighting Obamacare, who will they be?
Kilgore doesn’t accept Waldman’s premise:
I think Waldman is wrong to assume that Republicans will “forget” a lost war or totally concede defeat. Conservatives “lost” on Social Security and Medicare, after all, but that hasn’t kept them from continuing to make rearguard efforts to “reform” or otherwise radically change these programs, as they continue to do today.