Having your thinking evolve usually takes quite some time, unless you're a Republican. I realize that things are so bad for Republicans that I should give them a break, but I just can't help it. After all, I really enjoy a football game when my team is ahead by 40-0 after the first quarter. Before I explain further, let me get something off of my chest.
To give you an example of how bad things are in the GOP, it no longer has a moderate wing and a conservative wing. It is split between the slightly mentally imbalanced wing and the bat crap crazy wing. All you need for proof of that is the fact that they are on the verge of nominating either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz for President. And the leaders of the party hate both of them.
One reason I don't feel sorry for them is that with either of those two as a nominee, they could win the election. That's because they have developed a perfect winning strategy. They automatically oppose Obama politically, and on a personal level. They're against abortion, gay marriage, and women's rights. They claim they are for traditional values and say the Bible is their favorite book. They say all of this while running for office, but it's a different story once they are elected. Then they only support tax cuts for our wealthiest citizens, get abortions for their mistresses when they get pregnant, oppose the minimum wage, and start wars they can't finish, and then blame them on whoever comes in later to clean up the mess.
Sadly, this strategy has worked. In fact it has worked so well that they have most people blaming President Obama for the Iraq War and the rise of ISIS. The truth is that long before he took office, George W. led the call for invading Iraq. Three months after the invasion he was prancing around of the deck of an aircraft carrier under a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" and said the war was over. It's also true that ISIS came to power once Saddam was overthrown. He had kept them at bay just as the Shah had kept the Ayatollahs at bay in Iran. The things they did to accomplish that were reprehensible, but the Middle East was not the mess it is today.
Now that I have that out of my system, let me get back to my main theme about how Republicans can so quickly change their thinking. The Affordable Care Act is a perfect example of this. Every Republican who has run for any office since the ACA was passed has opposed it, even if the office they were running for was one where they couldn't do anything about it.
Three sitting Republican Governors ran for office and won, partly by opposing the ACA, mainly by always calling it "Obamacare." Now that they are safely in office, they are all trying to save it in their states. That's because it was good politics to run against it, but they realize now that it is better policy to keep it. Governors Brownback of Kansas, Bevin of Kentucky, and Hutchinson here in Arkansas all ran against the ACA, but now that they have the responsibility of balancing a state budget, they're starting to like it. Of course, they all want to make changes that they say will make it "better," and they definitely want to change its name. In Kansas they call it Kan Care, and Kynect in Kentucky. Here in Arkansas, Hutchinson wants to call it Arkansas Works. Whatever they call it, it will still be the Affordable Care Act.
In all three states, private insurance companies and managed care companies are involved in the process, which makes the costs of the programs much less than if they all just put them under Medicaid. And, as much as they hate to admit it, the program is working. Under the ACA 400,000 people in Kentucky, 360,000 people in Kansas, and over 200,000 people in Arkansas have health care that didn't have it before. No wonder they changed their minds.
The most hypocritical about face on the Affordable Care Act has come from one of the men who wants to take Obama's place. Ted Cruz is still promising to abolish the ACA on his first day in office. Meanwhile, when his wife quit her job to campaign full time, he signed his family up on one of the health care programs created by the ACA.
So, the Republicans have perfected the art of saying one thing to get elected, and then doing the opposite once they are in office. Of course, it helps to have Fox News around, which most of their voters use as their primary news source. For the rest of us, is it any surprise that politicians are held in such low esteem?