Going into the 112th Congress, more than a few Republican leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner, said the party’s top goal wasn’t job creation or deficit reduction, but rather, repealing “Obamacare” and replacing it with a GOP alternative. It was always a rather pointless endeavor, since the Democratic Senate and Democratic White House would never go along, but Republicans launched a repeal crusade anyway.
And now, of course, that crusade is just fizzling out.
The key takeaway from all of this, to my mind, isn’t just that the repeal push was a fool’s errand, but also that congressional Republicans were always blowing smoke on the “replace” part of their campaign promise. The GOP finds it easy to tear down, but building up requires policy chops that Republicans frankly don’t have.