Politico calls it a "high-wire public relations" strategy. I call it "political suicide."
Scarred by years of Republican attacks over Obamacare, with more in store next year, Democrats have settled on an unlikely strategy for the 2014 midterms: Bring it on.
Party strategists believe that embracing the polarizing law -- especially its more popular elements -- is smarter politics than fleeing from it in the House elections. The new tack is a marked shift from 2010, when Republicans pointed to Obamacare as Exhibit A of Big Government run amok on their way to seizing the House from Democrats.
But the Democratic bear hug, reflecting a calculation it's probably impossible to shed their association with the law even if they wanted to, is still a high-wire public relations act. The White House has consistently struggled with messaging on Obamacare, hoping the public would gain an appreciation for the health care makeover as its benefits became apparent. That never really happened, but Democrats seem to be banking that it finally will.
The strategy will be put to the test as the law kicks in next year and is implemented in the months leading up to the election - with the inevitable snafus and critical media coverage as the public gets its first up-close view of the massive undertaking.
California Rep. Scott Peters, a freshman Democrat who narrowly won election last year, said he doesn't agree with every part of the law. But he said he's not afraid of addressing health care - far from it.
"I don't have any problem talking about it," Peters, who hails from a San Diego-area swing district, said in an interview. "I think it's a big issue. I think it's going to be talked about more than immigration or guns."
They just don't get it, do they? Do they believe people are going to be grateful for seeing their insurance premiums increase dramatically? Or that voters are going to be escatic when their plans are dropped and they are forced to buy more expensive policies? Or they have massive difficulty navigating the state insurance exchange websites?
And let's not forget those uninsured who will still be unable to afford any kind of insurance - even with subsidies.
One 15 second political ad will lead to a GOP victory. The ad opens with President Obama addressing Congress:
"If you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have."
Perhaps a laugh track could be added for effect at the end of that statement.
For as many as 15 million Americans who will be buying individual plans, this is a lie. And for thousands of small businesses who are going to be forced to either change their plan or throw their employees on to the tender mercies of the state insurance exchanges, it's a joke.
By all means. let the Democrats embrace Obamacare next year. They can hang on to it while they write their concession speeches.