Andrew Sullivan quotes Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute:
I’ve not seen anything like this before. It is just such an interesting phenomenon — call it anthropological or sociological or pathological. An obsessive hatred with all things Obamacare that has infected everybody on the Republican side. They can’t say anything positive about any element of a law that is based on their own fundamental ideas. It means that when anybody says something that could in any way be construed as positive regarding Obamacare it becomes fodder for attacks. … Conservatives are eating their own.
Sullivan writes of these Obamacare absolutists:
They seem to have forgotten that a party that is much more interested in punishing heretics than winning converts is doomed to failure or narcissism or both. Right now, they are breathing the fumes of spite. That is not the same as political oxygen.
Talking Points Memo adds:
In a way, the phenomenon is reminiscent of McCarthyism, named after Sen. Joe McCarthy, who in the 1950s accused U.S. government officials and others of secretly sympathizing with communism. But Obamacare McCarthyism takes that to a new level, Ornstein argued.
"Even then it was pretty clear that you had a lot of Republicans -- it was very clear that President [Dwight D.] Eisenhower viewed what McCarthy was doing as appalling," he said. "We call it McCarthyism when you're basically slimed for something you said or did. But even that was different because you had a party that was divided -- not on the issue of communism, but on whether it was fair to [attack people as communist sympathizers]."