OBAMA TELLS REPEALERS: ‘GO FOR IT’…. With success comes confidence.

President Obama appeared in Iowa today, hosting his first public event since signing the Affordable Care Act into law, and acknowledged that opponents of reform are now talking about taking office and turning back the clock. He didn’t sound especially intimidated by the GOP palaver about “repeal.” Indeed, like most Dems, he seems to hope Republicans pursue it.

“Now that we passed it, they’re already promising to repeal it,” the president noted. “They’re actually going to run on a platform of repeal in November…. And my attitude is, ‘Go for it.’

“If these congressman in Washington want to come here to Iowa and tell small business owners they plan to take away their tax credits, and essentially raise their taxes, be my guest. If they want to look Lauren Gallagher in the eye and tell her they plan to take away her father’s health insurance, that’s their right. They want to make Darlyne Neff pay more money for her check-ups, her mammograms, they can run on that platform. This young man out here thinks this is a bad bill, he can run to repeal it.

“If they want to have that fight, we can have it. Because I don’t believe the American people are going to put the insurance industry back in the driver’s seat. We’ve already been there, we’re not going back. This country’s moving forward.”

Expect to hear similar remarks as the midterm elections draw closer — the choice for voters is to decide between “moving forward” or “going backwards.”

At the same event, President Obama also continued to have fun with Republicans’ more reckless hyperbole.

“There’s been plenty of fear-mongering, plenty of over-heated rhetoric. If you turn on the news, you see the same folks are still shouting about how there’s going to be the ‘end of the world’ because this bill passed. I’m not exaggerating — leaders of the Republican Party, they called the passage of this bill, ‘Armageddon!’ ‘End of freedom as we know it!’

“So, after I signed the bill, I looked around to see if there were any asteroids falling or some cracks opening up in the earth. Turned out, it was a nice day.”

Obama added, “From this day forward, all of the cynics, all the naysayers, they’re going to have to confront the reality of what this reform is — and what it isn’t. They’ll have to finally acknowledge, this isn’t a government takeover of the health care system.”

Due respect, Mr. President, they’ll do nothing of the sort. These guys make their own reality. Reason, evidence, and facts are inconvenient details to be mocked, manipulated, and ignored.

It’s up to voters whether or not to fall for the con.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.