Friday, August 21, 2009

ObamaCare Sails Into A Hurricane

If you look at the polls today Congress and President Obama are sinking fast but neither side seems to care and the public continues to get angrier. Why is this so?
John Avalon has written probably the most succinct explanation on the status of the health debate I have read in The Coming Liberal Suicide. I do not agree on the co-ops but he got everything else right. Writing about the failure of the leftists in congress to acknowledge a public plan leading to single payer cannot happen in today's budget environment for simple fiscal reasons both CBO and the public have pointed out.

Of the 21 top Democratic House leadership members and chairmen, five come
from districts carried by John McCain, but the average vote in the other 16
districts was 71 percent to 27 percent for Obama. Like Los Angeles’ Maxine
Waters and New York’s Anthony Weiner, they are ideologically and geographically
insulated from the skepticism generating from the great middle of the

It’s a mistake that the architect of Medicaid and Medicare, Lyndon Johnson, never made. A Southern Democrat—sometimes derided by liberals as an “Eisenhower Democrat” when he was Majority Leader of the Senate—understood the need for bipartisan support for any major social reforms: His Medicare bill received the support of 70 House Republicans and 16 Senate Republicans. Even Newt Gingrich got it—his Welfare reforms gained the support of 101 Democrats at the high-water mark of the second Republican Revolution.

Liberals are in deep denial about the source of the president’s falling poll numbers during this summer’s health-care debate. They think the problem—perceptions of arrogant over-reaching liberalism—is the cure. It’s the same self-serving mistake that the extremes always make.

President Obama needs to depolarize the health-care debate. He got off-message because he got off-center. Embracing a bipartisan bill that replaces the public option with a nonprofit co-op will not “muddy” the debate but help clarify it. It will not
be a retreat but a way forward.

Lyndon Johnson once joked that “the difference between liberals and cannibals is that cannibals don’t eat their friends and family members.” In half-century-long history of failed health-care reforms from Harry Truman on down, liberal cannibalism has been as much to blame for defeats as fear-mongering from the far right.

The perfect cannot be the enemy of the good. The goal is to decrease costs and increase coverage. If today’s liberals don’t understand the lesson of their own political history and insist on attacking their president, they will have the failure of
this health-care reform on their hands.


No comments: