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The Question of Bipartisanship

You know who wrote a smart column today? EJ Dionne. Read him. I'd put it a slightly different way, though: How many lives, and how many taxpayer dollars, is Chuck Grassley's vote worth?

By Ezra Klein  |  June 18, 2009; 1:21 PM ET
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Allowing the minority party to define what constitutes bipartisanness ("It ain't bipartisan unless we're on board") has to be a non starter. they will rope-a-dope things endlessly.

Posted by: bdballard | June 18, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Well according to the Lewin Group study medicare buy in public option would be $2,500 cheaper for a family of four. So $2,500 is how much it would cost you.

And after doing some math based on the CBO HELP bill numbers I strong public option would make the exchnage about $250 billion cheaper, a weak public option would make it only about $100 billion cheaper.

Add in pay or play and Grassley is a very expensive vote.

Posted by: JonWa | June 18, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Why should anyone think the Republicans are interested in bipartisanship if they're running with the Frank Luntz playbook that openly acknowledges that the only way to kill health care reform is to lie about it?

Does it really sound like they're negotiating in good faith?

Posted by: SteveCA1 | June 18, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ezra: You should totally get your editors to let you contribute a column on "how much is Chuck Grassley's vote worth." Or else sweet talk EJ Dionne or P. Krugman into running with your idea :)

Posted by: pbasso_khan | June 18, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The time for letting the Republicans control this agenda by dictating the terms of what is and isn't bipartisanship is over. The Democrats need to coalesce around a bill that will pass, and this bill will have both Republican and Democratic concepts in it.

Then Democrats need to regain control of the agenda by claiming, over and over and over again, that this bill IS bipartisan because it represents both ideals.

Let Republicans squeal. When they were the majority they rammed things through. Now it is our turn.

Posted by: scott1959 | June 18, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The point of bipartisanship is that each side is so incredibly partisan that they seem to think their, and only their, ways of doing things are the best. When, as we have seen, their (two) ways of doing things couldn't be worse. So, since they are the only two voices in the debate we have, you want to at least have a discussion so that at least you see two sides to an issue (where there are, realistically, 1000 - we just have the ridiculously right and the ridiculously left here, neither of which most americans are). So, neither side should say: we can pass this bill, so it must be good - the point of LEADING is to listen to various sides of an issue, and taking the best of all. But G-d forbid anyone in Washington ever say that the other side has a good idea.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | June 18, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"The point of bipartisanship is that each side is so incredibly partisan that they seem to think their, and only their, ways of doing things are the best."

Which couldn't be more irrelevant to the actual situation in Washington, which is that the two "sides" merely deliver different flavors of the same center-right pablum.

Posted by: labonnes | June 18, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

EJ Dionne has gone around the bend in his man crush on Obama. People will wake up and realize that we need to see how the administration's other large initiatives (the stimulus) are doing before they jump in the tank for yet another one. How's the stimulus working for you? No, I didn't think so.

Posted by: truck1 | June 18, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

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