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And the failure stories begin

If you want to see why letting health-care reform die is a bad idea, look no further than Michael Scherer's story tallying up "Five Ways Obama Went Wrong." Scherer hammers Obama for taking on too much, overestimating his mandate, assuming voters would trust the government, and more. But it's a story that wouldn't have been written if health-care reform had passed, as was expected before Martha Coakley's campaign collapsed. These stories are a function of outcomes, not objective assessments of performance.

If health-care reform dies, the media will try and explain the Democrats' failure. That means they'll spend a lot of time talking about what Obama has done wrong. If Democrats had simply refused to freak out and moved quickly to pass the Senate bill, there would be endless stories on what Obama did right, and how the Democrats finally passed this longtime priority.

Even putting aside all the moral arguments for passing this bill -- all the lives and homes it will save -- a crassly political calculation should have left Democrats rushing towards passage. Given all that, I guess you've got to give the Democrats credit for feeling their irrational terror authentically. I'm not sure that's the sort of authenticity voters are looking for, however.

By Ezra Klein  |  January 21, 2010; 5:36 PM ET
 
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Comments

It is sad and kind of pathetic. They are 1 measly vote from accomplishing things so many people have tried and failed to do across the last century.

They have been handed success! History! Something that would look great for them to have been a part of when future books on American history are written!

And, eh, they don't really want it.

Posted by: bmrobert64 | January 21, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

It is not Obama's fault (though he started it last August by cutting a backroom deal with PhRMA)!!!

It is Congress as a sausage factory fault (witnessed by Brown's polls rising after the XMAS-eve Senate showdown).

For those who follow Ezra this is what he said on Charlie Rose (December 15, 2009):

CHARLIE ROSE: I mean, Tom Friedman makes the argument in conversations that we are finding out -- I think this is exactly what you just said in another way -- we’re finding out that the system we have, the political system, does not produce the best option, the most attractive means of dealing with public problems.

Can you go to that point or are you somewhere less than that?

EZRA KLEIN: Absolutely. No. I would -- I would indeed go further.

The law professor Lawrence Lessig has a line he uses about Congressional corruption, and I would apply it to this, although I’m not talking about corruption. Imagine an alcoholic, he says. That alcoholic could be losing his family, he could be deep in debt, he could have cirrhosis of the liver.

And you might look at him and say that his worst problem is not that he has three or four drinks before he goes to bed at night. But it is the first problem. It’s the one you’re going to have to solve before you can solve all the others.

And I have come to believe in this process that our first problem is at this point Congress, our government. I do not believe we can solve our problems.

* * * * *

I think one of the serious problems our system has -- and this is the fault of many of us in the media -- is how much we overemphasize the president.

The president does not have the power Congress has. He cannot write legislation, he cannot vote on it, and he cannot pass it. Even if he vetoes it, it can be overturned.

We think of politics in terms of the president. We imagine he sets the agenda for congress. When Congress isn’t doing well, we in the press, we say "The president’s strategy has been poor this year."

But we should not need the president to approach Congress with perfect tactical brilliance in order to get our legislative body legislate. That isn’t a sustainable way to run this country.

* * * * *

I think the American people tend to think the lever they should pull to make the country better is the presidency’s lever, and I think that much more the attention needs to focus on Congress.

Posted by: msa_intp | January 21, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

This is a good call. Basically, what went wrong for Obama is that Ted Kennedy died. If Ted Kennedy's brain never contracted that tumor, Obama would have had a successful first year.

Posted by: mikehoffman82 | January 21, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats persist in their bizarre refusal to pass the Senate bill, I can't wait to see what happens to them in the fall elections. The Democrats will be asking their base for support while refusing to take action on a piece of legislation that every Democrat has been fighting for during the last several generations, and that they could pass at a moment's notice by lifting as much as one finger with their 256-178 House majority.

Posted by: opinionpieces | January 21, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. If the house can't come up with a pass the senate and fix the funding through reconciliation plan in the next week, its time to move to canada, where its cold but at least you can get treatment when you get sick.

I am disgusted with the CPC for not accepting the half a loaf that is on the table and baking more bread using reconciliation.

Posted by: srw3 | January 21, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I think that much more the attention needs to focus on Congress.

The problem is that there are many pockets where right wing congresscritters actually do reflect their districts. Besides, we have a 40 seat majority in the house. If they can't do this, what good are they?

They certainly didn't have a problem voting for the IRAQ WAR, FISA, PATRIOT ACT, and 2 ROUNDS OF TAX CUTS! HCR is a lot less bad than any of these.

Posted by: srw3 | January 21, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

why isn't Ezra Klein on the kids page?

Posted by: tacheronb | January 21, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"If Democrats had simply refused to freak out and moved quickly to pass the Senate bill, there would be endless stories on what Obama did right, and how the Democrats finally passed this longtime priority."

YES. But it seems like the pressure to abandon the current senate bill THAT IS SITTING AT THE HOUSE, WAITING FOR PASSAGE, is coming from Grijalva. He's got a safe seat -- so it makes sense he'd through his fellow Blue Dog House Dems under the bus.

PRESSURE MUST BE PLACED ON GRIJALVA. Starting over with different plans or public options or whatever doesn't create momentum, it destroys it. It wears everyone out. PASS THE BILL NOW, forget about health care for a while, and talk about jobs non-stop.

Posted by: Chris_ | January 21, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Much more attention on Congress? Then why is not President in Congressional chambers and ensures that bills pass? Man, make the History if that is what it takes the bill to pass.

How much has President invested in all this? How many discussions has he had with every recalcitrant member (Stupak?) of the House?

Every now and then he brings another Senator as if he or she is king / queen. Why does he not spend time then with House Members to convince them?

Posted by: umesh409 | January 21, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Keep at it Ezra! You speak for a lot of us - and hopefully will encourage the rest to contact their congresspeople.

Posted by: Sophomore | January 21, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"This is a good call. Basically, what went wrong for Obama is that Ted Kennedy died. If Ted Kennedy's brain never contracted that tumor, Obama would have had a successful first year."

The death of Ted Kennedy was a huge blow to the democrats because he was such a strong and effective legislator, and a voice of conscience and humanity in the senate (and because they lost their 60th vote of course).

He will be sorely missed.

However if they fail to pass this piece of legislation WHICH HAS ALREADY PASSED THE SENATE it is due to spinelessness, lack of resolve, lack of leadership and a case of the terminal heebie-jeebies. It has nothing to do with Kennedy or Brown.

Obama shares equally in the blame for not leading the party. So far he has set clear expectations with the house, not managed the fallout post-Brown, not helped at all.

I don't particularly care what is giving house democrats night terrors - if they fail to pass this bill they will have no-one but themselves to blame, and I (and many Americans) will want nothing more to do with the party.

Incompetents.

Posted by: lazza11 | January 21, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand what you're saying. This is politics. The only thing they can be objectively judged on is their outcomes. That's their job.

You're saying people wouldn't be writing about their failures if they succeeded. Right.

The point is they could have passed this months ago, and they didn't. They could have stood up for it now, and they haven't. One could even argue there are good reasons why they can't or won't stand up for it now, but again, those are of their own making.

We elected these folks as professional politicians. This is what they do for a career all day long. If they can't achieve the results the public wants (rightly or wrongly), it's perfectly reasonable to write about their failures.

Ezra, I like a lot of what you write, but I feel in the last week or so, you need to take a step back and look at what the principals are doing or have done and not what you think they're thinking they're up to or they might have done.

And at some point, it is worth noting that simply no one is afraid of Obama and that is a bad thing. The republicans got measures through with less than a 60 vote majority because some senators were afraid of crossing then president bush. Who fears crossing Obama? Has anyone suffered a notable consequence for crossing the president? Does he bear fault for this?

They should know the game and how to play accordingly without excuses. Treat our politicians as the professionals they are.

Posted by: dstevens1 | January 21, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is that if Democrats don't pass the Heathcare Reform bill, I will officially enter the rank of Independents.

Too many hopes and dreams wasted on craven Democratic politicians who can't even pass a bill with a huge majority in Congress.

Pathetic. No other word for it. Pathetic.

Posted by: JERiv | January 21, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday revealed the Democrats to be spineless losers. They will be treated as much in Nov. Sorry, that's just the way it will go in this country.

Posted by: AZProgressive | January 21, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we just replace the House with a trained seal or two, it would be cheaper and since evidently the House has no reason to be independent from the Senate we can save a lot of money.

Or maybe the House can, rather than act like panicked dinks, take some time, see if the huge Democratic senate majority will actually act like people rather than frightened fleas, and then make a decision about the Senate bill.

Panic rarely results in good legislation. But i guess if we all want the House to panic, I suppose there are worse ways they can panic.

Posted by: williamcross1 | January 21, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Chris that safe-seat Grijalva appears to be the problem and it makes no sense. The excise tax compromise already agreed to can be passed through reconciliation along with repeal of the Nebraska compromise. His refusal to abide the individual mandate is absurd. Its just an incentive to get people to join the insurance market and if you dont you pay a small affordable penalty much less than the cost of insurance in exchange for which you can purchase insurance at any time without regard to pre-existing conditions. Standing in the way of the Senate bill and the millions of people who will be helped by it(FULL DISCLOSURE self-employed uninsured 55yo me would be one of those people) is absurd for anyone who claims to be a progressive. Unfortunately his safe seat seems to have left him as out of touch as Martha Coakley.

Posted by: gregspolitics | January 21, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Ok, let's assess Obama's performance then.

He has been passive and reactive to a fault.

He has failed totally to use the bully pulpit to set or manipulate the public agenda.

He has played no visible role at all in the negotiations leading to a health care bill except to let Baucus carry on for as long as he wanted and to compel capitulation to whatever Joe Lieberman had in his tiny little mind.

I keep reading stories titled "Now Obama promises to get involved" but if it followed a previous story with the same title, am I the only one who perceives a problem?

When he does get involved, what he does is analyze the problem and then stop. No solutions have ever been forthcoming.

Except when he capitulated to Wall Street and handed them billions of dollars, no strings attached. So far, that appears to be the only principle he's had that he's really stuck to.

He has started every bill with a compromised position -- and then compromised that.

He let political calculations determine the size of the stimulus instead of letting economic need drive political calculations. It was clearly more important to pass something than to do something.

What really bugs me is just how g-d PASSIVE he has been. His strategy on every major issue has been purely reactive. He has the loudest megaphone in the world and he keeps it hidden under his bed.

Posted by: pj_camp | January 21, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

this crew must have pretty narrow view of who constitute the democratic "base". is it solely comprised of the un/underemployed with no current insurance plan, public employees and other union members? They are the only groups that may get some benefit from this so called reform. everyone else pays more for less.

--David

Posted by: davidring | January 21, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

by playing the Republican way/bipartisanship, Obama lost MA to the dark side.

He lost Health insurance by giving the money to Pharma, Blue Cross, Corporate Masters.

Americans have had enough and won't vote for more of the same whether Republican or Democrat.
at least enough of us have made a difference.

we wont have a mandate/bailout for insurance companies and go quietly into the night. Coakley is just the first.

the Blue dogs are on notice. it may take a long time to gather mass, but the blue dogs/Republican-lite days are numbered.

that's what we are doing, going after those who screw Americans like this gift to Health and Pharma.

we need health care Medicaire for all, not insurance bailout mandate and rising drug prices. Save Americans not Insurance companies. Grayson was right, die quickly!

are YOU listening out there?

Posted by: BernardEckholdt | January 21, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I think of myself as a center-left, DLC kind of guy. But, even within that framework, I see health care as THE core issue of the Democratic party. Without progress on health care, what else do the Democrats have to offer? Judges and marginally better environmental policies are the only things that come to mind. And you know what? Eh.

The failure of leadership here, the failure of principle, has left me gobsmacked. It's like Republicans giving up on gun rights because, gosh, it's too darn hard.

November was already going to be tough for D's. But now, who's going to donate? Who's going to volunteer? Where's the enthusiasm going to come from? How diehard do you have to be to give blood, sweat and tears just to play spoiler to the Republicans, with no accomplishments to point to or even hope for?

Posted by: AlanW27 | January 21, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

@AlanW27:

I totally agree. I can only stand flabbergasted in disgust at how Democrats reacted to the loss of 1 seat in the Senate, when they still have 59.

I'm still in shock that they're just dropping Healthcare.

The lack of will to govern. The lack of leadership. The lack of a pair of b@lls and spine to get things done. It's just too much. I'm disgusted by all of them.

I guess this is when the apathy and indifference sinks in.

Posted by: JERiv | January 21, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Ezra- I understand progressives' frustration. But railing against everyone is getting a little old already. The fact is that more of the public was against this bill than were for it. There was never a simple and compelling reason for people who alrady have insurance to support this bill. And it didn't take much for Dems to find an excuse to bow to the public.

You will never convince me that it would be better for House Blue Dogs to vote for this bill. They couldn't even pass the original House bill again if they took another vote today.

And honestly, things change quickly. Why can't Obama try again in 2011?? Sell it to the public first and it will be tougher for Dems and Repbus to vote against it.

Posted by: MBP2 | January 21, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

There will be plenty of time for all the inevitable "what went wrong" stories, because health care reform isnt going to pass at this point.

I think its irrelevant to worry about all the media reporting on the failures of this government, that stuff doesnt move the needle with regular people.

Posted by: zeppelin003 | January 21, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

MBP2 - it is wrong that those who get insurance would not see the benefit. I am one of them, but I see the value. What happens when you loose the job? How many of Americans have 'lock' on their jobs and will they never loose their jobs?

What if you have pre-existing condition? Has not your premium increased in recent years with increasing co-payments and deductible?

Have you not looked at the Federal deficit due to Medicare?

If yes to all, how can you say the bill is not important to everyone?

And about Obama trying HCR in 2011 again - try selling 'snake oil' to someone else. We know our own sh*t - our Dem politicians.

Posted by: umesh409 | January 21, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"paul krugman:close to giving up on mr. obama."

well, for whatever it is worth, anyone who feels there is anything left to fight for, should feel like giving up on paul krugman.
that was an unconstructive,smug and arrogant statement to make.
paul krugman has been against this president from day one. he has had years to learn to be an economist, and barack obama has had just about a year to learn how to be president.
this is a time when people like paul krugman should be doing what they can to help president obama, and not tear him apart with humiliating and smug comments.
criticism is one thing, but that kind of arrogance is a disgrace.
i trust barack obama's intentions far more than i trust paul krugman's intentions.
whether or not you feel that barack obama has done a good job in his first year of office, or not....i believe he has tried his hardest. i believe he has tried to do what he thought was best.
this is not a job for which anything can really prepare you.
many of us still hold out hope for his presidency.
i certainly do.


this is a time for unity. for helping. for pulling together. not for smug and arrogant comments, for abandoning the ship like a pack of rats, for disguised personal jealousies and arrogance.
paul krugman is helping nothing with comments like that.
he ought to look in the mirror, before he starts casting smug aspersions on president obama.
between krugman's comment, and watching john edwards seeking personal redemption in haiti, while a spokesperson delivers his statement after he has been lying for months, and watching senators running away with their hands up in the air....it has been quite a day.
it is time to pull together. we have to.
president obama has not even given his state of the union address yet.
do not write him off. it has been a year of horrific obstacles and challenges. this is not the time for all of us to abandon the ship. where will we go? into the sea?
stay and fight. we cannot be divided.
this is not a time for all of us to run away with her hands up in the air, or to give up on barack obama after hardly a year.
fight, help, do what you can.
and that means you, mr. krugman.

Posted by: jkaren | January 21, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

"Paul krugman is helping nothing with comments like that."

"(Ezra) railing against everyone is getting a little old already."

I could not disagree more - respected commentators like Ezra and especially Dr Krugman are performing an absolutely vital function by articulating the magnitude of frustration and anger that moderate democratic supporters are feeling at seeing democratic leadership bringing us this far and then dropping their formerly defining issue (and also our frustration at Barak Obama's lack of leadership on some issues).

It is only if the leadership (and the idiots in the house who are running for the hills on this bill) get the message that the democrats can possibly reverse this disaster.

Also as an added bonus - Ezra and Paul articulating these frustrations is the only thing that's keeping me from hitting the bottle at this point!!

Posted by: lazza11 | January 21, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats' root problem is not that they lack spine, it is that they failed to convince a majority of the American people that their reform bill would be a net positive for the country. Brown's victory revealed the breadth and depth of public opposition to their creation. Pelosi and Reid bought off the industry lobbies and many legislators from within their own ranks but they didn't have the wherewithal to buy the American voter.

Posted by: tbass1 | January 21, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

If the House liberals are blowing up HCR for the sake of blowing it up, shame on them.

But... to bargain effectively you have to be able to say no. It worked for Ben Nelson and it should work for the liberal Dems in the House.

I assume that what they are saying is something along the lines of 'guess who actually has the power now, us or Joe Lieberman?'.

If pundits like Ezra are of the opinion that they should just cave and do the right thing, I think they are wrong. These are truly liberal Democrats with, I assume, seats as safe as a Republican in Alabama. It's about time a Democrat grew a pair and that will never, never, never ever happen with a centrist. And perhaps never with this administration.

So, I truly hope the liberal Democrats are driving a hell of a bargain because the political fall out will land on the squishy Democrats in the middle. If HCR fails because the Democratic middle, including the White House, refuses to seriously kiss liberal butt, the blame rightly falls on those who refuse to kiss butt.

And any pundit who even remotely leans left cannot see this, well, shame on them.

Posted by: Nat_51 | January 21, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

"I truly hope the liberal Democrats are driving a hell of a bargain"...

I hope so too, but unfortunately I cant imagine what it might be!!! If there is a realistic QUICK path to medicare for all (or anything else MORE liberal than the current bill) that can get through the now 59 vote senate then giddy up lets go!... But I doubt it - and I don't see 50 senators destroying private insurance to enact medicare for all via reconcilliation...

Looks more like a lack of spine coupled with terminal short sightedness to me

Posted by: lazza11 | January 21, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

"I could not disagree more - respected commentators like Ezra and especially Dr Krugman"

paul krugman is only a respected commentator when he refrains from smug and arrogant statements.

he also made critical and dire predictions at the outset of the economic crisis, shortly after barack obama became president...and his predictions have not materialized into the universally bleak scenario that he was predicting.
krugman's pronouncements have not been right as rain, either, so he should refrain from saying he has just about given up on barack obama, who has faced incredibly complicated obstacles, and has not even delivered his first state of the union address.
articulating frustration from an office in princeton is one thing, but unremittingly smug criticism against a young and new president who has been facing incredible and unforseen obstacles from the moment he set foot in office is something else.







Posted by: jkaren | January 22, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I have not been following Paul Krugman's blog as closely as Ezra's, and in general I do agree with you that Krugman is a little heavy on the doom & gloom (but then he is more left wing and probably has legitimate disagreements w/ Pres Obamas centrist methods).

The lack of leadership on this particular issue however, an issue of such importance that we thought Obama was almost staking his presidency on it, is so egregious that it is enough to make anyone want to give up on the president.

Obviously I dont want to give up on the dems or Obama, but Dr Krugman has probably the biggest audience on the left of the spectrum, and I think that messages like this one, and the work Ezra has done is are messages vital to the rehabilitation of this presidency.

You can disagree of course but in my view it really is that bad, and I am clearly not alone.

Posted by: lazza11 | January 22, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/opinion/22krugman.html

Krugman & Ezra appear to be in lock step now.

Posted by: HuckFinn | January 22, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Obama should just take whatever lands on his desk and issue a signing statement instituting single payer.

Posted by: Msut1 | January 22, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Progressives continue to insist that they won't support the party if this bill called "health care reform" isn't passed.

What they're proposing - affirming a bad bill that only passed a Senate by a slim margin through the back-room deals with Nelson, Landreiu, unions, pharmaceuticals, insurers, abortionists and other special interests - is in direct opposition to the interests of the remainder of the party and independents.

There is no support for such egregious legislative bargaining and back-room deals to pass ANY legislation, no matter how beneficial it is to the country's citizens, let alone this bill.

Like it or not, voters uphold the Democratic ideals of transparency and bipartisanship in far greater respect than progressive ideals. Progressives seem to be willing to sacrifice the former for the latter, but that's the wrong step to take. They'll lose more than independents in 2010, they'll lose their influence in their own party and the trust of most Americans for years to come.
Health care reform, perhaps less comprehensive, is still possible and to the benefit of Obama and the party's legacy, by sacrificing some of the latter for the former. Progressivism will need to be sacrificed in part for transparency and bipartisanship. It can't be the other way around.

Posted by: cprferry | January 22, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship? With this republican congress? Are you on PCP?

Posted by: lazza11 | January 22, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

How much of the lack of bipartisanship is due to Republican resistance or Republican fear? How much of that has been encouraged by the threats and actions of progressives to push through their agenda through their control of Congress and the mechanisms still available to them?

Bipartisan talks ended not when it became apparent Republicans were resistant, but when Democratic leadership became aware their party agreed on a general framework for health care reform. That consensus fell apart as the details became known to Congress and their increasingly distrustful constituents.

It was quite telling the Democratic leadership's view on bipartisanship when they included none of the proposals offered in the committees.

Posted by: cprferry | January 22, 2010 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Democrats have got to go on the offensive here. The mantra should be: IF REPUBLICANS AREN'T INTERESTED IN SOLVING THE NATION'S PROBLEMS, THEY SHOULD GET OUT OF THE WAY AND LET THE DEMOCRATS DO IT.

The health care bill is flawed because Republicans did everything in their power to prevent any kind of bill from materializing. The President is having trouble enacting his agenda because Republicans have held up nearly half of his appointees. Right now, Democrats are the only ones offering solutions to the nation's crises, and so Democrats are getting blamed when the solutions aren't quick or elegant. Can we get a unified voice of anger going against the REAL culprits here? Make them pay a price for their intransigence and irresponsibility. Demand up-or-down votes on major issues! Demand confirmation of the democratically elected President's appointees!

Posted by: RachelM2 | January 22, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

"These stories are a function of outcomes, not objective assessments of performance."

Our United States is increasingly being led and governed with this as the overarching philosophy - that effort, process and intentions are superior to achievement of objectives. Therefore, consequences for failure should be minimized or dismissed entirely.

I personally believe this is a generational dynamic. Baby boomers were known to raise their children and embed a onsequence-free philosophy. To wit, "every child gets a trophy."

This consequence-free philosophy has grown in prominence over the last couple of decades, especially as the boomers assumed the waterfront of society's posts of power, public and private. The culmination has been the warped diagnosis and resolution the current economic crisis, and man-handling of the legal and regulatory framework that had underpinned our national success for decades.

It's unfortunate that, in the end, the United States is now entirely muddling the objective function for our economy, which used to be grounded in capitalism ideals. Now I'm not so sure we aren't governing to the left of France!

How ironic that it is the citizens of Massachusetts, who speared a nation into action with the Boston Tea Party over two hundred years ago, that has sent the first powerful volley to rally the nation back to our knitting.

Posted by: jeffwoods | January 22, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Ezra and Friends:

The recent change in the dynamic of the Healthcare debate simply proves that the American people will not tolerate underhanded, back-room, cover-of-night deals for legislation. The analogy of sausage-making should be forever banished from consideration and from the political lexicon.

If successful arguments and political compromise cannot be made in the light of day, they should not be made at all. Harry and company sealed this outcome well before the Massachussetts election when they agreed to the Cornhusker Kick-back, Louisiana Purchase II, special consideration for union insurance tax exemptions, etc., etc., etc. Obama should have come out early and objected to the process as we all know that the end does not necessarily justify the means.

On a separate note, none of us can truly say we are in favor of Healthcare reform if we are not willing to demand Tort Reform as a part of the package. The reality is that this would reduce the cost of the cost of Healthcare by a minimum of 10-15%, which is not chump change. If we are not willing to do Tort Reform as it applies to Healthcare, then it really is not all that important.

bhansen

Posted by: bhansen | January 22, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

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