Re: Interest groups
My "Twilight of the Interest Groups" post has provoked a bunch of incorrect readings, which almost certainly means that I wrote it poorly. But to be clear, I was making three points:
1) There's been an extraordinary amount of interest group consensus -- or maybe the better word would be neutrality -- on health-care reform. Even the groups that are opposed, like the insurers, are only mildly opposed.
2) That consensus has not driven any Republican votes despite the obvious rewards available to an interest group able to deliver three Republican senators.
3) That consensus has also not affected public perceptions of the bill. That's what "twilight of the interest groups" referred to. There might have been a time when getting doctors, AARP, hospitals, labor, pharmaceutical companies, and 60 senators on the same side of a piece of legislation would have signaled that this is a moderate, consensus-oriented document that's respectful of the status quo. But in this case, the ferocious opposition of Republicans drove public perceptions about whether the legislation was moderate or not. Whatever signaling power these groups once had (if they indeed had any), it's gone now.
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