Refocusing the Debate
Steve Benen comments on the recent Republican movement toward health care reform. His primary point, paraphrased: Whatever the plan is, it will stink; but hey, it’s still progress when Republicans get serious about a foundational issue long championed by Democrats.
Obviously, I disagree with Steve on the prejudice: We should not assume an R plan will stink. In fact, to date, a handful of R governors have been relatively astute on this challenge: Mitt, Arnold, and Missouri’s own Matt Blunt. One would hope DC leaders are equally astute and that they will, perhaps, incorporate these governors’ ideas.
I also disagree with Steve’s sweeping generalization at the end of his post, that the “state of play … is shifting in the Dems’ direction.” As I noted this morning at CS, despite all the hooplah about America “turning left,” there remains a vibrant and resilient libertarian core, a core that might accept a role for the feds in health care reform but will also resist the creation of yet another massive bureaucracy. Moreover, the Democrats’ control of Congress today is, in part, a result of an influx of conservative D’s who are often aligned (in spirit, if not moniker) with the Blue Dogs and their moderate R counterparts … <<read more>>