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Posted by on Aug 30, 2009 in Health, Politics, Society | 16 comments

The GOP Has It Backwards About Ted Kennedy

Via tweet from Kyle Moore, comes this op-ed from Geoff Garin about which political party most needs another Ted Kennedy:

Ted Kennedy’s voice and leadership will be sorely missed in the effort to pass health-care reform. But when Republicans say that Democrats don’t have anyone to take his place in achieving a bipartisan compromise, they are either missing, or deliberately obscuring, the relevant lesson of Kennedy’s example.

The truth is that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, with the support of the White House, has worked hard for months to reach consensus with Sens. Chuck Grassley, Olympia Snowe and Mike Enzi on a health-reform bill — incurring, for his trouble, more than a little heat from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. But so far, the Republicans haven’t had the will, courage or independence to strike a deal. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been doing his best to end the negotiations, apparently agreeing with Jim DeMint’s political assessment that health care could be President Obama’s Waterloo. And now Chuck Grassley says he could sign only a compromise that a majority of the GOP caucus would support.

The problem is not that there is no Ted Kennedy among the Democrats who understands the art of compromise. The problem is that there is no Republican willing to provide, for health reform, the kind of bold leadership that Kennedy provided to help pass controversial legislation when George W. Bush was president.

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