The idea of any bi-partisan consensus on healthcare is a lost cause, the Democrats have finally acknowledged.
If they’re going to get anything passed, they’re going to have to stick their necks out–and only their necks–under the guillotine of public opinion.
And new polls may make that even less tempting. As we said weeks ago, the Democrats have lost the debate politically, as a majority of Americans oppose the planned reforms and think they would make the quality of healthcare worse and be more expensive. The best spin for Democrats comes from pollster Jay Campbell, who says: “Things have not changed radically in the past two weeks,” Ouch.
How’d they lose the debate? Well, yes, part of it has to do with the unhinged and dishonest opposition to it. But the whole time Obama was on the defensive, spending lots of time arguing about what the reforms are not, rather than what they are. (Yes, we get that you won’t have death panels… but, how are you going to expand the supply of doctors to cover 50 million more insured Americans without bankrupting the country, Mr. President?)
We’ve heard The White House has an answer to that question. We’ve just never heard what the answer is.
This is a good blueprint for future political battles. If you’re always responding and having to explain what something’s not (whether it’s financial regulation reform or cap and trade), you’ve already lost.
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