Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Incarnatus Est on Republicans on Healthcare

Here is a reproduction and link to Pastor Greg Alms's blog, where he reproduces an important perspective on what the recent vote on healthcare might mean for Republicans.


I don't do a lot of politics here but here is an intereting take on the healthcare bill just passed. Written by David Frum, a conservative, he focuses on what he sees as Republican failures in the process:

Some bits:

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.

Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.


I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was an interesting take by Frum. Caveat emptor, though. I think one of the things Frum has been pushing over the years is for Republicans to cave on the issue of abortion. At least I think that is the case, should memory serve me well.

Yet he does make a very good point about the need to fix healthcare and the need to engage in actual conversation in order to gitrdone.

Tom Fast