I Feel Like I Win When You Lose

FrumsterThere’s a lot to love in David Frum’s take on the success of health care reform in the US House. For starters, the title: WATERLOO. Hee! (For the kids out there, that’s OMG! LOL!!!) Even though Frum’s not someone I much agree with, it’s refreshing to read a thoughtful assessment of the GOP’s performance. He thinks it was as pathetic as I do.

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. …

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the ‘doughnut hole’ and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

Italics mine own.

Frum goes on about how the allegedly conservative media (let’s face it, there’s nothing conservative about those people) kept leaders who knew better from making a deal, but that’s not really servin’ it up good. There are Republicans in the House and Senate who know, as I know, that something had to be done about health care, they were just too afraid to do it. So what if it meant losing a seat? If you’re not there to provide real, lasting help to your constituents, why are you there at all? They weren’t “trapped” as Frum has it, they chose to throw in their lot with those who scream racial and other vile epithets, who denigrate science and knowledge in favor of disinformation and propaganda, and who would do nothing rather than solve very real problems. That’s the reality, but otherwise Frum’s not far off.


  1. PulSamsara

    March 22, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Well said.

  2. Mike

    March 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Agreed and very well said sir.

  3. LincolnX

    March 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Agreed, when stripped down to the essence of what the Republicans would “repeal”, one wonders for what precisely they stand. I believe there has been a gross misreading of polls and that the anticipated gains by republicans for seats in the fall will be shown to be an overestimate.

  4. Jerry

    March 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Agree too

  5. Tom Roche

    March 23, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    OK, but turnabout’s fair play. AFAICS, Frum is correct that

    “the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big.”

    So remind me again: what’s progressive about this bill?

    It’s not “health care reform,” it’s health *insurance* reform. The status quo ante was, employers and (especially) individuals increasingly couldn’t afford America’s (private) Health Insurance Plans (because of the unavoidable inefficiency of multiple payers and the private sector’s “fiduciary responsibility” to produce ever-increasing profits), hence the fraction of the US population that was uninsured increased monotonically (and therefore the relative population of AHIP customers declined monotonically). Eventually the equation (health care=health insurance) underlying AHIP’s former business model would have collapsed under its own corrupt weight, albeit amidst great human suffering.

    So are we replacing the fatally-flawed multi-payer private-health-insurance-based model with the vastly more efficient public-single-payer model? No, the Obamacare status quo now *mandates* us to buy AHIP! We have just saved their business model–how is that progressive?

    The homophobic/racist/sexist/teabag right wing is gnashing its teeth, and I gotta admit, as irrational as I know it is, I Feel Like I Win When Those Evil Bastards Lose. But the *corporate* right wing (which is, after all, where the real power lies) is laughing all the way to the bank. How long?

    FWIW, Tom_Roche@pobox.com

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