Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No repeal

Jon Chait's piece about the right's HCR repeal fantasy is pretty good, but perhaps overthinking things. The simple truth is that the fight to repeal reform (in a world where Republicans were actually in a position to do it) would be just as messy as the fight to enact it was. The right would have to do battle with the combined forces of PhRMA, the AMA, the AARP, labor, etc. Considering the flat-out disbelief that most Republicans (namely Newt Gingrich) displayed at the prospects of the Democrats putting it all on the line for HCR, I don't expect the GOP to mirror the Democrats' drive on this issue. Enacting HCR only happened because it was a decades-old dream of the left. The same cannot be said of repeal.

Additionally, it's worth nothing that the GOP hasn't had the stomach for a really tough ideological fight since Gingrich's government shutdown. Welfare reform was, of course, bipartisan, as were No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D, though the latter is perhaps the definitive example of where bipartisanship produces a worse product than would otherwise be reached. In any event, the Bush Administration's domestic policy was one of minimal risk, one that would take 1/4 of a loaf from the Democrats when possible and back off once the going got tough, as in immigration reform and privatization of Social Security. Of course, this was because Bush had other priorities that he was more interested in pursuing, but I tend to think that the rest of the GOP will rage about repeal for some months, not really bother too much about health care if they do win the House, and then complain about how the Democrats are being difficult if their followers ask them any questions about the whole thing. It's just SOP for them at this point.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.