From Pine View Farm

A Dog Bites When Backed into a Corner, Even When It Backs Itself into the Corner 0

The Booman analyses Republican opposition to health care reform. A nugget:

The Republicans didn’t have a mainstream alternative on health care because Obama proposed a plan that, aside from the public option, was indistinguishable from what their ‘wonks’ came up with the last time Washington tried to reform our health system. Even when Obama agreed to drop the public option, no Republicans could be persuaded to vote for his bill. So, their opposition was purely political in nature, and grounded in their belief that granting subsidies to people to buy health care and expanding Medicaid will make the Democrats more popular and expand their permanent base.

Calling your own analysts’ plans ‘socialist’ and a ‘monstrosity’ is dishonest. And it strikes me as a real problem that the Republicans have poisoned their own base’s minds about the nature of the health care reforms. They can’t walk this back now and govern responsibly without being seen as sell-outs and commie-appeasers.

A quibble. I’m not sure that any party has a “permanent base.”

Sixty years ago, the South would have been considered part of the “permanent base” of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party lost the South when it decided, over a period of about 20 years, that ending segregation was more important than appeasing its “permanent base.” It concluded, in a fitful, bumbling, inconsistent way, that trying to do the right thing (while doing many wrong things along the way) was more important than appeasing the base.

Lyndon Johnson knew that signing the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts would lose the South for the Democrats. He pushed the bills through and signed them anyway.

Aside: I am convinced that, were it not for the Viet Nam folly, Johnson would rank with Washington, Lincoln, and the two Roosevelts as a great president. Most tragic, for the dead and wounded, for the nation, and for him is that, as has recently come out, Johnson knew it was folly.”

Why did he do it?

Short answer: He feared the Republicans (there’s that word again) would campaign against him as “soft on Communism.”


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