Friday, October 30, 2009

Don't be a Lieberman. Do the right thing on health care

For those whose juices are stirring because of the health-care legislation now emerging, could I suggest a pause to consider what the other side is planning? Take a few minutes and click on this piece with the title “Republican Guide to Undermining Health-care Reform.”

Don’t neglect to click on the link therein to Frank Luntz’ memo on the words to use. Who’s Frank Luntz? Think of Karl Rove and you’re in the same league.
My email inbox overflows with my progressive friends mad as hell at the “lying” Democrats in Congress who aren’t ordering from the progressive menu. Yes, you’re right. But what if at the end of the day your opposition to the bill helps to cause its defeat?
Yes, writing legislation is like making sausage. We’re going to have to live with it until we elect a better Congress. If this drive will increase coverage and stop the rise in health costs, it will be pretty darn good. If progressive opposition to the bill combines with clever conservative opposition and defeats it, will we be better off? Not in my best guess.
I’m with Paul Krugman’s message in today’s NY Times column. If you’re not with us, you’re being a Lieberman. 
Yesterday I saw MSNBC where Big Ed Schultz tried to get Rep. Dennis Kucinich to say he would vote against a health-care bill that didn’t have a state option for single-payer. Even Kucinich was – yesterday, anyway – not willing to go that far.
This is a signal to me to moderate opposition. Get ready to suck it up.
And PS: Thanks to Krugman for the tip on the existence of the blog at the White House Budget Office. Very sharp exchange therein between Peter Orszag, the budget director, and Fred Hiatt, editor of the Washington Post editorial page.  It seems pretty plain that Hiatt didn’t know what he was writing about. We have to be wary against being led astray.

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