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Your Abbreviated Pundit Round-up

December 23rd, 2009, 03:12 pm admin Leave a comment Go to comments

The Republicans are getting mighty nervous about the headlines.  

The Week sums up Republican angst:

The GOP’s big health care ‘blunder’

With Obama on the cusp of a historic health care victory, some Republicans are grumbling about a missed opportunity

with links to:

Jonathan Chait:

Evan Bayh! When you’ve turned the somnolent, relentlessly centrist Indiana Senator into a raging partisan, you’ve really done something. The Republicans eschewed a halfway compromise and put all their chips on an all or nothing campaign to defeat health care and Obama’s presidency. It was an audacious gamble. They lost. In the end, they’ll walk away with nothing. The Republicans may gain some more seats in 2010 by their total obstruction, but the substantive policy defeat they’ve been dealt will last for decades.

David Frum: Why the GOP Lost the Healthcare Fight

Ross Douthat:

I’m not sure either critique is right. I would like to live in a world where Republicans had come to the negotiating table bearing a cost-controlling, insurance-expanding health care proposal, instead of just offering weak-tea alternatives or nothing at all. But given the ambitions of liberals (visible this week in the revolt over the public option) and the design of the legislation, I’m skeptical that they could have actually negotiated their way to something “vastly more limited,” in Chait’s words. As many liberal pundits have argued, the current health care bill is a package deal: If you regulate insurers then you need to have a mandate to buy insurance, if you need a mandate you need subsidies, and if the subsidies aren’t high enough either insurers or voters are going to revolt … and so the next thing you know, you’re at $800 billion and counting.

One thing about Republicans: they act like they have won even when they are losing. Because they’re more interested in governing, Democrats generally do the opposite.

Froma Harrup:

Many have bemoaned the near-extinction of the political species known as the moderate Republican. Once thriving in cold habitats, particularly New England, socially liberal but fiscally conservative Republicans were gradually displaced by Democrats. The loss of these bridge-builders has left the Republican Party largely in the hands of the bridge-burners, and to the detriment of America.

John McCain:

The Maverick’s buck stops here.

John McCain is no longer the media’s delight and his party’s burr, bucking convention with infectious relish.

The man used to be such a constructive independent that some of his Republican Senate colleagues called him a traitor. Now he’s such a predictable obstructionist that he’s in the just-say-no vanguard with the same conservatives who used to despise him.

He was always a phony baloney, Maureen. Just because you didn’t get it doesn’t mean much. You miss a lot.

Lawrence A. Hunter & Lewis K. Uhler (Politico): Egging Ben Nelson on. Maybe he’ll quit the Dems over abortion. Meanwhile Republican obstructionism has been fabulous and a boon to mankind!! Not to mention successful and a model of how to govern.


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