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Your Abbreviated Pundit Round-up

December 27th, 2009, 03:12 pm admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Recovered from Christmas yet? Here’s some opinions you may or may not share.

NY Times editorial:

The Senate’s passage of a heath care reform bill over lockstep Republican opposition required every single member of the Democratic caucus to vote to override Republican filibusters. It will take equal political will to fuse the Senate’s bill with the more expansive reform approved by the House and enact a final version.

Health care reform doesn’t pass the Congress every day. Appreciate what’s in the bill while we work to make it better.

SF Chronicle:

It came after 24 consecutive days of exhausting debate, and the ideas approved promise to affect the life of every American. The Democrats in both the House and the Senate – the Republicans in both houses opted out of the chance to make history – should be proud of their determination.

Now they have to make sure that they don’t mess up everything.

It could still happen. We’re Democrats.

Nate Silver:

Are Democrats (well, some of them) celebrating too soon? Could the health care bill have gotten 60 votes in the Senate only to be doomed to failure in the House, which much reconcile its own, more liberal version of the legislation with that passed by the Upper Chamber?

As Ramesh Ponnuru argues, there are certainly no guarantees. But if I were a conservative, I wouldn’t be holding out more than a thin sliver of hope — probably not more than a 10 percent chance — that the bill could still be defeated.

Nate also argues that there’s less difference of opinion on the left than meets the eye.  

And if you want to argue that the appropriate progressive reaction to the bill is a lukewarm one, and that it would be premature to celebrate while the bill can and should still be improved, I certainly don’t have a problem with that. Implicitly, in fact, that’s what a lot of people — particularly Markos, Howard Dean, the unions, and Darcy Burner but also many others — have been saying all along. The differences I have with those folks are more semantic than substantive, and I apologize to anyone to whom I’ve conveyed the wrong impression.

That’s because substantive policy disagreements are not personal disagreements.

Ruth Marcus:

We are, or so we are told by conservative commentators and politicians, supposed to be indignant, outraged, horrified at the fact that lawmakers with bargaining power extracted special deals for their states in the negotiations over health care reform.

“Prostitution has been legalized in Washington, D.C.,” railed Rush Limbaugh. “Backroom deals that amount to bribes,” lamented South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Give me a break.

You may not like it. It’s certainly not pretty. But this kind of political horse-trading has been around since the dawn of politics, if not the dawn of horses. So the protestations of fury from opponents of the measure are awfully hard to take.

Dan Laffoley:

For the many disappointments of the recent climate talks in Copenhagen, there was at least one clear positive outcome, and that was the progress made on a program called Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation. Under this program, key elements of which were agreed on at Copenhagen, developing countries would be compensated for preserving forests, peat soils, swamps and fields that are efficient absorbers of carbon dioxide, the primary heat-trapping gas linked to global warming.

Betsy Karasik:

There is no assurance that the new plan will be successful, and there remain many obstacles to the wolves’ recovery. At the last count in January, there were only two breeding pairs among the 52 wild Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. I may never see a Mexican gray wolf in the wild. But one lethal loop of red tape has been cut. And somewhere in the desert Southwest, a tiny population of exceedingly rare and beautiful wolves continues to defy the label: “extinct in the wild.”


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