>> Thursday, September 17, 2009
Another example of the "but the New Deal and Great Society were bipartisan" argument.
To add another point, as I understand it the political justification for seeking Republican support is that it would mean Democrats wouldn't "own" health care reform (this would seem to be why McArdle brings up social security privatization.) But this is a really bad reason for insisting on Republican votes. First of all, it's only relevant if the policy is bad for most voters. Republicans had a good reason not to want to own social security privitization and the many older people forced to subsist on cat food and peoplelosing their pensions near retirement age that would have ensued. But if you do it right, health care reform will (like Social Security and Medicare) be popular and something you want credit for, and if you don't do it right it shouldn't be done whether you get zero or 50 GOP votes. And second, it won't work -- the governing party will get the credit or blame depending how it works out irrespective of how much collaboration with the opposition there was. Who do you think is most associated with Social Security and Medicare -- FDR and LBJ, or liberal Republican congressmen?