The Corner

Health Care and the Dems, Cont’d

Well put, from a reader:

I think you understate this aspect. My hobby horse for two years has been the weird obsession on the left with an alternative view of history, surrounding healthcare. When the healthcare push began, every liberal talking head said the president has to get something. It would be a disaster politically if he came away empty handed like Bill Clinton.

 

Dig deeper and you find the liberal narrative in full. The long winter out of power for the left, as the theory goes, starts with the Clintons failure to get healthcare. The first mistake was trying to ram it through Congress. The second mistake was not accepting a smaller version. The third mistake was failing to recognize the political damage. That lead to the ’94 election and their hero, Bill Clinton, throwing them over the rail in favor of Dick Morris. In an Oliver Stone way, all of this gave us Bush, Iraq, the WoT and whatever bogeymen they want to load on the cart.

 

So, Obama handed healthcare off to Pelosi and Reid. They accepted less than the originally wanted and made whatever deals necessary to get it done. They were even ready with a highly choreographed ceremony to bask in the warm glow of public approval.

 

Ooops.

 

To say healthcare is a political problem now, means the liberal historiography of the last 16 years is wrong. That’s so embedded in the catechism of the left, there’s no way they can do it. Instead I would expect the moonbats to start saying the problem with healthcare is it did not go far enough fast enough.

I largely agree with this, but in fairness, I’ve been saying for a while (and Ramesh for even longer) that liberal Dems had misread the lessons of HillaryCare in pretty much the way the reader here lays out. They thought their biggest mistake was in failing to pass HillaryCare when their real mistake was, in fact, trying in the first place.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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