The Corner

Something or Nothing?

Is it better for opponents of Obamacare that nothing happens before the break, or better that the House passes the bill? It’s a close call. Passing nothing will be a momentum killer for Democrats. But passing something will have its own downsides for them. It will give opponents a specific bill to pick apart throughout August. It will force Obama to take a position on the bill — and either implicitly disavow many things he’s said about reform or rebuke Nancy Pelosi’s work. The process in getting it passed–especially after today’s meltdown in Waxman’s committee — will be rushed and ugly. That in itself will be discrediting, and it will mean there are last-minute provisions that no one knows about on passage that will come to light later. At this moment, Democrats don’t have great options.

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Don’t bet against the attractiveness of platitudes, sanctimony, and a vague promise of refreshing the American spirit. It worked in 2008. But Barack Obama had a global financial crisis and war weariness to run against. He also had a way with the electorate. Does Pete Buttigieg? His elevator pitch to American ... Read More

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