Friday, December 05, 2008

How to Get Ahead in Politics while doint the Right Thing

Thomas Frank, over at the Huffington Post, has argued that Democrats should look into doing something about American Health Care. Not just because it's good policy but good politics.
Still, conservatives have always dreaded the day that Democrats discover (or rediscover) that there is a happy political synergy between delivering liberal economic reforms and building the liberal movement. The classic statement of this fear is a famous memo that Bill Kristol wrote in 1993, when he had just started out as a political strategist and the Clinton administration was preparing to propose some version of national health care.

"The plan should not be amended; it should be erased," Mr. Kristol advised the GOP. And not merely because Mr. Clinton's scheme was (in Mr. Kristol's view) bad policy, but because "it will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests."
For a long time I had basically bought the theory that Health-Care should stay private rather than being in the hands of an inefficient government. Then I needed some health care, and some friends needed some health care, and it occurs to me that maybe the system we have isn't the world's greatest. So I'm pretty receptive to this idea; I just hope our representatives in Congress feel similarly.

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