pageok
pageok
pageok
Bloggers unsure of whether Health Care bill should be bipartisan, and who Republican leader is:

This week's National Journal poll of top political bloggers produced unusually fractured results. Question one was "Politically, how important is it to President Obama that health care reform be bipartisan?" Sixty percent of the Right and 42% of the Left thought it was "very" or "somewhat" important.

Question 2 was "Who is the dominant voice of the Republican Party these days?" From both the Right and the Left, Rush Limbaugh came in first, and Dick Cheney came in second. However, on the Right, the winner was "none", which also came in third among the Left voters. My opinion was: "None. Which is good. The Republicans need to have a broad debate about their political principles, rather than picking a leader before they decide where they should go."

GMUSOL05:
I find it amusing that Sarah Palin and "the blogosphere" made the "right-leaning" list.
6.12.2009 11:33am
RPT (mail):
As in the past, a "bipartisan" health care bill would be one which satisfies all R desires, which in this circumstance means status quo.
6.12.2009 12:40pm
Dave N (mail):
RPT,

You mean like "RomneyCare" in Massachusetts? No Republicans involved in that one. None at all.

(Not that RomneyCare has actually worked as advertised, as both the Wall Street Journal and the Cato Institute report)
6.12.2009 1:05pm
carolus (mail):
The three dominant voices for the Republicans these days are, in order: Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama. They are making the strongest and best case for Republicans every time they open their mouths.

As to who is making the best case for conservatism, that's another story. Certainly, Republicans don't, anymore. They stand for Big Government, in all areas, as opposed to Democrats, who stand for HUGE Government in economic policies, taxes, and public debt. We don't have much of a counterweight to that these days.
6.12.2009 1:26pm
Sarcastro (www):
I agree with carolus. As long as Republicans define themselves as against whatever Pelosi et. al. say, they are sure to sweep into victory on wings of knee-jerk obstructionism!
6.12.2009 1:33pm
taney71:
Who was the dominate voice in the Democratic party just four years ago? People forget all too quickly how screwed the donkeys looked back in 04/05.
6.12.2009 2:19pm
eyesay:
taney: In April 2005, Democrats including Sens. John Kerry and Hillary Clinton looked a lot better to the American People than any national Republican spokesperson today. And by 2000, the Democrats had to select a candidate among a vast pool of popular, qualified candidates, including several outstanding current and former senators and sitting governor who had served in Congress, as an ambassador, and as a Cabinet member. Meanwhile the Republican pool seemed so embarrassing, with the brilliant Massachusetts governor who was backtracking on all of the things that made him popular in that largely Democratic state; the New York City mayor who had cell phone conversations with his wife during his own speeches; the Arizona senator who seemed to backtrack on his principled stand against torture; the Arkansas governor who reminded everyone of Gomer Pyle; each candidate seemed worse than the next.

By the way, why do you take your name from the Chief Justice who delivered the infamous Dred Scott decision? Your name might suggest that you agree with that decision.
6.12.2009 3:52pm
eyesay:
Sorry, I mean, by 2000 2008.
6.12.2009 3:53pm
Mark N. (www):
taney71: I think the current disparity is considerably greater. The Democrats were in some disarray in 2004, but Kerry still managed to come within 2.4% of an incumbent President, and the Democrats' Senate share never dropped below 45 seats.
6.12.2009 4:03pm
rarango (mail):
I don't think either party has graced the polity with particularly outstanding presidential candidates for some time now; but, at this point in the game, the republicans currently appear to me to be in more disarry than the democrats did in their dark days of the 1980s.
6.12.2009 4:41pm
wfjag:

"Politically, how important is it to President Obama that health care reform be bipartisan?"

Depends on your time perspective.

Today, the "We've got a majority in both Houses and have the Presidence and can do whatever we want" crowd, sees no need for bipartisanship.

In 2012 when the effects of RomneyCare goes national - i.e., it was bankrupting Mass. in 2009 and driving the quality of care into the toilet, but, we didn't pay a bit of attention when we went fed. and passed it in 2009, so now it's a Dem and Obama boondoggle -- bipartisanship will look to have been a great idea. When the conclusion is "We're all Bozos on this bus" is accurate, neither party will want to raise the issue, since it's neither Republican or Democrat, but an anti-incumbent issue.

Query: Is this another major law that will be passed before anyone has read it? The President wants it passed before Congress goes on recess in August, and, as yet, there aren't even Committee reports, much less drafts of proposed legislation, to look at.
6.12.2009 4:42pm
wm13:
The Republicans need to have a broad debate about their political principles, rather than picking a leader before they decide where they should go.

In all honesty, I don't recall any political party ever doing that, other than very briefly and fruitlessly when they have lost an election, and before a new set of leaders emerges. I mean, did the Republicans have such a debate from 1976 to 1980? Or 1992 to 1994? Or the Democrats from 1988 to 1992 or 2004 to 2006? I don't think so. In real life, the people select leaders, and the leaders decide on policy, usually after they get elected. It's not the case that policy comes first.
6.12.2009 4:46pm
eyesay:
National health care need not be a boondoggle. Most likely, it will result in huge cost savings, with no reductions in access. Many people with insurance already suffer from "lack of choice" and waits for health care, and our health care cost is far higher than that of countries with national health care. This is in large part because health insurance companies impose huge costs to the system for very little benefit.
6.12.2009 5:52pm
NickC (mail):
Eyesay, I'm curious if you have any reason to distinguish a national single-payer system (ie, the government) from the disaster in Mass.? While it's certainly true that some people with health insurance suffer from a "lack of choice" relative to others, that seems to be a fairly myopic view of the issue. They may have a lack of choice compared to some others with health insurance/the ability to pay, but far greater freedom of choice than those under systems in other countries.

I don't think that anyone on either side of the national healthcare issue would argue that the current system is working (although please correct me if I'm mistaken). Instead I think it's more useful to frame the debate in terms of what can work for a large country like America, which even without such a system already incurs a huge national deficit to go along with a tremendous national debt.

While it seems that nationalized healthcare is almost an inevitability the far reaching effects must be considered. The impact on drug development and the quality of doctors (who would inevitably be paid far less under a national system) should be taken into account. I personally ascribe to a two-tier model closer to the aussie system where those who do not have healthcare/are not willing to pay receive a certain level of free care, which is in effect subsidized by higher costs for those who can pay/have insurance, although those that can pay do receive benefits such as faster service and more choices. Hopefully such a system could maintain some of the positive economic incentives for doctors/drug developers. As always I'm interested to see what the community has to say on this issue.
6.12.2009 9:01pm
rosetta's stones:

carolus
The three dominant voices for the Republicans these days are, in order: Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama. They are making the strongest and best case for Republicans every time they open their mouths.

As to who is making the best case for conservatism, that's another story. Certainly, Republicans don't, anymore. They stand for Big Government, in all areas, as opposed to Democrats, who stand for HUGE Government in economic policies, taxes, and public debt. We don't have much of a counterweight to that these days.



Yes, as always, the electorate will react to events, and right now, the Left is driving events. Gingrich thinks he brought about the 1994 election results, but in reality he was just another bystander. Bill Clinton brought about those election results, and Hillary enabled them as well, supporting health care "reform", much like Obama is now.

They'll have to go through the Blue Dogs, however. They are the ones who will go down in 2010 and beyond, if events proceed as they did in Clinton's first term. And we didn't have stagflation in 1994, either. It's an easy campaign... just video a printing press... churning away... with a foreclosed house in the background... and an unemployment graphic accompanied by some funereal dirge... and video of the 3 above "dominant voices" preaching their gospel.

Not that the congresscritters will truly change, because as we know, Gingrich's gang was back to jacking spending levels even before Clinton left office. But, electoral turnover as response to events is predictable and inevitable.
6.13.2009 10:43am
SFBurke (mail):
The idea that if we just eliminate the insurance companies everything will be OK is has a certain knee jerk appeal but there is really no basis for that view. Right now private insurance subsidizes medicare (medicare by fiat is able to reimburse at a much lower rates than insurance companies are able to negotiate). At the same time, the United States as whole subsidizes the rest of the world because the U.S. actually pays for medical innovation (nationalized health care systems are very slow to adopt innovation and then get the benefit of paying closer to the marginal cost of the innovative technologies). So the result of a national healthcare system based on medicare will either mean massive cuts in payments to doctors and hospitas (and rationing, waits etc.) or massive increases in government expenditures. If the government takes the former route, we will also lose much medical innovation.
6.13.2009 10:48pm
Bob Goodman (mail) (www):
Hey, this is the first time outside of a sports discussion I can remember seeing "dominate" in the sense of "dominant". I accept it on general etymologic grounds, but dislike it because it's confusing in writing.
6.14.2009 12:15am

Post as: [Register] [Log In]

Account:
Password:
Remember info?

If you have a comment about spelling, typos, or format errors, please e-mail the poster directly rather than posting a comment.

Comment Policy: We reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and in extreme cases to ban commenters, at our discretion. Comments must be relevant and civil (and, especially, free of name-calling). We think of comment threads like dinner parties at our homes. If you make the party unpleasant for us or for others, we'd rather you went elsewhere. We're happy to see a wide range of viewpoints, but we want all of them to be expressed as politely as possible.

We realize that such a comment policy can never be evenly enforced, because we can't possibly monitor every comment equally well. Hundreds of comments are posted every day here, and we don't read them all. Those we read, we read with different degrees of attention, and in different moods. We try to be fair, but we make no promises.

And remember, it's a big Internet. If you think we were mistaken in removing your post (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a more free-for-all approach -- there are surely plenty of ways you can still get your views out.