Repealing Health Care Reform

From Sam Stein:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he expects "every Republican in 2010 and 2012" to "run on an absolute pledge to repeal this bill." Meanwhile the Plum Line, which has done much of the work advancing this story, quoted Max Pappas, the Vice President for Public Policy of Dick Armey's FreedomWorks, saying that Republicans were "going to have to prove that they are worthy of their votes" by pledging to repeal health care reform.

Noted Republican pollster John McLaughlin predicts that a campaign to repeal reform could be a common thread in 2010 both because the conservative base is clamoring for the push and also because it resonates with voters outside of the Republican tent.

Krugman argues that the GOP is misreading the polling. I guess promising to repeal HCR could be effective in districts where HCR isn't very popular. But as a national strategy, it strikes me as a case of confusing your issues and beliefs, with the issues and beliefs that win campaigns. My issues and beliefs involve outlawing the death penalty and ending the War on Drugs. But I don't want the Democratic Party campaigning nationally on those issues--at least not yet.

Beyond that, repealing HCR is another case of campaigning in the negative. Your telling someone what government shouldn't be doing, not what should be doing. That isn't always a bad strategy. But with something like health care, where people generally agree that there's a problem and that the government should address that problem, it just doesn't seem very smart.