Separated at birth?
Imagine you're a Senate Republican. You think the health-care system is getting a bit out of control, and you find it unacceptable that 45 million Americans lack health insurance. So you're thinking about signing on to Ron Wyden's universal-coverage bill, as five of your GOP colleagues have already done. Then, along comes Krugman to tell you, oh, by the way, Kristol was right in 1993--if we get our foot in the door by passing health care, you can count on a broader Kucinichization of America. What are you gonna do? Chances are, you'll be a lot less likely to support the bill. Krugman continually insists Republicans will fight universal coverage tooth and nail at every turn, and then frames the issue in such a way as to ensure that they will. [...]
It always surprised me that Karl Rove would constantly brag about how privatizing Social Security was the first step toward a piece-by-piece demolition of the social safety net--and then he proclaimed himself shocked, shocked when Democrats showed no interest in helping Bush partially privatize Social Security. It would be a bitter irony if universal health care were to elude our grasp again because liberals made the same mistake.