Now we see the real struggle for the soul of this administration. Obama wants to tackle the insolvency of the big three entitlement programs: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. These three programs, especially Medicare, will destroy the fiscal future, unless we pare them back now. Left untouched, they will also make it much likelier in the near future that global financial markets may finally snap and stop sending money to a country that looks more and more like those subprime mortgage-owners than a serious polity. And so we have a tough-on-spending budget and a desire to convene the long-anticipated, endlessly delayed fiscal sanity summit to make the deal we all know needs to be made. The GOP will have to accept some tax hikes and the Dems will have to accept some entitlement cuts.
It seems to me that a key sign of the Republican party's maturing back to sanity will be a willingness to join Obama in this endeavor.
The current market has scotched any "private accounts" diversion from the social security debate, removing the ideological impediment placed before this pragmatic reform by the last president. The Democrats are resisting, giving the GOP a chance to reclaim its serious fiscal credentials by actually focusing on big-ticket entitlement costs rather than their asinine "pork" fixation - a way to appear fiscally prudent while avoiding any real action. The left seems adamant in refusing any reforms until they have us all in their national health scheme, from birth to death. The right therefore has an opening to appeal, for a change, to the sensible center. Will they? The answer to that question will tell us more about the future of the right than any lame-ass Jindal-style posturing over the stimulus.