I agree with most everything David Brooks has written on this subject. If we had a functional and serious conservative movement in this country - instead of a Poujadist mob of cynical know-nothings - we would be talking about the kind of questions David Goldhill discusses in the best single piece on the debate I have yet read - the cover-story in the current Atlantic. We'd be talking about re-thinking the insurance model for large parts of medical care, we'd be cutting subsidies for employers, we'd be empowering patients to seek better coverage with better value and providing the tools to help them make informed decisions. Instead, we're talking Hitler and Oligarhy and "taking the country back".
Anyway, my column is here. It's bullish on Obama, as I remain.
Ben Nelson tipped his hand in a way today that suggests what I think we'll end up with - which will be a huge step forward on the accessibility front, if not on costs. (But we can come back on costs, and must, in a broader context of fundamental fiscal reform). My view of the president remains what it was two years ago: We're still lucky to have this small voice of reason in this nutty time. And if he becomes the first Democratic president to initiate universal healthcare access in his first year, he will indeed be transformational on a core domestic question.
Hang in there, Mr President. I have a feeling that the forces that elected you are re-grouping now we know exactly how determined and incoherent the opponents of change on all fronts have become. Above all, remember the discipline you showed in your campaign. You won through a combination of persistence, strategy and a refusal to take the bait. Don't take the bait, Mr President. The degenerate right (a better one will come along in time) only knows Rovian cultural warfare. They want you to fight back on their terrain. Don't. Just move forward. Talk to the country as a serious president should - about the problems we face and the debate we need to have to confront them.