Bill Kristol, whose view of politics is pretty much as Trotskyite as the far left used to be, does not see healthcare reform as a means of addressing a serious political, economic and moral challenge. It is, of course, just one more battle in the eternal ideological and partisan warfare he believes in. His current advice to the GOP is the same as the advice he has given for a couple of decades now:
Keep fighting on health care. Fight for the next few days in the Senate. Fight the conference report in January in the Senate and the House. Start trying to repeal the worst parts of the bill the moment it passes, if it does... The criticism of the Obama administration needs to be broad-based, because you never know just what issue is going to take off, and because the opposition needs to knit together all those who object to the Europeanization of America... So: Fight on with respect to health care. Fight on other fronts. And recruit new fighters. In a word: Fight.
Note that the issues as such are largely opportunistic - "you never know just what issue is going to take off".
Just keep punching out the outrages, constantly wage scorched earth resistance to any reform of any major problem, find any issue, any appointee, any opening to wage a campaign of brutal oppositionism ... and for what? To win against liberals. That's the goal. Yes, that's all they have. And that will make them happy enough. It's a game after all, isn't it?
Healthcare reform? The GOP has no way to insure the uninsured and is now pledging to keep Medicare untouched to foil any cost controls. Climate change? Again, there's no valid alternative, no brave championing of a carbon tax as a better alternative to cap and trade, just an incessant attempt to throw mud and scandal at any of those concerned with global warming. The deficit? If it grows, attack Obama. If it shrinks a little and joblessness rises, attack Obama. There's no real coherence here, just bellicosity, limitless partisanship, profound cynicism and fanaticism.
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