Responsible Opposition

Reihan protests that I have distorted his position:

[This] is about crafting workable solutions to difficult problems. I do not believe that a weak mandate, a sharp increase in implicit marginal tax rates, and a regulation-driven strategy to addressing adverse selection as opposed to an incentive-driven strategy using state-based high-risk pools and, better still, well-designed public reinsurance will work. In fact, I believe that it will turn out very badly and that it will prove impossible to reverse.

In this context, opposition is a very responsible position to take, even if Republican legislators are far from flawless or blameless.

I have to assume that Andrew takes exception to many of the views, habits, and practices of his political allies in any particular dispute. My guess is that I'd be part of a very different coalition that is, a coalition that includes more self-described progressives than self-described conservatives on an issue like the reform of copyright or congestion pricing or any number of other issues. I'm very comfortable with that.

The fact that many people are powerfully invested in passing this reform, for political and financial reasons, doesn't strike me as reason enough for me as a writer and thinker and citizen to acquiesce. And the fact that there are people with political and financial interests on the other side doesn't mean that the basic problems with the Democratic reform model aren't very real.

My point was in response to his seeming resignation to politics as usual in the face of a huge and growing crisis. And while I would draw up my own ideal version of healthcare reform very different from Obama's, I'm not naive enough to believe it has a snowball's chance in hell of ever passing. At some point, you have to make a pragmatic choice of the actual options available. I think the current bill is it. I also think it can be worked on continually to improve it in the future. Hence my support.