The Case for Vaguness

Mark Schmitt makes the case against trying to force candidates to offer detailed health care plans. I feel like both sides of this argument have pretty persuasive points to make. Realistically, it seems to me that this has now gotten too tied-up in the details of the actual presidential campaign to view especially objectively; among the cognoescenti where you don't find Hillary Clinton supporters, "details are good" means "vote for John Edwards" while "details are bad" means "vote for Barack Obama" and even earnest wonky sorts tend, just like the voters, to actually be more emotionally invested in the personae than in their agendas.

It seems to me that comprehensive health care reform is very unlikely to happen in 2009-10 no matter who wins the election or what tactical approach they take to campaigning. My guess is that this means campaigning on a specific plan will lead to a more spectacular failure, in the strictly literal sense of a spectacle, but ultimately it won't make a big difference one way or the other. Perhaps I'll defend these assertions at some later date.