Obama Health Care = Bush Social Security
Patrick Ruffini has used considerably fewer than 140 characters to make an interesting point: “Obama Health Care = Bush Social Security.”
The analogy is a strong one.
You will recall that President George W. Bush, fresh off re-election in 2004 pledged to use his “political capital” to pass a major reform of the Social Security system that included a private option. Despite having a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, the deal fell apart owing to united opposition from the Democrats and division among the Republicans.
Fast forward four years and we seem to be having a re-run. Fresh off a historic election, President Obama pledged a massive reform of the health care system that included a public option. Despite having a Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress, the deal seems to be falling apart owing to united opposition from the Republicans and division among the Democrats.
Rick Moran argues that “Obamacare” is floundering because Obama is taking his leadership cues from Jimmy Carter.
This president apparently doesn’t know how to govern. He has handed responsibility for getting this bill passed to Pelosi and Reid while he stands on the sidelines kibitzing.
Bottom line: No one is in charge. Committee chairmen have their own ideas about what should be in the bill while Blue Dogs and liberals are rejecting their formulations and want to substitute massively.
Then again, Bush had a plan and allowed himself to be the target of public criticism and still failed miserably. It may simply be that massive reform efforts are ridiculously hard, especially once there’s an actual bill to shoot at. There may be mass agreement in theory that we need to Do Something about the problem but there’s much less consensus on What To Do about said problem. Republicans are mostly against the effort, both for ideological reasons and because killing Obamacare would seriously wound Obama politically. Democrats, meanwhile, are going to either be disappointed that the bill doesn’t go far enough or think it goes to far.