Eugene Robinson (left) has outlined two of the most important lessons Democrats can take away from the health care debate: have the courage to take a stand and stop the futile search for bipartisanship. He expresses justified amazement at how long it took to learn these obvious truths:
If health-care reform finally staggers across the finish line, it will be because President Obama and congressional Democrats recognized -- at long last -- the truth that has been staring them in the face for more than a year: They'll be better off politically if they just try their best to do the right thing.
No matter what the Democrats attempt or how they go about it, Republicans are going to complain, obstruct and attack. That's the inescapable lesson from this whole exercise, and it's hard to fathom why it took so long to sink in...
As if to prove my point, some Republicans are already talking about trying to repeal the reform bill even though it hasn't been passed.
We're getting neither single-payer health care nor a public option. Basically, we're reforming and regulating privatized health care. If the bill is approved on Sunday, United Health Care and Blue Cross will still be in business on Monday. You wouldn't know all this from the Republicans' wild rhetoric:
...the Republicans portray even this fairly modest set of fixes -- cautious, incremental, fiscally responsible -- as socialism run rampant. They portray the health-reform package as a government "takeover," although the idea of any kind of limited, restricted, tightly constrained little government-run health plan has long been abandoned. They portray Democrats as a bunch of wild-eyed leftists for a bill that Richard Nixon would have signed.
The Democrats are finally discovering something important:
The poll numbers started to turn around when Democratic leaders took a stand. Having the courage of one's convictions: What a concept.