Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Economist Gets It Wrong

The Economist issues its diagnosis of what's wrong with America's governing system and declares it is because Obama hasn't given enough ground to the Republicans.
It is not so much that America is ungovernable, as that Mr Obama has done a lousy job of winning over Republicans and independents to the causes he favours. If, instead of handing over health care to his party’s left wing, he had lived up to his promise to be a bipartisan president and courted conservatives by offering, say, reform of the tort system, he might have got health care through; by giving ground on nuclear power, he may now stand a chance of getting a climate bill.
Wrong!  Obama did offer to negotiate over tort reform and was rebuffed by the Republicans.  And what of the three months was given over to Finance Chair Sen. Max Baucus to come up with a bipartisan healthcare reform bill?  The strategy of the Republicans, which Sen. Grassley, minority leader of the committee, explicitly gave away, was to slow the process down and hope that lighten would strike and kill the bill.  Sure enough, lighten struck in Massachusetts, but didn't quite kill it.

But for the Economist to totally absolve the Republicans for any responsibility for the gridlock in Washington is laughable.  They are tacitly portrayed as this poor, ignored collection of principled conservatives.  When, in fact, they are a wrecking crew, bent on the destruction of the Obama presidency.

As Obama has learned, it is very hard to find common ground with people whose fondest wish is your utter failure.


4 comments:

A Whig said...

Agree wholeheartedly. I would say that the Democrats, the Senate Democrats in particular need to recognize that the Republicans are not trying to work with them in good faith. When they finally understand that, they can ditch the filibuster and get some things moving forward.

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Bill said...

As a former Democrat turned Independent because I became too leftwing for my party, I could not agree more that Dems need to start realizing Republicans definitely don't want to cooperate. But what bothers me about the Obama admin is that try to win over conservatives by stuff like tort reform. Tort reform is BAD. It helps companies that have done something wrong, and data don't back up the claims that tort suits are the reason for high prices, fewer doctors, etc. In fact, doctors are working 6% less than they did two years ago, something that suggests it's not lawsuits but that they don't need to work as hard to make money. We need some action.

A Whig said...

I agree on Tort reform, the only way I would go for Tort reform would be if they added criminal penalties for medical negligence, but that seems rather impossible, so its only fair that victims of medical foul-ups should have a way of being properly compensated for having their lives ruined (or in some cases, having the lives of loved ones taken away).