Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Republicans Don't Have A Chance

Bill Clinton is offering Mr. Obama some advice on health care reform.

Former President Bill Clinton says those in his party should ignore any grief from Republicans on health care reform, because the GOP is just waiting for Democrats to "mess up."

Clinton told Esquire magazine that lawmakers should put together the best health care measure for President Barack Obama, even if it must be fixed later.

"All we have to worry about is getting things done and doing them as well as we can," Clinton said. "Don't even worry about the Republicans. Let them figure out what they're going to stand for. 'Cause as long as they're sitting around waiting for us to mess up, they don't have a chance."
I wonder if Mr. Clinton has forgotten the 1994 mid-term elections that gave Republicans control of the House.
Skocpol undertook the study just after President Clinton's failed health care reform effort of 1993–94, when Clinton and his fellow Democrats fared poorly in the 1994 elections and conservative Republicans won many seats in Congress. Taking advantage of a timely opportunity, Skocpol decided to examine this very specific case: how the 1993–94 conflicts over health care reform contributed to the larger political turnaround.

Skocpol's work resulted in Boomerang: Health Care Reform and the Turn against Government, published by W. W. Norton & Co. in 1996. Using the failed health care reform effort of 1993–94 as a case study, Skocpol gives an overview and an explanation of what happened — or failed to happen — during those policy debates about the role of the federal government in health care.
And what was the key to Clinton's failure?
Privileged middle-class Americans who already had some kind of health coverage began to fear that Clinton's Health Security plan might make their health care more costly and cumbersome. Skocpol says President Clinton assiduously avoided the tax-and-spend modalities of traditional New Deal liberalism — only to fall victim instead to the political pitfalls of substituting regulations for spending.
And the Obama Plan? Massive regulation AND massive spending. It is no wonder that people like this lady are up in arms.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Neil said...

Clinton is right.

Say what you want about him--he's a brilliant politician. When he's giving serious advice to his own party, you'd best listen intently.

The Republican leadership is doing exactly what Clinton says--"sitting around waiting for [the Democrats] to mess up". An independent conservative movement is tearing Obama's agenda apart at the moment, but soon they'll require a positive agenda in order to make any real political gains. Obama's health care rationing is intended to solve the very real problem of over-budgeted Medicare, after all. If people start to think that's the only way to prevent the government from defaulting, then they'll go along with it in the end.

Remember, too, that the 1994 mid-term results were driven both by Clinton's over-reach on health care, and Gingrich's "Contract with America", a positive statement of policy. If they think 2010 is going to be a cake-walk just because Obama screwed up, then they've been squinting funny at their poll numbers.

M. Simon said...

There is a positive Republican agenda:

1. Health Insurance Goes National
2. It is tied to the individual
3. Medical Savings accounts take over for the day to day medical costs and insurance takes care of catastrophe. And you can roll them over - so that a significant part of any medical cost is paid for by the consumer as the accounts build.

There are a few other points but that is the gist of it.

Bill Clinton is not paying attention. The above proposals have come up in town halls.

Clinton is not thinking like an Internet Politician. Palin is. She has cut herself off like Sherman and now must win battles without significant re-supply. She has to live off the land. Palin's "Death Panels" was mostly an Internet phenomenon until Obama took a hit from it. Did she release it to the media? Hell no. Facebook.

She gets it.


And with oil costs rising and no new drilling initiatives...


The Republican Party is in as much disarray as I have ever seen. They have lost there way. No matter. The next election 2010 will be a throw the bums out election.


What Clinton does not take into account that roughly 1/3 the electorate take no part in the system. Get them mad and they register to vote. Doesn't take much to swing an election. Generally.

Neil said...

As far as I can tell, the Republicans have been utterly ineffective at getting their message out. As usual. The broad perception is that they have offered no alternative. Perceptions can change quickly, but they've got to make their move soon. Like in the next couple of months.

In most states, the deadline to get petitions in to get someone on the ballot falls in October or November. Anybody who is going to run for Congress is already running now. These folks are going to need to start speaking in front of local groups within a couple of months, and they're going to need a set of easily-articulated principles they'll promise to uphold. That's one of the prerequisites for winning elections at the District level.

Voters know a disorganized cluster-fark when they see one. Right now the Republican leadership is still giving the impression that sending libertarian-leaning conservatives to Congress will be a complete waste of time. They're still giving the impression that the Republicans need to go, first.

M. Simon said...

I think I mentioned that the Republican Party was totally ineffective. But in an anti-incumbent election it doesn't matter.

I'm glad Palin cut herself loose from those idiots.

Neil said...

The problem I see is that the Tea Party isn't a political party, at least so far. The only lever they have to actually move Congress is by endorsing specific political candidates.

I don't see that this particularly benefits the Republican party in 2010, unless they put together a platform to attract those endorsements, and convince their candidates to run on it. I think Clinton is right, so far. We'll see how many of the Republican leadership decide to jump in front of the parade.

I do agree with you that Palin potentially has a lot of power here. A few words on her Facebook page "Candidate So-and-So in Illinois District 12 is speaking at the Rotary Club Pig n' Pancake Tuesday night" could make-or-break some elections. There's a certain amount of infrastructure required to wield that power, and I'll be interested to see if she's able (or willing) to build it.

M. Simon said...

The Tea Parties are ideal for a throw the bums out election.

Neil said...

Heh. We'll have to agree to disagree here. We'll find out soon enough which answer is correct.