Cleaning out my e-mail box, I discovered and elegant and insightful column that Michael Barone pennedd during the health care debate. He reached a conclusion somewhat similar a notion I had wanted to blog on how the health-care debate was a lose-lose situation for the Democrats. If it passed (as it did), Democrats would suffer at the ballot box for their failure to listen to the American people. If they failed to press the unpopular legislation, they would depress their base.
And while the passage may have energized some rank-and-file liberal voters — as well as the various special interests who stand to gain from its passage, Barone contends the Democrats’
. . . mistake was making government-directed health care a priority in the first place. They assumed that economic distress would make Americans more amenable to big government programs. They felt history calling: Harry Truman called for national health insurance in 1945 and Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare in 1965; now it was time to go farther.
So powerful was their commitment to pushing this long-standing big-government dream that they ignored the popular mood. At the time, Barone thought Pelosi’s Democrats would fail to pass the Senate bill, calling “the goal of health care legislation was a bridge too far.”
But, in building that bridge, Democrats overextended themselves and revealed themselves to prefer the dreams of liberal ideologues to the concerns of their constituents.