Monday, March 22, 2010

Whose Waterloo Is It?

President Obama and the Democratically-led Congress have just scored a historic legislative victory. And Republicans think they've got them right where they want them.

Not so fast, says one Republican strategist -- David Frum, former speech writer for George W. Bush, whose comments were highlighted on Huffington Post.

It is likely the Republicans who have met their Waterloo. By refusing to negotiate, the Republicans shut themselves out of having any input into the legislation at all. Like all health care legislation before it, the measure will provide popular with the public. And any idea of repealing it is a mirage, Frum says.

"No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the 'doughnut hole' and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

"We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat."

Frum points the finger at right-wing radio and TV hosts for stirring up hysteria among the base for their own financial gain.

"Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds," Frum wrote.

"...For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours."

Bet he won't be invited to many Lincoln Day dinners.

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