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January 20, 2010

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No doubt each Dem will interpret Brown's victory in his/her own way. Democrat Mort Zuckerman takes an extreme view, which I tend to agree with.

He's Done Everything Wrong

.........
This health-care plan is going to be a fiscal disaster for the country. Most of the country wanted to deal with costs, not expansion of coverage. This is going to raise costs dramatically.

In the campaign, he said he would change politics as usual. He did change them. It’s now worse than it was. I’ve now seen the kind of buying off of politicians that I’ve never seen before. It’s politically corrupt and it’s starting at the top. It’s revolting.

Five states got deals on health care—one of them was Harry Reid’s. It is disgusting, just disgusting. I’ve never seen anything like it. The unions just got them to drop the tax on Cadillac plans in the health-care bill. It was pure union politics. They just went along with it. It’s a bizarre form of political corruption. It’s bribery....

Increased coverage can be cost effective. Increased coverage, reduced costs and insurance reform are interrelated.

http://blogs.ngm.com/.a/6a00e00982269188330120a7a46406970b-popup

Democrats have done a poor job of is explaining and promoting the benefits of reform in the face of nebulous and inflammatory rhetoric.

The chart embedded by Brendan is indeed very helpful. Here's another helpful graph.

Brendan refers to the collective interpretation of the election. I wonder if people will adopt President Obama's interpretation:

Here's my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office. People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years.
In other words, Brown's election is George Bush's fault!

Brendan, of course you're right about the reduction in the rightward shift of the pivot. BUT: the pivot is now a Republican, not a Democrat (which increases the conservative bias) AND/OR the pivot is susceptible to deals (which increases the liberal bias if Obama and Democrats are smart about how to pay off Brown). Very interesting!

About Brown's policy commitments: where there's elections in the balance, somehow politicians always find a way to finesse moving away from campaign promises, no?

For example, given his support for RomneyCare in MA, and pretty substantial policy changes in health care reform, isn't there some package that Brown would approve of?

Even though Brown's victory was an...amalgam of...factors, including...poor economic conditions, the media is already portraying the outcome as a referendum on President Obama...

Brendan's "even though" implies that poor economic conditions should nt be regarded as a reflection on President Obama. First of all, Presidents are always blamed or credited for prevailing economic conditions. In this case, Obama championed an enormous stimulus bill, he took over of auto companies and banks, huge amounts of money was money thrown at financial institutions, the government is in the process of taking over the student loan business, and there have been other acts with economic implications. If Obama's extravagant steps have made the job situation worse instead of better, then it's appropriate to regard the failure of the economy as a failure of the President IMHO.

However, Brendan is closer to reality than the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/opinion/21thur1.html?ref=opinion This editorial comes close to self-parody. E.g., it complains that the President "spent too much time talking to reluctant Democrats and Republicans," on a health bill that was crafted with no input at all from Repubicans.

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