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Out of People to Blame

Politico gives us a dose of refreshing honesty:

With their health care plans in a holding pattern — and no George W. Bush to kick around anymore — Democrats are casting about for somebody to blame.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn says that Republicans have “perfected ‘just say no.’” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said insurance companies are chalking up “immoral profits.”

But even if they won’t acknowledge it publicly, most Democrats in Congress know the truth: It’s their own colleagues who are slowing down progress in both the House and the Senate.

Well yes, and the president has been at this for some time. He and now the congressional Democrats love to rail at “special interests” (with whom they cut deals they eventually reneged on) or the Republicans who control nothing. But the nub of the problem is that a radical health-care-reform bill that knocks a hole in the budget a trillion or two dollars wide, imposes a government rationing board, sets up a public plan to chase private insurers from the market, imposes price controls on drugs, and does nothing on tort reform is not acceptable to anyone but the far Left of the Democratic party and the White House (but I repeat myself). Granted, the House got away with this sort of legislative extremism on cap-and-trade, but this is health care and it matters a lot. Moreover, unlike cap-and-trade, which may never see the light of day in the Senate, some sort of health-care bill is likely to get through in the end. And lo and behold, moderate and conservative Democrats want to get a bill they can stand behind — and not lose their seats over.

The way forward is not clear. But it seems that if the White House and House Democrats want to pass something, they’d do best to get off their left-leaning ledge and come up with legislation that is not anathema to a good chunk of their own party.