E.J. Dionne eggs on the Democrats to finish the job on health-care reform. He chides them:
But if Democrats are that intimidated by Republicans, they should just give up their majority. And this fear is politically shortsighted. Right now, every Democrat in the Senate has to defend a vote for the health-care bill anyway, with nothing to show for it — and this includes defending the Nebraska deal.
He analogizes health-care reform to a kitchen remodeling job where the choice is between finishing the job and leaving a mess with all the wires hanging down. Even for Dionne, this is poppycock. No one’s kitchen has been torn up, the old microwave is working fine, and the homeowners have decided that the old kitchen looks swell after all — especially after seeing the price tag and the hideous “new and improved” kitchen the rogue contractor has in mind. And what’s more, every time the homeowner/voter tells the contractor he hates the new design, he gets a condescending answer like, “You really don’t understand. After we put it in, you’ll love it.” See?
Well, Dionne exemplifies much of the thinking on the Left — including that of the president and Nancy Pelosi. They all persist in the belief that virtue is on their side (regardless of the bill’s indefensible details and despite polls and elections registering overwhelming public disapproval). They consider the masses to be an impediment to be ignored or misguided souls to be sold on the merits after the deal is rammed through. What the pundits won’t admit (and what Obama and Pelosi, I think, cynically accept) is that if the deal is finished, the voters will in a fit of rage fire everyone associated with a remodeling of one-sixth of the economy — one that raises taxes, places a host of new mandates and fines on small businesses, hacks Medicare without any real reform, and punches another hole in the budget, which already is hemorrhaging red ink.
Dionne, from the safe distance of his pundit’s perch, is free to dole out advice to lawmakers. Democratic lawmakers who remain on the brink of a wave election will, I suspect, have other ideas.