3.20.2010

Eugene Robinson: Dems Finally Find Their Backbone

Eugene Robinson hit the nail on the proverbial head in his latest WaPo piece:

If health-care reform finally staggers across the finish line, it will be because President Obama and congressional Democrats recognized -- at long last -- the truth that has been staring them in the face for more than a year: They'll be better off politically if they just try their best to do the right thing.

No matter what the Democrats attempt or how they go about it, Republicans are going to complain, obstruct and attack. That's the inescapable lesson from this whole exercise, and it's hard to fathom why it took so long to sink in. The Democrats looked ridiculous, sitting around the campfire and singing "Kumbaya" while the opposition was out in the forest whittling spears and arrows.

As if to prove my point, some Republicans are already talking about trying to repeal the reform bill even though it hasn't been passed. This hardly seems in the spirit of bipartisanship -- which the GOP, with cynical but skillful rhetoric, has elevated into some kind of saintly virtue.

You have to admire the GOP's chutzpah. George W. Bush governed like a steamroller as he enacted his radical initiatives -- massive tax cuts, a huge shift in the balance between privacy and security, an unprecedented "big government" takeover of education policy, an expensive and unfunded Medicare prescription drug program.

But the moment the Republicans were out of power, they discovered a moral imperative for the majority party to do everything in a bipartisan fashion.

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