Democrats Are Starting To Gain A Sense Of Maturity And Wisdom

by Sheri Rivlin and Allan Rivlin on March 17, 2010

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Today, Dennis Kucinich announced that he was going to support the Health Care Bill, saying “I have to make a decision on the bill as it is, not on the bill as I would like to see it.” (via @markknoller).  This is a step in the right direction.
Democrats are starting to gain a sense of maturity and wisdom.  There was never any likelihood that the process of creating a Health Care Bill would be anything other than ugly.  Compromise (between Democrats and other Democrats in this case) yields ugly solutions.  This has been true of American Democracy since the time of Alexis de Tocqueville.  It would have been possible for the Bill to be a little less ugly if Democrats had played it a bit smarter, for example, had they realized six months or a year ago that there was not going to be a Public Option in the final Bill: in which case the Stupak Amendment may not have been necessary.
So yes the poll numbers are low for the Health Bill, and for Democrats in Congress.  After jubilantly celebrating electing Barack Obama, we have gone through a year where Republicans criticize the health reform effort, the President and Democrats at every turn.  And the most vocal Democrats criticize the health reform effort, the President and other Democrats at every turn.  Democrats need to grow up, fight for what they can realistically achieve, and sell the American public on what is right about the Bill they can get, not what’s wrong with it.

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