Sunday, October 13, 2013

Greg Mankiw’s Misguided Example of the Lack of Political Comity

Greg Mankiw pens an admirable call for both parties to work together. Alas his example strikes me as one that completely ignores the history of the health care debate:
the vote on President Obama’s 2010 health care reform was entirely one-sided, so it is no surprise that the law is still the source of much rancor
As long as this op-ed was, could Mankiw have noted that Obama decided not to go for the progressive’s preferred approach – universal health care? Obama instead put forth a plan that John Gruber designed, which was the same plan that Governor Romney adopted in Massachuetts. In other words, he reached out to the other side and adopted what used to be the Republican alternative to universal health care. He also was willing to work with Republicans but these same Republicans acted just like the Eagles and the Rattlers in his summer camp parable. While calls for comity are admirable, we need to start the process with at least a shred of honesty.


Shag from Brookline said...

Mankiw is merely pushing the GOP/Tea Party's:


FuzzyFace said...

Given that he wasn't going to get GOP votes in either case, it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that Obama went for this act rather than single payer out of an intent to comity. More likely, he knew he couldn't get single payer through the Democratic House and Senate.

Adam_Smith said...

I agree with FuzzyFace -- Obama was not trying to be cooperative, he was just trying to get a medical insurance reform bill of any kind he could get and he was in a hurry to do it so he could check off a campaign promise as being fulfilled. I felt at the time that with two wars and the Great Recession to attend to that the ACA would be better left to another day and that is what I still believe.

Jeffrey Johnson said...

One aspect of the Eagles/Rattlers analogy seems suggestive of the facts: only one party is venomous.

Kidding aside, from even before Obama was inaugurated in 2099, the GOP has pushed the twin memes that
President Obama is divisive and won't compromise, and that he won't lead. These have been foregone conclusions for the GOP and they have done everything possible to pretend that these prophesies have been fulfilled.

Meanwhile I have observed the reality to be that the President has demonstrated leadership qualities, reached out to the other side, and sought compromise every step of the way. No leader ever has managed to lead a group that bares their fangs, hisses, and bites their ankles everytime he approaches them. No leader could lead a group that has pre-ordained that everything he likes, we hate, even if we used to like it, and that bends their will and every ounce of effort to sabotage, never having given the slightest benefit of the doubt or inch of leeway. No leader could lead a group that stabs him in the back at every opportunity, and slaps his hand away any time he offers it.

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