Thursday, October 1, 2009

Liberals: Still Not Losing 2

I'm comfortable describing what's happening with health care as a liberal victory in the making (assuming that it doesn't implode), but for a somewhat different perspective, see this post from Matt Yglesias. I don't necessarily agree with everything Matt says here, but he shows that you can be pleased that a bill will pass while still being disappointed in exactly what the bill looks like -- and without falling into the traps I talked about earlier.

Searching for analogies...I'd say that the likely bill will be a lot more like the original passage of Social Security (substantively important, very incomplete, relatively easy to build on later) than it is like the Eisenhower-era Civil Rights bill that Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson got through the Senate (basically symbolic, didn't do a whole lot more than show that it was possible to pass something). I can understand, as I said before, a lot of frustration at getting a lot less than liberals would consider ideal, but I think it's a big mistake to turn that frustration into a circular firing squad.

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