Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One More Time

"Everybody" I've been told, again and again, thought that health care reform was dead when Scott Brown won -- and so, everyone says now, the question is how Obama/Pelosi/whoever managed to revive it from death.  Well, I have just a small blog, so I'm fine with big cable net anchors and pundits not noticing that I didn't buy it..and actually, there were several of us who saw clearly.  However, as much as I'd like to say I was the first to call it, I wasn't.  I've quoted it several times, but he deserves the kudos he's been heaping on himself, so on bill-signing day, here's Jonathan Chait, January 20, 9:39 AM:
Here is what I think will happen. The shock and panic will play itself out over a few days. Then the Democrats will assess the situation and realize that letting health care die represents their worst possible option. And then they will make a deal to pass the Senate bill through the House. I am not positive this will happen, but it's my bet, because elected officials at the national level, dim though they can be, are usually shrewd enough to recognize their political self-interest.
I don't remember whether Andrew Sullivan has an award category for good prognostications, but you can't call it any better than that. 


  1. I don't remember whether Andrew Sullivan has an award category for good prognostications

    If he doesn't already, he should henceforth call it the Chait Award.

  2. Jonathan (Bernstein's) arguments sold me, and in the weeks after MA I googled pass and patch and various similar permutations and the links kept coming back to Bernstein and Chait.

    Others did not analyze the structural politics as completely, but the "pass the damn bill" drumbeat was often said in a similar spirit.

    Jonathan, you are being too modest. My impression was that you spelled out the logic of pass and patch a bit before Chait. Maybe Sullivan should call it the Bernstein Award.

    It was frustrating to be a Democrat and watch the bill flail for the lack of Democratic votes. I am proud the leadership came through in the end.

    They led.

  3. Anon 5:55:

    Thanks! And I'll claim credit for being the first to spell out the logic of why the "patch" part of it would be all ice cream, no spinach (but not the idea of pass & patch, of course; that, I believe, came from the Hill or the WH).

    Chait, however, was first on the logic of "pass the damn bill" AFAIK, and definitely before me, and better written.

  4. Chait's clarity goes way back: here he is on 9/2/09, right after the goons of August had done their worst:

    Yes, health care reform has lost some popularity. But Democrats are past the point of no return. They have no choice but to pass a bill, and the Republicans have done them a favor by showing their hand.



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