Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Jay-Z, 43.

Good stuff? Sure:

1. Dan Drezner translates a NYT article.

2. How the states are trying to undermine the ACA, and the likely consequences, by Greg Anrig.

3. Josh Barro on the GOP fiscal cliff offer.

4. I think Nate Cohn is probably correct that Terry McAuliffe is extremely vulnerable to a primary challenge, and generally not much of a candidate.

5. And how Barack Obama would find savings in Medicare, detailed by Sarah Kliff.


  1. Cohn's article made some good points and I certainly agree with the gist of it. But he said "Perriello's narrow defeat is considered one of the most impressive" performances of 2010. A blogger I know did a PVI+incumbency analysis to check this, and Perriello didn't come out as particularly impressive. Perhaps if you only looked at freshmen or otherwise factored in length of tenure, and threw in some big votes a la Masket/Greene, he'd have a higher ranking, but not based purely on how red his district was. Consider, say, Bobby Bright's narrow defeat, which may have topped the list.

  2. McAuliffe was a weak candidate four years ago. He's been doing his homework and will easily shore up his base. Periello? Please. about two years too late.

    In terms of Northern Virginia weakness, the idea of Cooch will drive even more Republican into voting for other guy.

    McAullife/Northan/Herring isn't a bad ticket. I call tell you to Chopra is at his at last legs -- since he put out a call to old friends last week for help. I think the party has decided.

    (and yes, you can thank Tim Kaine for his continued idiocy. He is a gift that keeps giving)

  3. Well, in response to the Anrig article, good analysis and reporting without going into hysterics. With regard to liberals who have been going into bouts of hand-wringing over all this -- no whining. Yes, the conservatives are being a-holes. What did you expect? Yes, it was monumentally stupid to rest so much of the ACA machinery at the state level with expectation of cooperation. That isn't the first monumentally stupid idea to over come down the pike, and it won't be the last. I'm sure well-intentioned people thought it was a good approach at the time. As for it's political boneheadedness -- well, once again obviously the rock the Obama folks were under back in the 90s wasn't wired for cable.

    There is a very simple way to deal with these political issues around the ACA, and that is to succeed. That is get the exchanges built, get people enrolled, start paying out on claims, etc. No kvetching, no whimpering, no hand-wringing, for God's sake no simpering whines. Just get the thing done. This is as clear a test of modern liberalism as you can get. I know it's hard to boil any political stance down to aphorisms, but liberalism certainly stands for using the government to help people with serious life issues. Okey dokey, let's do it then. Let's use government to help people get health insurance. If we can't do that, then we should go home and hide under the bed from that scary, scary Reagan ghost shaking his chains and bellowing "GOVERRRRRNNNMMMENNNT ISSSS THEEEE PRRRROBBBBLEM!!!"

    I live in Maryland, which is a state that is sure to set up an exchange and expand Medicaid. Say what you will about Martin O'Malley, but he'll want to get it done right. To people trying to enforce the ACA in places with governors like Rick Perry --- tough taffy, get it done. And no submissive urination the first time something breaks and the conservatives start running around with exaggerated horror stories. Liberals do it about waterboarding, conservatives will do it about broken ACA exchanges. They toughed it out over waterboards, if liberals can't tough it out over a confusing website then just shut up and go find a counselor who specializes in self-confidence training.

    The great test will come in 2016. Yes, yes, we put too much emphasis on Presidents, yada, yada, yada. But for the time being Health Care Reform is a Presidential level initiative, and the presidency is the crux of the policy surviving. It 2016 people in Maryland and California and New York and Illinois want to be able to say "See, it isn't just Mass, we can do it too." People in Texas and Alabama want to say "See, even in the face of hostility and indifference, the federal government has done its job and done it well."

    If that happens, if we have clear success stories to weigh against the inevitable failures (remember, no peeing!!!) the pressure on the recalcitrants will build rapidly as hospitals and doctors and patients and other interest groups want in. But first, no whining, and success.


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