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David Frum on MSNBC:

   Those of us who said there was a deal to be done, that there are a lot of parts of this bill that look familiar, that look like Mitt Romney’s plan, that look like plans Republicans proposed in 1993 and 1994, they look like things that were drafted at the Heritage foundation in 1990 and 1991, we can work with this, there are things we don’t like, [but] President Obama will pay a lot maybe for 20 or 30 Republican votes, let’s deal — that was shut down, we went the radical way, looking for Waterloo, and it looks like we arrived at Waterloo.

   …Some of the Republican leadership like Jim DeMint, I think did play a very hard-line role. Some of our leaders were trapped. They were trapped by voices in the media that revved the Republican base into a frenzy that made dealing impossible. I mean, you can’t negotiate with Adolf Hitler, and if the President is Adolf Hitler, then obviously you can’t negotiate with him. So some of the blame has has got to go to those who said, who got the psychology of the party to a point where a lot of good people, reasonable people were trapped.

   …We are encouraging a mood of radicalism in the party that is not just uncivil, that’s not the problem, the problem is it makes you stupid. It makes you make bad decisions, it leads you to think that President Obama with 53% of the vote is as beatable in 2009 as President Clinton with 42% of the vote in 1993, and that’s obviously not true.

 Frum makes the essential point that reform was inevitable and instead of going for the all or nothing path to derail it, the GOP should have negotiated their way to getting something good out of it. Now, in the search for Obama’s Waterloo, they have created their own because I’m not sure there is any other way to spin it other than Obama won this political battle, despite vigorous and unified GOP opposition. The GOP will get a lot of mileage running on their opposition to the bill in November, but Democrats may be able to make some hay out of passing it despite the opposition of the party of No.

Frum’s other point here is the one I think I really co-sign, namely that the GOP in encouraging a sort of ravening and unmitigated anger at the White House and casting Obama as a Marxist monster, has really limited its own options.  If Obama is a monster, then you have to oppose anything he does (even if it makes sense) and this is the trick bag I think republicans have gotten themselves into somewhat.  With the passage of healthcare reform, the President will now have imposed his socialist, Marxist, communist and evil will upon the country, destroying all our freedoms and the future of our children. How can you work with someone like that? But thats the view of him that the GOP encourages and enhances at every opportunity.  I don’t think it is serving the party’s interests well, nor more importantly, the interests of the American people. Lastly, his exit point is that politics is about getting things done, or it ought to be.  By going for and failing to get, the political win, the GOP have now suffered a permanent policy loss.


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