Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

How They Failed

with 7 comments

Following up on what Chait says: Lacking the numbers to block the bill, Republicans embraced a scorched-earth oppositional strategy organized around (1) throwing up endless procedural roadblocks and (2) controlling the day-to-day media narrative. But this strategy is now a triple failure: it has laid bare the actual institutional powerlessness of the party; it has led to a worse bill (from their perspective) than the one they might have had if they had compromised; and it has committed the GOP to a series of fantastic predictions about the Stalinist consequences of health care reform, none of which will come true and all of which will make them look ridiculous in retrospect.

It will be interesting to see if the GOP decides to double down on this strategy now that its ultimate goal—deny Obama any legislative accomplishments—has been undone. And I suspect they won’t be able to; while most party members will undoubtedly stick with the “party of no” strategy for ideological reasons, my guess is that cap and trade and immigration reform will likely see much more significant defections. It took him forever, but Obama won this one. The next time someone will want to deal.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 22, 2010 at 3:02 am

7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. “it has committed the GOP to a series of fantastic predictions about the Stalinist consequences of health care reform, none of which will come true and all of which will make them look ridiculous in retrospect”

    I dunno. No one (save lefties) seems to remember the nearly-identical rhetoric around Medicare from that debate, most famously from Reagan. In fact, conservatives literally quoted Reagan on Medicare’s ending of freedom in this debate (in a “RR said it best” vein) w/o the embarrassment they should have felt.

    Stephen Frug

    March 22, 2010 at 8:23 am

  2. Well, part of the claim is that we have to MAKE them look ridiculous. But I also think the mediascape has changed a bit — there’s a *lot* of video of Republicans ranting about socialism and killing grandma. That didn’t exist in the same way in the 1960s.

    gerrycanavan

    March 22, 2010 at 8:46 am

  3. McCain is on record saying they’re doubling down on obstructionism.
    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/88285-mccain-dont-expect-gop-cooperation-the-rest-of-this-year

    Sigh.

    Scott McD

    March 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm

  4. McCain’s in a pretty tough primary fight (and he’s extremely bitter about ’08 anyway). I’m much more interested in seeing how far Snowe and Collins are willing to go down this road before. Even Scott Brown, I think, is a decent candidate for continued compromise; he broke ranks with the GOP on his first major vote.

    gerrycanavan

    March 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm

  5. […] As noted in the comments, McCain has vowed obstruction today, obstruction tomorrow, obstruction […]

  6. […] A report from Fox News on shifting GOP strategy in the wake of health care reform endorses my theory that the era of monolithic GOP resistance may be […]

  7. […] The latest support for my theory that the GOP can’t hold its perma-No in the wake of Obama’s health care victory comes […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: