One of the remaining deans of Establishment D. C. journalism, David Broder, has an article out post-health care summit titled On Health Care, the Republicans Poll Advantage.
While the title itself would have been unthinkable less than a year ago, the commentary is more so:
Two hours before President Obama opened his health care summit, and two blocks away, a couple dozen reporters gathered at the invitation of The Christian Science Monitor for a breakfast at which the reform proposal's doom was foreshadowed.
The guests for the group interview were Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster whose firm advised John McCain in his presidential campaign and lists dozens of other congressional Republicans among its clients, and Newt Gingrich, who became speaker of the House largely by leading the fight in 1994 to kill the Clintons' effort at health reform.
By a similar margin, 54 percent to 42 percent, they support the Republican argument for starting over and focusing on smaller pieces of legislation embodying areas of bipartisan agreement, rather than merging the more comprehensive reform bills passed by the House and Senate and sending a measure to the president soon.
When David Broder talks, people listen. Few reporters have the contacts he has.
He does not use the word "doom" for the President's major domestic initiative lightly.
It just may be that ultimately, the pols are going to listen to the polls and that once again, sweeping healthcare reform aka socialized medicine (in corporatist fig leaf garb this time) is doomed and that no matter what the Democrats say now, incremental change will occur, giving both parties the proverbial seat at the table.
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