Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Obama's rival for the Oval Office last year, said passing health care reform would be "good for America," but cautioned that the president needs to reach out more to Republicans in order to reach such a compromise.Note that the key phrase is not in quotation marks, but is a paraphrase. Nevertheless, insistence that the left needs to "reach out" more to the right has been a consistent theme of this year's political theater, and one that has become more and more grating to me.
This has been the only real constant of the debate all year. President Obama showed his willingness to compromise by dropping single-payer as a possibility at the outset. He proceeded to signal possible concessions on a public option, a co-op plan, triggers, medical malpractice, reimbursement rates, eligibility rates. Last night, the president literally borrowed from the McCain/Palin platform in presenting new ideas.Once they understand how it would work, most Americans say they want single payer... but that was off the table from the start. Now, the most sensible republican out there is "disappointed" Obama didn't take the public option off the table too. And McCain thinks the dems need to "reach out." Sure.
And then there's the other side -- the one whining incessantly for weeks about killing reform and replacing it with a "bipartisan" approach. After six months of debate, can anyone name a single concession Republicans have been willing to make on reform? Literally, one?
I say we take off, and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.