According to an op-ed piece, “How To Win 2010,” by Matthew Yglesias, to avoid a disaster in the midterms, the White House needs to pick a battle it can afford to lose.
[Below is a synopsis of the article, but for the complete opinion, read the op-ed article instead of my interpretation. fnord]
Not on health-care reform! No, that one is too necessary now! Americans are suffering, businesses are suffering and can’t be competitive with those overseas. It is important to go beyond ‘status quo’ and get reform ‘on the books.’ It’s taken almost a century to get this far. However, through the compromising, watering down process we’ve learned victory means getting the votes necessary to pass a bill. And that means making the compromises necessary to get the votes to pass a bill. And that means jumping through whichever hoops Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, and anyone else want to jump through.
It’s becoming more and more clear that Timothy Noah was right to warn in mid-December that in exchange for their compromises on the public option, liberals will get nothing. Nothing, that is, except a universal health care bill. And that’s not nothing at all. But therein lies the problem — by threatening to kill it, moderates have consistently been able to water it down. The results have sapped the enthusiasm of Obama’s base, while also tying the president to the much-less-popular institution of Congress. To avoid a disaster in the midterms, the White House needs to reverse this trend: it needs to pick a battle it can afford to lose. Continue reading