While alleging that unforced errors have undermined support for President Obama's domestic agenda, Clive Crook asserts with regard to the health care reform bills in Congress that "the administration has not yet credibly accounted for the costs or said how it will meet them."
Come again? The CBO has scored both House and Senate bills as deficit-reducers. Obama has stressed cost control throughout the process, and the Democrats' fiscal responsibility in crafting this bill stands in dramatic contrast to Republicans' ramming through the deficit-financed Medicare drug coverage bill in 2003 (not to mention their reckless tax-cutting in war time).
Mr. Crook simply has not faced up to the effect on public opinion of the Republicans' relentless lying about the health care reform bills. And still, after witnessing Republicans' bad-faith stonewalling on both the stimulus and health care reform, he dreams that Obama might work with a coalition of Republicans and centrist Democrats on tax reform. If he thinks that Republicans would join with centrist Democrats to work with Obama on anything he is truly a brother from another planet where American politics is concerned.
Obama is "remoulding" America, as Mr. Crooks suggests he might if he'd only follow Mr. Crook's prescriptions. No one ever said it would be easy. His poll numbers will go down as Reagan's did until the economy unmistakably turns around and the effects of passing health care reform sink in. Then watch the battleship turn.
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