Lessons Learned from Health Care: The Politics of Reform

Uploaded by atlanticphil on 25.05.2010

I always remember this article that a guy named Rick Pearlstein wrote for the Washington Post
published in September
called Crazy is a Pre-existing Condition
and what he talked about is that every time there's a progressive era in American
politics there's a very large minority
on the right, go back to the know-nothing party
in the eighteen forties, eighteen fifties
you know Glenn Beck is like the new Father Coughlin
from the New Deal. I think that's unfair to Father Coughlin.
Anyway the point being that
this is a real movement, its a minority
and of course we're seeing the greatest impact because of what it's doing in
the Republican party and
you know in terms of healthcare debate
what it did really was interesting, in August

any chance
of bipartisanship went out the window
'cause someone like Chuck Grassley who I think really was being
led down the primrose path as Jackie said
you know there was no way Republicans were going to in any way entertain any kind of
after that, and it forced what was a partisan situation that much more
partisan and I think we're going to continue to see
the incredible inability to be
bipartisan being driven by that more than anything else.
I think the tea party movement, well first of all, a story about August
I sort of started hearing that not all the meetings were like the ones you saw on
television and so I spent time on the phone with a lot of Democratic members
of congress
and I had a wonderful conversation with David Price, great congressman from North
Carolina who told me the story that he had a town meeting about a thousand people
it was mixed, some for, some against but it was a pretty civilized
town meeting and there's a reason you never saw that one on television, he
said a producer,
he wouldn't name the network, came up to him before the meeting and said I just
want you to know if your meeting doesn't blow up it's not going to get on
television and so
I think there was a lot of different stuff happening out there
and that there was, and this is not unusual in the media I mean I always thought the
extreme end of the new left got a lot more attention in the sixties than say
moderate parts of the anti-war

but I do think that's a fact and I see the tea party, I think
Richard's exactly right in terms of
this happens over and over again in our history
we do have
twenty to thirty percent of the country is quite conservative or
very conservative by
most estimates
people who more or less have Tea Party views are probably fifteen to twenty percent
of the country
I think all their influences, almost all their influences in the Republican
and I'm not sure, I haven't seen any evidence yet
that the Tea Party is a mass movement that extends
far beyond either the Republican party or conservatives who call
themselves Independents sometimes because they don't think the Republican
party is conservative enough and
I note that yesterday the voters in the great progressive state of
Arizona raised their sales tax a penny
because they wanted to fund government
earlier this year the state of Oregon passed a very progressive set of taxes
as an alternative
to cuts
the Democrats held the one partisan race yesterday and a Democrat
ran, he's a very conservative guy whose slogan was pro-life pro-guns,pro-jobs

the Republican ran the usual anti campaign
anti-Pelosi, anti-Obama and it didn't
do anything, the Democrat won by nine points so
I think that
it will push the Republican party to the right which is
unfortunate because a lot times in the past
moderates and progressive Republicans have played a role
in reform and I think it's much harder for that to happen now but I'm still not
convinced this is an enormous social movement that moves the whole
country .
Do you?
Fine with me.