Peter Dreier: Lots of reporters and pundits-all of whom have good, employer-provided health insurance plans-now say that Obama invested too much capital getting the Affordable Care Act through Congress when he should have been concentrating on the economy.
John Peeler: Overall, Obama has been successful as the leader of Washington. Where he is failing is as the leader of the country. That’s a surprise, given his short political career, and his very impressive rhetorical skills.
Paul Hogarth: For years, House Democrats have joked that House Republicans are the “opposition” but the Senate is the “enemy” – and it’s easy to understand why.
Robert Illes: But thank you Madame Lincoln for the clarity of the political landscape, and the Democratic Party. This insane healthcare debate is when we knew the “60-vote majority” was useless.
Seth Hoy: The point is that the “federal government’s responsibility”—a government which Sens. McCain and Kyl are certainly a part of—to reform our broken immigration system is being thwarted by the same senators who complain that the government isn’t doing enough.
Marcy Winograd: Harman, and countless others, have sold their souls to the corporations for reelection. I refuse to accept a single penny from any of them. Let’s show the rest of the country how a progressive grassroots campaign can triumph over one of the richest politicians to end corruption.
Friday Feedback: Stop kvetching because in 13 or 14 months progressives haven’t gotten all they wanted. What you did get was numerous, immmediate reversals of Bush environmental policy, a pledge to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan in a discernable period of time, the biggest infusion of public works money since the federal highway system was built, and a complete makeover of our nation’s image into something more wholeseome and organic on the world stage.
Paul Hogarth: It’s natural for progressives to target conservative Democrats like Lincoln who are to blame, fielding primary challenges like they did to Joe Lieberman. But how the Party leadership berates, belittle, and insults these efforts will only make it worse – while a clear anti-incumbent mood is sweeping the nation that threatens to doom Blanche Lincoln anyway.
Ron Wolff: Democrats pushed health care reform, according to Will, because of liberals’ tendency to “lunge to maximize government growth.” Presumably, it was irrelevant that insurance companies were acting like bandits, taking policy-holders’ money and then withholding services when people got sick, and that millions of Americans were dying prematurely because they didn’t have access to quality medical care.
Anthony Samad: I fell out of love years ago with the Democratic Party because of the way they disrespect black folk. Blacks “default” to the Democratic Party and get little (or nothing) in return. The Democrats think African Americans don’t have a choice but to vote for them, and they don’t have to work to keep their vote. And blacks often give their vote away before most Democrats can do something to earn it, thus earning the title as the Democrat’s “doormat constituency.”
Tina Dupuy: Health care reform is a far cry from government taking over anything. In the town halls over the summer people were upset by the idea, so with some encouragement and coaching by interest groups they came out to make that known. As the saying goes, feelings are not facts and in the health care debate the latter beat the snot out of the former. In the end we’re a sick nation that pays more than any other country for health care and we still rate low in quality of care. The bill that passed is an improvement not a cure-all and certainly not enough to trigger the end of the world or even cause an unpronounceable Icelandic volcano to erupt.
Paul Loeb: It’s been a frustrating time since November 2008, but our challenge is to spend less time bemoaning our disappointments and more energy engaging with ordinary citizens the way so many of us did a year and a half ago. If we give people enough ways to act on our present crises, we never know how history might turn.
Paul Hogarth: With Congress having finally passed health care reform, pundits are saying President Obama has gotten his “second wind” – and the conventional wisdom is being revisited. Could it be the 2010 midterms will be a good election for Democrats, and Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts was just their low point?