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The Republican Idea That Republicans Now Hate

#1 one...two...tree

one...two...tree

    carbon filter



Posted 18 January 2011 - 05:02 PM

This morning, Brian Beutler ran an item emphasizing a point I've published so many times, I suspect readers are sick of seeing it: the individual mandate in health care reform enjoyed broad, bipartisan support until the GOP reversed course in 2009. Brian notes that the mandate idea was "once a popular, if not consensus, policy framework on the right," abandoned by Republican after President Obama said he agreed with the Republican idea. Sticking up for the GOP is Philip Klein at the American Spectator, who makes the case that the "consensus" was "imaginary."

There's no doubting the fact that the Heritage Foundation supported the idea, as well as some Republicans -- Beutler cites John Chafee, Bob Dole, and Mitt Romney -- but that simply is not indicative of how "the right" broadly thought about health care. Chaffee was known as the ultimate RINO before passing the torch to his son. Dole was viewed by the right as a Washington insider who was too eager to compromise with Democrats, with the early years of the Clinton presidency as a possible exception. None of the Republicans running for president in 2008 included a mandate in their health care proposals -- even Mitt Romney, who defended state-based mandates, was wishy-washy about whether he supported one at the national level. Romney spent most of the 2008 campaign running away from his health care plan in Massachusetts. When he did defend his support for mandates, he was harshly rebuked by his opponents, as in this exchange with Fred Thompson.

For all the talk of the mandate being a consensus position, George W. Bush did not run on it in 2000 or 2004, nor did he push it as president. If this was so popular among the right, why wasn't there an effort to make a mandate law when the GOP controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress? The reality is that while you can find individual examples of Republicans or think tankers who once supported a mandate, it was nothing close to a popular, consensus position among conservatives.

Klein's post is not outrageous on its face, and some of the argument hinges on how one defines "the right." But I'd argue that Klein's version of recent history on the policy is incomplete. Whether "the right" was broadly supportive of the idea, the Republican Party threw its support behind the mandate decades ago.

Nixon embraced it in the 1970s, and George H.W. Bush supported the idea in the 1980s. When Dole endorsed the mandate in 1994, it was in keeping with the party's prevailing attitudes at the time. Romney embraced the mandate as governor and it was largely ignored during the '08 campaign. This didn't stop Romney from gaining plenty of conservative support, including an endorsement from the Weekly Standard.

But, Klein might argue, Nixon, Dole, H.W. Bush, and Romney (at least the previous version) aren't considered conservative by the standards of contemporary conservatism. Fair enough. But the mandate has also been embraced by the likes of John McCain, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Bob Bennett, Tommy Thompson, Lamar Alexander, Lindsey Graham, John Thune, Scott Brown, and Judd Gregg, among others. Indeed, several of them not only endorsed the policy, they literally co-sponsored legislation that included the mandate. Are they all RINOs?

During the fight over Obama's reform proposal, Grassley told Fox News, of all outlets, "I believe that there is a bipartisan consensus to have an individual mandate" -- and there was no pushback from party leaders. This isn't ancient history; it was a year and a half ago.

I realize it's inconvenient now -- the individual mandate has become the key argument against the Affordable Care Act on the right -- but the history of Republican support of the idea they now hate is incontrovertible.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/



  • 0

#2 Gary and Alla

Gary and Alla

    Я вижу тебя



Posted 18 January 2011 - 05:22 PM

As long as it is repealed or de-funded, I do not care who takes credit.
  • 0

VERMONT!  I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla


#3 Pooky

Pooky

    I'm in ur cookie jar, stealin' ones wiv chocolate chipz


  • Group: Members
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Country: England



Posted 18 January 2011 - 06:06 PM

Rather like Harry Reid and birthright citizenship.

Times change. And Obamacare is the wrong solution. Always was.
  • 0
Don't interrupt me when I'm talking to myself

2011-11-15.garfield.png

#4 The Postmaster

The Postmaster

    Misunderstood Member


  • Group: Closed
  • Joined: 07 Feb 2009

Posted 18 January 2011 - 06:26 PM

Blowing up one of your links, and another TPM canard bites the dust:

The Imaginary Consensus

Singling out a 2009 quote from Sen. Chuck Grassley in support of a mandate to purchase health insurance, Talking Point Memo's Brian Beutler tries to push the narrative that requiring the purchase of health insurance was "once a popular, if not consensus, policy framework on the right" -- only to become politically toxic when it came to opposing President Obama.

There's no doubting the fact that the Heritage Foundation supported the idea, as well as some Republicans -- Beutler cites John Chafee, Bob Dole, and Mitt Romney -- but that simply is not indicative of how "the right" broadly thought about health care. Chaffee was known as the ultimate RINO before passing the torch to his son. Dole was viewed by the right as a Washington insider who was too eager to compromise with Democrats, with the early years of the Clinton presidency as a possible exception. None of the Republicans running for president in 2008 included a mandate in their health care proposals -- even Mitt Romney, who defended state-based mandates, was wishy-washy about whether he supported one at the national level. Romney spent most of the 2008 campaign running away from his health care plan in Massachusetts. When he did defend his support for mandates, he was harshly rebuked by his opponents, as in this exchange with Fred Thompson.

For all the talk of the mandate being a consensus position, George W. Bush did not run on it in 2000 or 2004, nor did he push it as president. If this was so popular among the right, why wasn't there an effort to make a mandate law when the GOP controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress? The reality is that while you can find individual examples of Republicans or think tankers who once supported a mandate, it was nothing close to a popular, consensus position among conservatives.

There's no doubt that conservative opposition to the mandate became more passionate in 2009 -- and that Republicans like Sens. Orrin Hatch and Grassley moved away from from their prior positions. But that has more to do with the fact that the mandate migrated from being part of a debate dominated by health care policy wonks to an idea that had a realistic chance of actually becoming law, and thus part of our national conversation. I would remind readers that there's plenty of hypocrisy to go around on this issue, as Obama opposed the mandate during his own campaign.

http://spectator.org...inary-consensus


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#5 Pooky

Pooky

    I'm in ur cookie jar, stealin' ones wiv chocolate chipz


  • Group: Members
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Country: England



Posted 18 January 2011 - 06:28 PM

Blowing up one of your links, and another TPM canard bites the dust:

Never let the truth get in the way of a good bunfight ;)
  • 0
Don't interrupt me when I'm talking to myself

2011-11-15.garfield.png

#6 charles!

charles!

    I iz ruining your internetz!



Posted 18 January 2011 - 06:43 PM

Blowing up one of your links, and another TPM canard bites the dust:

you keep doing things like this and it's gonna be awfully quiet around here.
  • 0

* ~ * Charles * ~ *

For timeline see wifey's:

Nessa's Timeline

usaflag.gif Charles big_heart_beating.gifNessa
brazil2.gif

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.



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