International Socialism is happy about the passage of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Erik Paulsen, dull ditz, is uncool--and he never surprises. (You're never completely sure he's not a simulation.)
Rep. Paulsen carped from the sidelines during the shaping of the legislation--and he's incredibly bitter about the loss. Paulsen--emerging from a political tradition unapologetically unconcerned for the uninsured--has published the requisite carping blogpost in which he claims the Act's impact on jobs is already known. Paulsen's implicit claim to economic omniscience should require explanation.
During the lengthy debate on health care, the GOP settled upon a plebiscitary argument: Decency required Democrats to back down, given the bill's unfavorable polling numbers. That Republican leaders would make such a tawdry argument their core position speaks eloquently of their Palinesque oneness with bubba.
Paulsen doesn't much enjoy looking stupid, when he doesn't think he has to, whatever the stance's populist benefit. (While 'fitting the district' is tautological, Paulsen knows he should emit a certain aloofness, when possible, toward Michele Bachmann, to remain CD3's eternal virgin.) It's not as if Erik Paulsen would ask a Republican president to withdraw a proposal that polled unfavorably.
On his blog's front page, Paulsen also has a retrospectively funny post on the health care summit. The spinmeisters had it that the event came off, counterintuitively, as a Republican victory. In combination with the paroxysms set off by the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, the Act's passage constitutes a whale of a CW-overturning.
Republican statements at the HCS were generally predicated on their 'inevitable' success in preventing the Senate bill's passage by the House. Lamar Alexander put forward the sugary Daddy Party position succinctly: 'This is a car that can't be recalled and fixed and ... we ought to start over.' Conservatives--playing 'indulgent patriarch'--magnanimously suggested the debate start anew, from the beginning, given the 'impossibility' of passing the Senate bill against lockstep GOP opposition.
Had Democrats taken Alexander and Paulsen at their word--and backed down--reform opponents would have won. Alexander and Paulsen proved poor prognosticators: Democrats were able to enact the legislation without any Republican help--and despite some sanctimonious pests in our own ranks.