Ed Kilgore

Suzy Khimm's post at The Treatment about Howard Dean's latest remarks on health care reform strategy shows the perils of the obsession with the public option on both sides of the barricades.  After a fiery demand that progressives refuse to relent on the public option, the good Doctor allowed as how if we can't get that, he'd be fine with legislation that just regulated health insurance abuses.  Ironically enough, Dean seems to be embracing the same fallback position as his old adversary Joe Lieberman, who's said regulate-only legislation is all he'd be willing to support if a public option i

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On the advice of my physician, I do not watch or listen to Glenn Beck, preferring to follow his exploits via the serial bouts of hysteria he inspires in his fans. So it was news to me to learn that he spends a lot of time hawking the works of the late W.

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In the wake of the display of craziness by Rep. Joe Wilson during the president’s health care speech, and the rather notable reluctance of Republicans to criticize him on substantive (as opposed to protocol) grounds, a perennial question arises: Do these conservative eruptions of extremism actually tilt the national political debate to the Right?  This has long been a concern of progressives. Just this week Michelle Goldberg fretted: The marginalization of the left has its costs.

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Exceeding Expectations

I have been a bit outspoken in arguing that the vast expectations building up around the president’s health care reform speech tonight were unreasonable, and unnecessary. Congress is closer to enactment of legislation that it’s been all year, or at any time since 1994, and his job tonight was to “reboot” the debate by rebutting the lies that have been circulating about reform, and restating the basic case for action this year.  The president did that abundantly.

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Jon Chait has written a devastating indictment of the emptiness of much of what passes for "centrism" these days, particularly in the U.S.

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Labor Day Regression

When I was a child growing up in the textile company town of LaGrange, Georgia, during the 1960s, we began school each year on Labor Day.  That was the town fathers' way of expressing contempt for the labor movement, and their determination to keep LaGrange union-free.  The word "union" was rarely uttered other than in whispers, and there were tales of organizers being beaten and locked up during brief efforts to unionize the mills in the 1930s and 1940s.  As I grew older, I came to realize exactly how atavistic this deep hostility to the right of workers to organize really was by national sta

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Closed Vote

In all the debate over public opinion polls, town hall protests, and “bipartisanship” (or the lack thereof), not to mention the complex details of this or that plan, it is easy to forget that the key obstacle to enactment of health care reform remains the threat of a filibuster in the Senate.

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Closed Vote

In all the debate over public opinion polls, town hall protests, and “bipartisanship” (or the lack thereof), not to mention the complex details of this or that plan, it is easy to forget that the key obstacle to enactment of health care reform remains the threat of a filibuster in the Senate.

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Whatever else happens in the "endgame" of health care reform in Congress (and a lot obviously depends on the President's big speech next week), the drama over "the public option" within the Democratic Party is going to be a factor.  You can argue all day long, as many progressives already have, that this shouldn't be the make-or-break issue for anybody, but the fact remains that it is.  For many Democratic "centrists," the public option is the symbol of a "government takeover" of health care that plays into conservative attack lines, and a potential threat to the survival of private health ins

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It's becoming more obvious each day that the conservative assault on Barack Obama's legislative agenda, including his incrementalist efforts towards universal health coverage, isn’t much about the details. It is, instead, a counter-revolutionary campaign to revive 1980s-era middle-class resentments of particular beneficiaries of government social programs.

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