The Siren Song Of Bob Dole Is Heard Again

by Jonathan Chait | August 14, 2009

In 1993 and 1994, Bob Dole masterfully used the chimera of bipartisanship to defeat health care reform. While opposing President Clinton's reform plan, he co-sponsored his own alternative that he used to paint Clinton as too liberal. When Clinton's planfinally died, Dole renounced support for his own plan, so that nothing at all happened. Then Republicans took control of Congress and made no effort whatsoever to reform health care.

Now Dole's at it again! Here he is in today's Washington Post:

"Maybe we can't solve it all this year. If they can do half of it, it would be a miracle," Dole said. "And it would go down as a great example of bipartisanship and what a new president can do when he becomes a realist."

Right, let's kill health care reform again in vague hopes of getting half a loaf. Then let's see if that half materializes. I don't think I'd take that deal if I were Obama.

My favorite part of this is the Post's description of Dole: "Former Senate majority leader Robert J. Dole, a champion of bipartisan health-care reform." Now that's some credulous reporting.

--Jonathan Chait

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/the-siren-song-bob-dole-heard-again