“The test of bipartisanship is not just how many Republican votes you have.”
– Rahm Emanuel talking about healthcare legislation & bipartisanship
I tend to agree in theory, but there are still a whole host of poison pills legislators can put into a bill that means they’d vote against something that included one or two of their own ideas. Still, no bill is perfect and politics has always been about the art of the possible, not the perfect.
“That is a test the president laid out, and he has said it repeatedly: This will be bipartisan. There will be ideas from both parties and individuals from both parties in the final product,” Emanuel said. “Whether Republicans decide to vote for things that they’ve promoted will be up to them. So one test of bipartisanship is, did you include ideas advocated by the other side.”
Listen, with something as contentious as health care, it’s unlikely that Obama will get a lot of Republican votes. If he does, great, but if the bill includes some Republican ideas, but is mostly a Democratic approach to universal health care, who will really fault him for that except Republicans?
Personally, I don’t think Republicans are doing themselves any favors by saying no to literally everything, and that applies even more when you’re talking about universal health care. Because, in all likelihood, the quality of care won’t change much and everybody will be covered. Because that’s what happened with Medicare and SCHIP. Do Republicans want to be on the other side of this issue yet again?
Long story short, if Obama extends a couple olive branches on this one, the Republicans better take them and claim some amount of ownership. Otherwise they’ll be hard pressed to argue anything other than deficits in 2012 and 2016.