“The Quest for Bipartisanship Gone Stark Raving Mad”

by JC

— so says Paul Krugman as he describes Max Baucus’ drive to find some votes in the Senate Finance committee.

Krugman points to the fact that neighboring Senator Mike Enzi, R-WY, is the 8th most conservative member of the Senate:

Aside from the fact that Enzi, like Baucus, represents a mountainous state with very few people, it’s hard to see what possible common ground Baucus thinks he’ll find.

The central fact of the health care debate is that there is essentially no agreement on anything — values, philosophy, vision of how the world works — between the two sides. Progressives want universal coverage, and see an expanded government role as essential to getting there. Conservatives believe, in the face of all evidence, that free markets are the answer.

A fool’s errand if I ever did see one. And of course, Enzi is part of Baucus’ infamous Gang of Six.

But it points to the fundamental problem of “getting to yes,” in that there really is no point of compromise that can bridge the chasm between progressives and conservatives–even if you take single payer off the table so that the starting point for compromise is a public plan.

And the compromise position between a public plan and a private solution is not a coop framework. That would sort of be like saying that the result of mixing red with blue can be green, when everybody knows it is purple.

And I have a treat for you, if you click on the full article link below!


  1. Sidney

    I suggest people start writing Baucus on his personal email address at maxbaucus@earthlink.net. He gives it out all the time on the campaign trail in Montana. Write to him and tell us not to sell out ordinary Americans!!!!

  1. 1 Baucus & Fellow Dems on Super Committee Threaten us with “The Results Americans Deserve” « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] “allow us to continue shining bright in the world.” This is all so eerily similar to Baucus’ irrelevant call for bipartisanship in the health care fights two years ago, where he irrationally thought he could get 80 votes for his health care plan. Today’s […]

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