January 30, 2010
REALCLEARPOLITICS: Obama’s Stunning Admission.
UPDATE: PETER SUDERMAN: Nevermind All Those Opposition Solutions; Obama’s Opposition Has No Solutions!
The second point, though, is that it’s more than a little irritating to see Obama speak so well of Ryan’s plan and say that it’s the sort of thing that deserves “serious discussion.” Problem is, throughout the health care debate, Obama didn’t want to have that discussion. He didn’t want to talk about any plans to significantly reduce entitlement spending, or severing the links between insurance and employment.
Indeed, not only did he make almost no effort to incorporate opposition ideas into his legislation, he wasn’t willing to recognize the existence of legitimate opposing ideas at all. Instead, he chose to caricature his opponents as having “no solutions.” That’s not true now. It wasn’t true then. But Obama’s approach to most policy and political debates has been to reiterate the notion that his way was not simply the best way, but the only way—or at least the only legitimate, acceptable, reasonable way. His conversation today with Rep. Ryan, I think, is a tacit admission that that’s just not the case.