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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 11, 2010 / 26 Adar 5770

Dems Are Stuck With a Mess of Their Own Making

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There's a lively debate going on in the blogosphere and the press about whether Democrats would be better off passing or not passing a health care bill.

Some liberals claim that Democrats would be better off passing a bill, any bill, even if it's unpopular with the general electorate. The idea is to energize the Democratic base, currently demoralized by the prospects of failure. Current polls show Democrats far less enthusiastic and far less likely to vote — passing a law might change that.

Others, mostly conservatives but also some liberals speaking privately, figure that Democrats would be better off letting the issue drop. Back in January, Barack Obama said he would emphasize "jobs, jobs, jobs," currently a higher priority for voters than health care. By November, these folks hope voters will have forgotten about health care and may be impressed by Democratic economic policies.

I'm inclined to think both sides are wrong. They both assume that there exists some optimum course that will produce happy results. But sometimes in politics there is no course that leads to success. Disaster lies ahead whatever you do.

In this view, the Democrats' mistake was making government-directed health care a priority in the first place. They assumed that economic distress would make Americans more amenable to big government programs. They felt history calling: Harry Truman pushed for national health insurance in 1945, and Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare in 1965 — now it was time to go further.

Temptation was placed in their way in the form of big congressional majorities. Democrats had a 257-178 majority in the House after the 2008 election, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had shown her capacity to squeeze out a majority time and again.

Democrats came out of the 2008 election with 58 senators, got a 59th when Arlen Specter switched parties in April 2009 and got the 60th when Al Franken was sworn in in July. A filibuster-proof majority at last!

Letter from JWR publisher


But just after Franken was sworn in, polls started showing pluralities or majorities against the Democrats' health care proposals. Town hall meetings in August demonstrated that opponents were far more enthusiastic than supporters. Opinion has only grown more negative as Barack Obama has made one speech after another in support of (usually unspecified) Democratic proposals.

This made passing legislation very much harder. The decisions Democrats made on health care policy in early 2009 ruled out the possibility of significant Republican support. You can pass popular legislation on party-line votes, and you usually get some support from the other side, even if unsolicited. This was the case on Medicare in 1965, for example.

But it's hard to pass unpopular legislation on party-line votes. Take the example of the Troubled Asset Relief Program in fall 2008. Bailing out banks was obviously not going to be popular (the 2008 exit poll shows voters opposed by 56 percent to 39 percent). It was easy to imagine opponents running negative ads in the next campaign. TARP was passed, after one misfire in the House, by bipartisan coalitions of members of both parties with safe seats. Members of both parties with vulnerable seats, with only a few exceptions, were left to protect themselves by voting against it.

In fall 2009, Democrats could have pivoted on health care to craft a popular bill or a watered-down unpopular bill to be passed by a bipartisan safe-seat coalition. Instead, they plunged ahead and rammed through unpopular bills on party-line votes.

Pelosi got a 220-215 margin in the House in November after accepting an amendment by Rep. Bart Stupak that banned funding of abortions.

In the Senate in December, Majority Leader Harry Reid predictably had to pay a high price — the Cornhusker kickback and the Louisiana purchase — for the 59th and 60th votes. That's always the case when you need 60 out of 60.

Scott Brown's election in January in Massachusetts deprived Reid of his 60th vote. The only way forward for the Democrats is for the House to pass the Senate bill and then trust the Senate to fix it through the reconciliation process. Pelosi has had six weeks to get the votes for that and hasn't done so yet.

It's beginning to look like the goal of health care legislation was a bridge too far. There's a reason it's hard to pass unpopular legislation on party-line votes. It's not the Senate rules. It's called democracy.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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