KRISTOL: PARTY LIKE IT’S 1994…. Everyone no doubt remembers Bill Kristol’s now-infamous advice to congressional Republicans when then-President Bill Clinton pushed health care reform in 1993 and 1994. Kristol said the GOP should overlook the policy and the consequences for Americans, and just “kill” the initiative outright. To do otherwise would be to risk more Democratic gains, and put Republicans in a difficult position indefinitely.
With that in mind, it’s worth noting that Kristol is offering similar advice once again. Here’s the Weekly Standard editor this morning.
With Obamacare on the ropes, there will be a temptation for opponents to let up on their criticism, and to try to appear constructive, or at least responsible. There will be a tendency to want to let the Democrats’ plans sink of their own weight, to emphasize that the critics have been pushing sound reform ideas all along and suggest it’s not too late for a bipartisan compromise over the next couple of weeks or months.
My advice, for what it’s worth: Resist the temptation. This is no time to pull punches. Go for the kill. […]
Throw the kitchen sink at the legislation now on the table, drive a stake through its heart (I apologize for the mixed metaphors), and kill it.
This isn’t the identical message from ’93. Then, in a private memo, Kristol made no effort to hide his motivations — Republicans, for their own good, had to put the party’s interests above the country’s. The GOP had to stop the Democratic reform campaign because it was a Democratic reform campaign.
Today’s message, in a public post instead of a private memo, is at least framed in a less callous way. Kristol ostensibly believes the Democratic proposal(s) are wrong, and believes once the current reform efforts are destroyed, then the political world can rally behind a Republican-style reform package that protects insurance companies and protects the very wealthy from an additional tax burden.
I can hardly wait.
Kristol concluded, “We have plenty of time to work next year on sensible and targeted health reform in a bipartisan way.”
Spare me. Bill Kristol is suddenly concerned with “bipartisan” solutions to health care? For crying out loud, does Kristol actually expect people to take this seriously?