They probably wouldn’t take ‘yes’ for an answer

THEY PROBABLY WOULDN’T TAKE ‘YES’ FOR AN ANSWER…. Paul Krugman had a very good appearance on MSNBC yesterday, and following on his NYT column, noted that conservative opponents of health care reform are “unappeasable.”

Describing the various objections from the right, Krugman explained, “It’s not actually about the end-of-life provisions. It’s not about this specific thing in the bill. They’re just going to grab onto anything and try to turn it into something awful…. It’s not about the substance and that means that you can’t actually satisfy the crazies by offering substantive concessions.”

What I found especially interesting, though, is what John Harwood added, “I gotta tell you what a White House official told me today: ‘Our problem right now is, if we tell some of the Republican opponents in the Senate, ‘You can have everything you want in the bill,’ they still won’t vote for it.'”

That’s almost certainly true. Republican lawmakers don’t support meaningful health care reform. That’s certainly their right, but it’s a point that’s often overlooked. If White House negotiators were to offer them a compromise today with no public option, no reimbursements for end-of-life counseling, and no taxes on the middle class, Republicans lawmakers will still oppose meaningful health care reform.

The moral of the story: there’s no real point in still more negotiations with conservative Republican lawmakers.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.