Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Partisan Bias?

I have been engaging in an ongoing debate with a couple of California lobbyists as to whether the health care proposal put forward by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will ever see the light of day. Governor Schwarzenegger has little support among legislative leaders from within his own party, so he is relying on Democrats to drive his plan. However, union leaders, who reflexively object to any Republican originated proposals, strongly oppose the plan and have even hired a former adviser of President Clinton to lead the opposition.

The rich irony here, as Aurelio Rojas points out, is that the governor's proposal in many respects resembles that recently put forward by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In fact, Mr. Schwarzenegger has relied on many of the same advisers as Ms. Clinton in formulating his plan.

All of this begs the question: if Democratic leaders in California trash Mr. Schwarzenegger's plan this year, will that spell trouble for Ms. Clinton's plan in 2008?

Probably not. Democrats have not for a long time been known for their intellectual consistency. In that regard, they bear some resemblance to Mitt Romney -- another candidate who as governor put forward a plan with many similarities to Ms. Clinton's, but who now (rightly) trashes her plan as "socialized medicine."


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