After repeatedly succumbing to the childish temptation to label healthcare reform "Obamacare", Michael Gerson lectures,
A party-line, Democratic transformation of American health care in this environment - in the midst of decisively losing a public argument - would smack of power-hungry radicalism, more the liberalism of Robespierre than Jefferson.Even ignoring Gerson's self-serving presumptions about a "public argument" inflamed by the deliberate lies of his friends and peers, it seems fair to ask: Is he truly that offended that the Democrats might act like Bush-era Republicans?
Back when Bush was in office, Gerson would surely have been telling us that ignoring public sentiments and Democratic opposition while forging ahead with a legislative or war agenda represented "leadership". Filibusters or the threats thereof would likely have been deemed obstructionist. But as they say, now that his ox may be getting gored....
You know what else? Sometimes, forging ahead with your agenda despite the obstacles actually is leadership. It's fine for Gerson to simultaneously smirk that the failure to pass healthcare reform and its passage would both represent failures by Obama - after all, that's what his party memo tells him to say. But enough of this world of make-believe with death panels, the end of Medicare, and everything Obama does or doesn't do pre-defined as failure.