[President Obama went too far to the left by] Doing healthcare reform before the economy was improving. I've written this before. It signaled to middle-of-the-road voters that he was more interested in fulfilling some historical liberal wish list than in addressing their most immediate concern. May or may not be fair, but it's what happened. I said at a talk I gave in Charleston, WV in December 2008 that healthcare should wait until the economy was better, like year three.Well, the economy may be limping but it has improved since Obama took office. It's neither clear that the Obama Administration could have obtained a larger stimulus package or, had it done so, that the economy would be markedly improved over its present state.
I've said this before, but I guess it bears repeating: What are the odds that even the watered down, corporate friendly healthcare reform bill that the Dems passed would have passed, had Obama waited until year three? What are the odds that it would even get out of committee in the House of Representatives?
I've made this point before, also: Politicians should spend more time governing and less time worrying about reelection (or how much money they'll be able to make as lobbyists should they lose or retire), and more time governing. Had the Dems set aside their worries about whether corporations and their lobbyists were happy with the healthcare bill, or were opposed to a climate bill, or about right-wing fear mongering over immigration reform, we would have a better healthcare reform bill, and should have significantly better energy and immigration policy. You can argue that things still might not be better for the Dems coming into this election, but it's difficult to imagine that things would be worse. And in the longer term, things could have been better for the country.