A strategy of blanket obstruction has, I think, worked quite well as a matter of political tactics for the Republican Party. So even though I join Faiz Shakir and Josh Kalven in finding it somewhat deplorable that Rep John Shinkus (R-IL) thinks that the Republican “chant for now until Election Day” should be “Just Say No!” on everything, I’m not sure he’s wrong:
Now of course that leaves aside the question of whether the country can really be governed on this basis. Sometimes to advance a progressive agenda, you might need to embrace some politically dicey ideas. Then you might hope that you could acquire some political cover from members of the opposite party. Of course they won’t just do that to be nice, so you make some substantive ideological concessions to the right. You propose, for example, a health care package that would raise taxes and extend coverage to the uninsured (woo liberals!) but also slow the rate of growth in Medicare, hoping that some substantial number of conservatives will find the latter attractive.
If instead conservatives choose to reject the deal, not put any other ideas forward, and instead characterize the Medicare idea as a secret plot to euthenize grandma then it seems to me the country will have a problem.