Health Care and Iraq

The cute meme of the day seems to be that the health care reform debate is breaking down along the same lines as the Iraq debate. Which is to say that since, for example, Matt Yglesias was wrong about Iraq he’s also wrong about health care and we should listen to Howard Dean.

I think the theory that this is how the debate is lining up is just factually mistaken. Atrios opposed the war but says he doesn’t want to kill the bill. Barack Obama opposed the war, and he definitely doesn’t want to kill the bill. John McCain supported the war, and he definitely does want to kill the bill. Carl Levin was against the war and he supports the bill. A lot of the leading Netroots opponents of the health care bill, like Jane Hamsher, weren’t blogging back during the winter of 2002–2003 when this was being hashed out. Paul Krugman was against Iraq and supports the bill.


It’s true that views about the Iraq War line up with views about health care only if you exclude (a) all politicians, (b) all conservatives, and (c) the most prominent liberal pundit in the country. But that’s a mighty arbitrary way of looking at the universe.