I have to give a friend of mine (Sam Greene) credit for this idea, but Obama’s rhetoric on health care is sounding more and more like Bush’s on the War in Iraq. This isn’t meant to be a partisan attack, just what seems to me to be a growing and glaring set of analogies between the two situations. Interested to hear how much I get slammed for the comparison.
Here are a few examples:
- Bush had an opening created by 9/11 that he used to push through an important item on his political agenda – overthrowing Saddam. Obama has an opening created by the financial crisis to push through an important item on his agenda – healthcare.
- Bush blamed the previous administration for failing to stop the terrorists who started the war on terror that he claimed necessitated an attack on Iraq. Obama blames the previous administration for creating the financial crisis and huge deficits that he claims necessitate health insurance reform.
- Bush built the case for war in Iraq on what was found to be a false premise: WMDs. Obama is building his case on what increasingly looks to be a false premise: that it will not increase the deficit (rejected by the CBO).
- Bush’s approach to Iraq was highly partisan and ideological (though it had bi-partisan support in the beginning). Obama’s approach to health insurance reform is similarly partisan and ideological (though it likely won’t have bipartisan support).
Whether or not the War in Iraq goes down in history as a success, it ruined Bush’s presidency. The question is whether the same will be true of Obama’s health care reform effort.