November 30th, 2009
By Byron York, Washington Examiner
The Democratic National Committee is sending around links to a new article, “Obama’s Brilliant First Year,” by Jacob Weisberg, of Slate and Newsweek. Weisberg argues that if Barack Obama manages to pass a national health care bill by January 20, 2010, the first anniversary of his inauguration, he will have “accomplished more than any other postwar American president at a comparable point in his presidency.”
While Weisberg — who last made a splash by amplifying White House attacks on Fox News — gives Obama credit for other accomplishments, like the stimulus and putting America “on a new footing with the rest of the world,” he suggests that the success of Obama’s first year depends greatly on the passage of health care legislation. And while some advocates of the Democratic bills currently under consideration have tried to downplay the enormity of the changes the legislation would bring, Weisberg is entirely open about Obama’s goal of nationalizing health care, expanding government, and undermining the legacy of Ronald Reagan.
“We are so submerged in the details of this debate…that it’s easy to lose sight of the magnitude of the impending change,” Weisberg writes. “For the federal government to take responsibility for health coverage will be a transformation of the American social contract and the single biggest change in government’s role since the New Deal. If Obama governs for four or eight years and accomplishes nothing else, he may be judged the most consequential domestic president since LBJ. He will also undermine the view that Ronald Reagan permanently reversed a 50-year tide of American liberalism.”
Given those stakes, and given that the Pollster.com average of polls shows Americans oppose the current health care bills by a 48 percent to 39 percent margin, you can see why Democrats are pushing harder and harder, racing against time to pass national health care legislation before public support collapses completely. What sort of article could Weisberg and other Obama admirers write on January 20 if health care were to fail?