Bill Kristol’s role in the 1993 health care debate gives him some authority whe he talks about Republican strategy now. His advice for the party on health care:
Go for the kill … This is the week to highlight every problem, every terrible provision, in the Democratic bills: from taxes and spending to government control and rationing to federal funding for abortion and government-required death-with-dignity counseling sessions for the elderly. Throw the kitchen sink at the legislation now on the table, drive a stake through its heart (I apologize for the mixed metaphors), and kill it.
The punchline is Kristol’s afterthought of a final paragraph, the suggestion that “we have plenty of time to work next year on sensible and targeted health reform in a bipartisan way.” Republicans had, of course, plenty of time for bipartisan health reform from 2001 to 2009, but they punted, because they don’t believe that the country needs fundamental reform that covers everyone. Everyone knows this, which is probably why the White House is attacking Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) for making it explicit.