As anyone at TAP can tell you, I'm prone to long, angry rants against various figures and groups in 19th-century American history. Invariably, one of my targets is the original Progressive movement of the early 20th century. For all the good work they did to improve life for workers and their families, it's also true that they had a lot of misguided ideas about how American democracy should operate. One of them, as Bruce Ackerman approvingly notes in TheWashington Post, is the notion that a midterm election heralds the end of that Congress' democratic legitimacy:
I'm not sure that Republicans will have any success at this:
With a big new majority in the House, Republicans will have little trouble passing whatever they want – including a full repeal of the health care reform law. But Republicans don't have a majority in the Senate, so even modest changes to the law will require the help of centrist Democrats – or at least scared ones.
Manchin is the Republicans' top target – because he campaigned against part of the law, and because he'll have to face the voters again in 2012 if he wants to serve a full term.
Paul Krugmangets to the heart of the liberal objection to Simpson-Bowles:
It will take time to crunch the numbers here, but this proposal clearly represents a major transfer of income upward, from the middle class to a small minority of wealthy Americans. And what does any of this have to do with deficit reduction?