What’s In It For the Left?

That’s the question one reader asked Steve Benen, and he treats it with a lot more gravity and respect than I think I would have been able to muster.

Here’s my thing: asking that question, and making it the criteria for whether or not to support the plan–or any legislation, for that matter–is completely insane.

Let’s ignore the fact that there are very real political advantages to be gained if progressives get behind this bill. The primary reason to support it is because 30 million people who currently lack health insurance will receive it. Even if there weren’t a built-in political advantage for the left, what would that matter? It’s good legislation, and it’s going to save lives. Anyone who thinks about this in terms of what side “wins” is missing the point. Even worse, they’re privileging political advantage over moral responsibility; which, funnily enough, was one of the things that we kept insisting made the other guys so bad during the Bush years.


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