02 Feb 2010

A Woman’s Advice to Democrats

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Megan McArdle responds to Jonathan Chait’s reiteration of the democrats-all-in perspective on the health care bill.

Last week, Jonathan Chait responded to me, arguing that Democrats have already taken all the political hit they’re going to from passing health care, since each house voted for a bill. Of course, if Chait is right, then Democrats should probably do it–at least, if you think that democracy should put zero weight on the actual opinions of those slack-jawed rubes in the electorate. But this logic seems highly questionable to me.

Who are you more likely to leave: the spouse who makes a pass at another woman, and then thinks the better of it, or the spouse who goes through with it? Maybe you’ll leave them either way. But it does not follow that they are better off going through with it. I don’t think it is actually true that trying to pass a bill people hate, and then thinking the better of it because it turns out the electorate hates it, is no different from trying to pass a bill people hate, finding out that they really, really hate it, and then ignoring them and pushing it through anyway.

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