Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reading the aura


In his blog today, Paul Krugman says he thinks the "aura of inevitability" (if not the fact of it) seems to be settling on health care reform--that a psychological shift in the discourse now assumes that some kind of reform will actually happen.

And last night Newt Gingrich was on Fox News talking about health care reform---but not about defeating it this session. Instead he's now saying that "the number one campaign issue in 2010 and 2012 is going to be repeal the [health care reform] bill."

Shifting "aura," indeed.

I'm still an agnostic on whether health care reform (including a robust public option) will actually pass or not. And any opinion advanced by Gingrich (who, in twenty years, has only said one genuinely smart thing that I'm aware of) certainly isn't going to make me rethink that.

But it does seem striking that Gingrich sounds like he's suddenly retrenching in anticipation of something called "health care reform" passing this session. It's not so much the possibility that he might be right (i.e., the fact), but simply the idea that he'd publicly admit the possibility (i.e., the aura).

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