A lot of people are saying government is broken. Theyíre mainly saying it because the Democratic health care bill isnít going to pass in a form that gives most Democrats what they wanted. The argument, in its general form, goes like this: There is this huge problem! My teamís favored solution to the problem is politically infeasible. So, politics is broken! When you put it like that, itís evidently a pretty silly argument.
To get a better grip on the debate behind the debate I think you need to understand that big entitlement politics is about enacting policy that generates a kind of lock-in effect for a new power-shifting political equilibrium. Savvy political operators know that big entitlements, once established, create their own political demand. Thatís why, for example, it was so important for the left to kill Social Security reform.