The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent has performed a miracle. He managed to track down a copy of the 1993 memo written by Bill Kristol urging GOP obstruction of Clinton’s proposed health care reform. This is a must-read for those on both sides of the aisle:
Sargent’s take on the memo and its relevance to the current moment is quite interesting:
Here’s what’s striking about this. Kristol repeatedly says defeating Clinton on health care would deal a death knell to something that at the time already appeared on its way towards extinction — the “welfare-state,” or the idea that government can improve the lives of the middle class. Kristol describes this idea as “firmly in retreat,” in the process of being “rolled back,” in need of “re-legitimizing.” At the time the defeat of health care was viewed as a potential final victory over liberalism.
Fifteen years later, of course, political conditions are dramatically different. Polls show the public broadly supports a far more activist role for government and backs Obama’s plans to expand the federal government’s role in a way not seen in decades. And it’s conservative ideas that are in retreat. Yet the GOP is pursuing roughly the same strategy today that it did then.