While there are a large number of liberals in the Democratic party who advocate promoting health care legislation without any GOP support, I think it is important to try and gain SOME Republican backing.
The urgency of this is shown by comparing Obama’s struggle with that of FDR on Social Security and LBJ on Medicare.
A study of both legislative battles shows that both presidents gained substantial Republican backing in the House and Senate on the two key legislative accomplishments of the last century regarding social and economic reform.
Of course, it is necessary to point out that the GOP support for FDR and Social Security came from “progressive” Republicans, including those I wrote about in my published book on the New Deal.
Also, the Republican support for Medicare under LBJ came from “liberal” and “moderate” members of the party in the North who saw the virtues of the legislation.
The problem now is that there are hardly any “moderate” Republicans in the party in 2009, with the exception of the two women Maine senators, plus possibly a handful of others, but no indication of any in the US House.
So we are confronted with an intractable problem, and it may be necessary for Obama to charge ahead WITHOUT GOP support, to bring about a necessary move toward health care reform.
If that happens, it will not be the fault of Obama, but intractable Republicans who are putting party ahead of country!