Hope dies last, after common sense
If there had ever been any hope for real GOP support for President Obama's health care plan, it came in the form of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who has been negotiating behind the scenes for months with his good friend Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus. But was getting Grassley on board ever a realistic proposition? And what does his increasing alienation from the whole process say about the prospects for health reform? Here's my story for the upcoming issue of dead-tree TIME.
Simple answers to simple questions: No, there was never any realistic prospect of getting Chuck Grassley to support healthcare reform. Grassley is a Republican and, unlike Democrats, Republicans have party discipline. Scuttling health reform is the GOP's number one priority. It should have been clear from the outset that any plan that depended on the cooperation of Republicans was doomed.