Look, I don't agree with some of the details of what Douthat is saying in his new op-ed, and I think he is downplaying the serious contradictions inherent in the Republicans position, contradictions that no intellectually honest person could hold. But politicians are not in the business of coherence, they are in the business of winning. So maybe you can only make so much hay of that complaint. At any rate, I feel that, since I am normally critical of Douthat, I should be willing to praise him when he deserves it, and this is one of those times. It is well worth reading.
I've heard it said that it might have been a mistake to give seniors Medicare back in the 60s, because those of us in favor of universal healthcare robbed our cause of (1) the most consistent voting block in the country, and (2) a voting block that has the most to gain from healthcare coverage provided by the government. Whatever the truth of that is, it certainly does seem that there is an effective anti-reform strategy involved in scaring seniors, and Douthat is right to point that out.