Pick your average member of the House of Representatives, one who has a lot of work to do but hasn't been deeply involved in crafting the massive health care makeover bill. Who knows more about what's in that bill -- Mr. Average Democrat, or Mr. Average Republican?I am happy that the GOP conference has really studied the Obama/Democratic plan. At least someone is reading the bill.
Bet on the Republican. For weeks now, GOP lawmakers have been studying the Democratic health care bill, and for months before that, they studied preliminary Democratic plans. Many rank-and-file Democrats, on the other hand, have been so ill-informed about what their leadership has been doing that it was only last week, when the party offered a five-hour class on the bill's contents, that some members began to grasp the details.
But knowing your enemies plan is only part of the battle. A good defense can only help you prevent a loss, the best the GOP can get by playing defense is the status quo. But the GOP has a real opportunity here, particuarly when you are looking at the whole sale defection of Blue Dog Democrats and some other more moderate Democrats from the Obamacare plan. They need to put forward another plan, another idea--an option for voters to compare.
Of course, there is almost no chance that a GOP plan will emerge from a committee in the House and it doesn't matter. What a GOP plan will do is force a comparison and if the GOP can put together a plan that Democrats have to talk about--then victory is in hand because Democrats are not talking about their plan.
So while I appreciate the good defense, what the GOP needs is a good offense too.