Ramesh Ponnuru on Clinton’s Health Care v. Bush’s Social Security Reform

Ramesh is supposed to be one of the few decent NRO writers but this column puts forth an alleged parallel that is just all wet:

Democrats have drawn several lessons from these parallels. The first is that there are political dividends in opposing big, complex presidential initiatives. Democrats once reviled Newt Gingrich, but now he is their role model. The second is that the way to defeat a president’s reforms is to deny the existence of the problems those reforms are designed to address. ClintonCare was supposed to solve a “health-care crisis,” and its undoing began when Republicans started saying that there was no such crisis: Most Americans liked their own health care just fine. President Bush has said that Social Security’s pending insolvency constitutes a “crisis”

I’ll be honest – I never quite understood what Mrs. Clinton was trying to do in 1993, but there was and still are some serious problems in how the U.S. delivers health care. And we Democrats are willing to have an honest debate over the issues facing Social Security as soon as the Bush Republicans decide not to raid the retirement benefits of the average American worker in order to bail out the General Fund deficit. Ramesh knows this, but I guess Rich Lowry will not permit Ramesh to write this.