The Wall Street Journal
by Peggy Noonan
Decemer 30, 2013
Home, night, fireplace crackling. A long, good day followed by quiet, peace and a chance to reflect. The past year was not the most satisfying politically, not the most exalted or inspiring. Republicans suffered an unforced error with the shutdown. The Democrats suffered for insisting ObamaCare be implemented on schedule, as planned, which immediately revealed . . . it hadn’t been planned, was in fact fatally flawed, a bad law. This in turn damaged progressivism itself, at least as it is currently practiced.
On the upside for both parties: Republicans proved to be right on the health-care law and have room now to be right on other things. Democrats could, if they choose, see their position this way: They’re taking a drubbing on ObamaCare but the very catastrophe of that program has highlighted the fact that they kind of won the argument on the need to do something big on health care. People aren’t saying, “Get rid of ObamaCare and then do nothing,” they’re saying, “Repeal it and replace it with . . . something!”
Democrats are so concussed they’ve barely noticed that people do want health-care help, and it will probably have to be national in scope. Looking at it this way, Democrats have won a 30-year argument. They should wake up, get out from under the albatross of ObamaCare, and start trying to create something that will work. With Republicans, who now have new credibility on the issue.