Why Obama must (hold his nose and) talk to GOP

Why Obama must (hold his nose and) talk to GOP

[Ed. note: Any concession on Obamacare “would be bad politics.” Enough said.]

I am on record advocating two seemingly incongruous positions. First, President Obama can’t capitulate to GOP demands to unwind the Affordable Care Act (read here). Second, his position against negotiating with Republicans is politically unsustainable (read here).

Let me unpack both conclusions.

Obama can’t cave: You can argue that Obamacare is bad for the country (disclosure: I’m ambivalent. While its goals are admirable, I doubt the government can implement such a complex law). You can criticize the president’s no-compromise posture in 2010 that resulted in a partisan law. And you certainly can charge the White House with political malpractice for failing to grow support for the measure over three years. But you can’t expect Obama to abandon his signature achievement, which is essentially what the Republicans are demanding.

First, it would be bad politics.

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