Cantor on Healthcare

| Fri Sep. 25, 2009 1:53 PM EDT

Politico's Glenn Thrush talks to Republican congressman Eric Cantor about the lack of a GOP healthcare plan 100 days after they promised to provide one:

In my sit down with Cantor earlier this week, he pointed to a more nuanced approach — offering a "pretext" rather than a proposal — eschewing the kind of sweeping, vague alternative that earned the party such ridicule when they rolled out their alternative budget in March.

I think Cantor needs to look up "pretext" in the dictionary before he uses it again.  It's actually completely appropriate in this case, but probably not in the way he was hoping to get across.

Amusing cheap shops aside, Cantor's problem is obvious: He can't provide a full-scale Republican plan because it's simply not possible to provide universal coverage without the government taking a big role in things.  So he's stuck.  Ditto for things like climate change, which for some reason I was reminded about by this post from libertarian Matt Welch.  I mean, suppose you accepted that climate change was both real and catastrophic.  What options would you have if you insisted on sticking solely to free market principles?  Beats me.  Hell, it's hard enough to address even if you don't.  But that's where we are these days: an awful lot of our most pressing problems simply can't be solved unless you accept that the government has to be involved.  So conservatives are stuck.

Unless they can offer up a pretext, of course.