What Republican’ts fear most

The new permanent majority.  Read it in full.

“Ain’t no one who can fix that stuff,” she sighed, slumping. That brief expression of fire and brimstone snuffed out in an instant. She was adamant that it was all hopeless. Fair enough. She didn’t look like someone who’d had an easy life. Health care had touched a nerve, so who knows what sad story or stories she had to tell on that front. But Republicans had convinced her that government was powerless to do anything about it, so … flag pins!

I had one last argument up my sleeve. Look, I get it, I told her, government hasn’t given us many reasons to be confident of late. I can certainly empathize. But can we make a deal? If Democrats push through universal health care in the next four years, will you vote for Barack Obama in 2012?

She looked initially uncomfortable at the thought, but after a pause and a brief internal struggle, she softened and said, “Yeah, I will.”

That, in a nutshell, is what Kristol and Ponnuru and Lowry and every conservative in this country fears the most.

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