Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fighting for Transparency

Scott Brown probably makes a good strategic move in hammering his Democratic opponent over the lack of transparency for health-care negotiations:

“Martha Coakley needs to repudiate the decision by Capitol Hill powerbrokers to move the health care negotiations to backrooms behind closed doors,” said Brown. “Given the significant implications of the health care legislation on the lives of millions of Americans, the negotiations need to be readily accessible for any citizen who wants to see how Washington plans to transform one-sixth of our economy."

“Given that the winner of the special Senate election in Massachusetts will likely cast the decisive vote on the final version of the health care bill, it is critically important that voters know where their candidates stand on the issue of transparency,” added Brown. “I agree with candidate Obama: the negotiations should be televised on C-SPAN, and it is extremely disappointing Harry Reid has decided to move the debate behind closed doors. Now, I am calling on my opponent to make her position clear on this critical issue immediately.”

Those kinds of tactics on the part of Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration are sure to rub independents and moderates the wrong way. The level of panic the leadership is inspiring to pass this seems to be a sign of desperation, cynicism, fear, or some combination of the three. Obama swept into office with the promise of being a good-government, pro-transparency reformer, yet now even many "progressives" are disappointed with the way in which the administration has fallen short of this vision.

Instapundit is right to note that Brown is running as the "change candidate." His campaign ads often have an offbeat (at least compared to many political commercials), change-y feel. And his election would certainly change some of Washington's current power structure.

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