Health care reform hasn't even passed yet, and Republicans can't wait to base their election campaigns on repealing it. Big mistake, writes Dana Milbank, who raises the "ghost" of Alf Landon. The Republican candidate ran for the White House in 1936 by promising to repeal the "folly" of Social Security, and that didn't work out so well for him or the party.
"The health care legislation, if passed, won't be repealed, and the politics of repeal may not work out as well as Republicans expect," write Milbank in the Washington Post. The bill's initial changes will be "relatively modest," certainly not enough to "justify the Republicans' apocalyptic predictions." On the other hand, Democrats will be able to roll out ads reminding voters of some tangible benefits, notably "a ban on refusing coverage to children with preexisting conditions." The GOP would be wise to heed Alf's lesson.