From the piece that everyone's talking about
Then there are the president’s big strategic decisions. Of these, devoting the first year to healthcare is well known and remains a source of heated contention. Less understood is the collateral damage it caused to unrelated initiatives.
I understand why a new Democratic president would want to do health care during his first year: FDR proved that you can do the biggest of the Big Things you want to do during the honeymoon phase. The second year is another election year for Congress, which means that the congresscritters will be even more skittish than usual.
But health care, it turns out, is not one of those Big Things you can do right away. Democrats slip into the White House these days only when the Republicans totally screw up the economy. Which means that the economy is the only issue that the public will want the president to address.
We can reduce this to an axiom -- a warning against one of the classic blunders:
A Democratic president must not tackle health care during the first year.
File that axiom next to the other classic blunder-alarums: "Never get involved in a land war in Asia" and "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line." I don't see any Sicilians skulking around, but the Asia thing is really
good advice right now.