While Democrats debate whether health care reform should include a government-funded "public option" health insurer, most Republicans have been opposed to the Democrats' conception of reform from the get-go. Democrats are now pressuring Obama to abandon bi-partisanship all together and “go it alone.” But what would that mean for Republicans? Would they be “left out,” “left behind,” or, if reform were to fail, wind up as the "last party standing?" We host a Republican strategy session with Fred Barnes, the executive editor of the Weekly Standard, and Reihan Salam, a fellow at the New America Foundation, and author of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.
"Look, here's how politics works. The out-party succeeds when the in-party fails. The polls on the Republicans don't matter now; what matters is the polls on the Democrats. And they're in power, they have votes in Congress, they have the White House. If they overreach, or they fail, or both, then Republicans will triumph in the next election, whatever their numbers are right now in approval ratings by the public. It's the failure of the in-party that leads to the out-party winning."
—Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard, on why he's more interested in Democratic poll numbers than Republican ones