Nancy Pelosi will say at the health care confab today that "inaction and incrementalism are simply unacceptable."

That's an amazing statement.

Now there are times when incrementalism in public policy might be unacceptable —for example, in a huge crisis where a massive intervention to the system is needed (arguably, the financial crisis of 2008), or when the ground has been laid for, and there is public support for, a major change (the Civil Rights Act of 1964). But the current health care system is not in immediate dire straits, nor is its radical overhaul desired by the public. The fact that Pelosi nonetheless rejects "incrementalism" exposes the top-down radicalism of her (and Obama's) approach to policy and politics. And it explains why the American political system—and the body politic—has rejected that approach.

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