The headline and lead of a New York Times piece today:
Trick for Democrats Is Juggling Ideology and Pragmatism
By ADAM NAGOURNEY and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
WASHINGTON — Democrats have displayed a striking degree of pragmatism in seeking to push the health care bill through Congress, embracing or rejecting ideological considerations as needed to keep the legislation moving.
By “ideology,” the Times means policy ideas that are popular with voters and thatwould be more likely to reduce the costs of the healthcare system andcover more people(single-payer, a truly robust public plan). By “pragmatism,” they mean the things that are less likely to reduce costs, or the trade-offs Democratic leaders have made in an attempt to win conservative support (excluding coverage for abortion services, for example). The choice of such language is intended to send a political message about what policy ideas are wise, and which are not–based on ideology, not pragmatism.