Washington Post reporter Perry Bacon, responding to a question about health care reform:
I think polling shows the point you are making: the public largely believes the Republicans are determined to oppose any bill. I think the Baucus process definitely helps make the case to the public that the Democrats tried to be bi-partisan. That said, I"m not sure voters really care that much about the process. The Republicans I meet at town halls and other things oppose so many of the core ideas of the bill that the process doesn't matter.
Good to see a reporter acknowledge that the public doesn't care as much about legislative process and politics as about the underlying policy and how it will affect their lives. That's a (rather obvious) point I've been making for ages.
But notice how Bacon comes to that conclusion: Republicans at town halls oppose the core ideas of health care reform, so whether the process is "bi-partisan" doesn't matter to them. As opposed to, for example, recognizing that that majority of the public badly wants real health care reform, so they don't care as much about whether the process is "bi-partisan."
That second one would seem to be the more relevant observation in the context of the health care debate.