I'm sure he didn't come up with it, but I so resonate with the line of Bill Clinton this past week: "Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good." It goes right along with what I wrote earlier this week about compromise being far from a bad word the vast majority of the time.
Here Christians need to be especially careful. Most pop-Christianity confuses our clear belief in definite right and wrong with absolute right and wrong. I can think of little in the Bible that treats the vast majority of ethical decisions as a matter of absolutes, which by definition are exceptionless. Rather, the more normal expectation of the New Testament is that of universally valid moral expectation, with allowances for exceptional situations.
Jesus made exceptions to the sabbath rule and to purity rules--people trumped rules for him. Paul made exceptions to purity rules and, indeed, relegated vast portions of the Law to Jews alone, and only then when those portions did not conflict with the greater principle of the unity of the body of Christ. Were there ethics to which they did not make exceptions? Of course! But to get off on those issues (adultery, murder, etc) is to commit the fallacy of diversion. The vast majority of Christian ethical norms are universally valid with exceptions. Indeed, Paul treats the sabbath legislation in a relativistic fashion, as a matter of conscience (Rom. 14:5; Col. 2:16). In that case, he did not consider the sabbath rule even to be universally valid.
As I said earlier in the week, some is better than none almost all the time. Obviously the "want their perfect" liberal Democrats are unhappy, and the "do nothing" Republicans are unhappy. I don't know enough of the particulars of this health care bill to know what to think. But I am encouraged that it has been forged only by way of massive compromises. I am encouraged that the"government is your nanny" Democrats are unhappy. And I am encouraged that the "It's not my fault you live in a dumpster" Republicans are unhappy. And I am encouraged that Obama is not an idealist but a pragmatist.
We'll see, of course, but it seems to me that something is better than nothing. And this bill will apparently cut the deficit $130 billion over 10 years, with roughly 94% of eligible Americans covered. Christians can legitimately be upset about many potential elements of this equation--maybe it won't do what it says it will. Maybe it will lead to massive problems down the line, greater pain. Maybe it will reinforce various kinds of injustice. Maybe. I don't know.
But I don't see how we cannot legitimately hope that this bill will help a lot of people who currently struggle. We can't be disappointed if it actually turns out to do good for a lot of people, even though we can legitimately have significant doubts.