Ross delves into my problem with abortion compromise.
In the broader sense, he's right that everyone seeks compromise to solve their pet political issues, of course. There's nothing wrong with that. I don't quite think the way he's framing it makes sense, though.
The problem with his analogy, I think, is that even people who are deeply committed to providing health care for everyone don't take that dictate to be as important as "don't murder, or let other people murder." As a matter of fact, preventing murder, it could be argued, is the number one responsibility of a civil society. Again, this is the problem with the rhetorical maximalism of the pro-life mainstream. It's not just agitation against abortion rights. Regarding abortion as plain and simple murder is a mainstream position within the pro-life cause. The phrase "holocaust of the unborn" is not some fringe affectation, and indeed would be pretty apt, if indeed abortion is murder. So, yes, I think incrementalism makes sense for health care reform in a way that doesn't make sense in preventing a holocaust. Unless, of course, you don't really think abortion is the same as murder. (The fact that so many who are pro-life are resistant to prosecuting the mother or doctor for murder suggests that may be the case.) But I imagine Ross doesn't see things that way.
Update: In a similar vein, I don't quite understand believing both a) abortion is murder and b) let's leave it up to the states. Would even the most ardent federalist not support a national ban on murder? We famously (and at great cost) declared one limit on federalism to be the right to traffic in human lives; slavery was simply too great an evil to be up to the will of individual states. Is widespread murder not a similarly great evil?