Among the Cynics

When it comes to health care reform, Obama doesn't believe reasonable people can disagree

It's funny—I don't feel like a fearmongering naysayer. And I haven't gotten a check from a health insurance lobbyist in ages. Actually, come to think of it, I've never gotten a check from the insurance lobby.

But Obama says that I am, along with (pick your poll) 30 to 60 percent of Americans who are not on board with massive government intervention in one of the biggest and fastest growing sectors of our economy. So it must be true.

I do have all the hallmarks of the cynic. "In the coming weeks, the cynics and the naysayers will continue to exploit fear and concerns for political gain," President Barack Obama wrote in The New York Times on Sunday, after gazing into the near future of the health care debate and seeing a dystopia full of "scare tactics." And it's true. I am "exploiting" "concerns." By expressing them. In print. In conversation. My 30 to 60 percent fearmongering brethren and I, cynics that we are, just keep having concerns.

We fearmongers and our "concerns" wield an unholy power over the political process. How else to explain what happened? A plan—noble in reason, infinite in faculties, in form admirable—was presented to the American people. The obvious genius of the plan failed to carry it through intact. As more details were revealed, more and more people got antsy about the whole endeavor. They mentioned their concerns to their congressmen, sometimes loudly. Congress got cold feet, and now everyone is sitting in time out, thinking about what they did wrong.

When Obama, the man of hope, tells this story, it sounds like a failure of the democratic process, corrupted by special interests who somehow forced all those people to holler at town meetings and forced me to write this article. Again, though, without the actual writing of checks. But someone of a non-cynical nature might equally see this story as a great success of participatory democracy, with representatives accountable to the people.

Obama saw the health care cynics coming a mile away. Back in the misty days of January 2007, he warned the Democratic National Committee about us. The "cynics," he predicted, would fight health care reform. "With such cynicism, government doesn't become a force of good, a means of giving people the opportunity to lead better lives; it just becomes an obstacle for people to get rid of. Too often, this cynicism makes us afraid to say what we believe. It makes us fearful. We don't trust the truth." He blended together his own health care plan, government as a force for good, and truth into a delicious rhetorical smoothie, and they ate it up.

But times have changed and on Saturday, in Grand Junction, Colorado, Obama indulged in a little psychologizing of the now-ascendant Other. He said he understood "why people are nervous" but then he clarified: "Whenever America has set about solving our toughest problems, there have been those who have sought to preserve the status quo. And these struggles have always boiled down to a contest between hope and fear." The people who are nervous are just timid, more susceptible than average to the "special interests" do things like "use their influence" to get their "political allies to scare the American people." And they are contagious, passing on the fear themselves.

Sometimes it seems that Obama ascribes opposition to his agenda to a simple failure of intelligence, or perhaps perception. "What the cynics fail to understand," said the brand spanking new president on inauguration day, "is that the ground has shifted beneath them—that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply."

Or perhaps people just have the facts wrong. If they weren't blinded by falsehood, surely they would hop right on board. On Thursday, this exchange between White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and ABC's Jake Tapper entertained the White House press corps for a couple of minutes. After squabbling over polls, (which might or might not show that more Americans disapprove of the president's handling of health care reform than approve, but that either way an awful lot of people didn't dig the plan) it finally got down to this:

TAPPER:  ...why are they not with the president?

GIBBS:  Look, I think part of it is some of these misconceptions.

Everyone needs someone to mischaracterize while engaging in political battle—remember all those Islamists who "hate our freedoms"? But the strangest thing about Obama's cynics-and-naysayers gambit is that it's no gambit at all. Every single time Obama implies (or says outright) that the people who disagree with him are confused, that they aren't listening properly to what he is saying, they they are in the thrall of liars, or that they are fearful or mean-spirited—he's doing it in good faith.

Obama's path is so clearly illuminated by the light of his own reason, he simply can't entertain another possible way of being, a different set of beliefs, held by an intelligent person who is well-informed and well-intentioned—or so his language about cynicism, fear, and lies strongly implies. His assumption of bad faith or idiocy on the part of his opponents is done, it seems, with a pure heart.

Katherine Mangu-Ward is a senior editor at Reason magazine.

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  • ||

    Not that this behavior is a surprise. The "bitter people clinging to guns and religion" speech only presaged his familiar rhetorical tactic.

  • ||

    Obama is such an arrogant fuck. He can never admit that anyone can ever have a good point or any opposition is anything but the straw man he pretends them to be.

  • ||

    That overran my snark quota for the month;}

    But seriously. He's isn't arrogant John, he is simply comfortable in his beliefs and assessments. Not unlike many of the regulars here at H-n-R. His positions are just different from most people here. Put a hardcore libertarian in the whitehouse(yes I know) and guess what? People are gonna disagree with what the president is doing. Or not doing, as it were.

  • Mike M.||

    Hammer, nail, right on the head. Obama is a hardcore ideologue, plain and simple.

    What makes him so dangerous is that he's also an ideologue who's more than willing to lie. When he said at the town hall meeting in New Hampshire the other week that he doesn't support the idea of a single payer plan, that was him at the absolute pinnacle of dishonesty.

  • ed||

    Watching from the cheap seats as the lefty retards get blindsided by unexpected doubters has been my summer joy. "Dog days" indeed! This is far better than being a Cubs fan (not that I'm one of those unfortunates). We just might win this thing!

  • ||

    "He's isn't arrogant John, he is simply comfortable in his beliefs and assessments. Not unlike many of the regulars here at H-n-R. His positions are just different from most people here."

    The guy spent his life at Columbia, Harvard and Hyde Park. I doubt he has known many people who don't buy into leftwing ideology. He really seems to have no understanding of the country or how people actually think.

  • ||

    He's isn't arrogant John, he is simply comfortable in his beliefs and assessments. Not unlike many of the regulars here at H-n-R.



    But seriously, many of the regulars here at H-n-R are arrogant. President Obama just does a much better job of pretending to listen and understand people's concerns while talking to them, and then later dismissing them in a crafty way as not informed. It's a excellent political skill, his ability to make everyone think that he secretly agrees with them. Politicians of all sorts have it; any successful libertarian politician would also need it.

    People want politicians to lie to them.

  • Xeones||

    He can never admit that anyone can ever have a good point or any opposition is anything but the straw man he pretends them to be.

    To be fair, that's typical of the state of political discourse in this day and age.

  • ed||

    He really seems to have no understanding of the country or how people actually think.

    How people think isn't important to Democrat statists, John. It's how most of the people think. The biggest gang reigns. Winner take all. That's politics in America.

  • Mike M.||

    By the way, it not surprisingly isn't getting much attention from so-called mainstream journalists in America, but there is increasing talk in Canada (not exactly a bastion of right wingism), of basically scrapping their current health care system that Obama loves so much and starting over.

    Just the other day, Canadian Medical Association president Dr. Anne Doig said, and I quote, "We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize." And keep in mind that Canada is just ten percent the size of the United States.

  • hmm||

    The people who are nervous are just timid, more susceptible than average to the "special interests" do things like "use their influence" to get their "political allies to scare the American people."



    That's me. Nervous and timid.

  • ||

    And keep in mind that Canada is just ten percent the size of the United States.

    That's why the libs switched to the French system as a model. Once that implodes, they'll switch to something else.

  • ed||

    The right is running short of intellectual ammunition (not that they've had much of it these past hundred years). The left scores their victories by default. The vocal right resorts to groping, half-coherent blatherings that any competent opponent could swat away like so many flies, yet the left is even more unprepared to squash their foes than the right! We're a nation adrift, bobbing up and down on the waves of history. It's a critical moment, yet few in positions of power are genuinely suited to the task. We're teetering on the brink...

  • ||

    Why can't Obama be an arrogant fuck AND "...comfortable in his beliefs and assessments."

  • ||

    House Democrats are probing the nation's largest insurance companies for lavish spending, demanding reams of compensation data and schedules of retreats and conferences.


    Letters sent to 52 insurance companies by Democratic leaders demand extensive documents for an examination of 'extensive compensation and other business practices in the health insurance industry." The letters set a deadline of Sept. 14 for the documents.


    Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, signed the three-page letter dated Monday.


    An industry source replied when asked for comment: "This is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded fishing expedition designed to silence health plans."


    By Sept. 4, the firms are supposed to supply detailed compensation data for board members and top executives, as well as a "table listing all conferences, retreats, or other events held outside company facilities from January 1, 2007, to the present that were paid for, reimbursed, or subsidized in whole or in part by your company."



    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26251.html#ixzz0Oez4zvfn


    The Democrats are just thugs. This reads like something Putin would do.

  • $||

    He's isn't arrogant John, he is simply comfortable in his beliefs and assessments.

    If that were so, he's could casually out-argue his opposition, or at least rationalize his positions in a way that might sell them to people who aren't already committed to different ones. He can't.

    He has no idea what or how anybody thinks, only who, in Chicago parlance, "sent" their ideas. The people who oppose a state medical monopsony are people he regards as beneath him, and beneath thinking, so their opposition is illegitimate, no matter what form it takes, and their ideas are of whatever nefarious second-hand provenance he finds rhetorically convenient.

    Also, he's dumb.

  • DADIODADDY||

    That's why the libs switched to the French system as a model. Once that implodes, they'll switch to something else....I GIVE YOU AUGUST 2003 Heat wave ~15k elderly dead in and around Paris due to a gumint run system and conge`....

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    Hey ed, Freaky Friday much?

  • Anonymous||

    He's not arrogant, he's just really stupid.

  • ed||

    Gunboat Diplomacy | August 19, 2009, 3:48pm | #

    Hey ed, Freaky Friday much?


    I don't even know what that means.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "I GIVE YOU AUGUST 2003 Heat wave ~15k elderly dead in and around Paris due to a gumint run system and conge`...."

    Laid out beautifully here:

    Right on time, on August 1, Météo-France warned of a canicule - a heatwave, one that most of France only learned about sitting in traffic jams in their Peugeots on the sweltering roads to the beach. By August 4, the temperature in parts of the country had reached 40° C (104° F), and more than 300 people - almost all of whom were elderly and alone - had died.

    The next day, a blanket of heat covered almost the entire country - and by August 7, Paris hospitals were collapsing in chaos under a flood of elderly victims who made their way to a hospital - only to find there were no beds, no staff, and - as throughout energy- and environmentally conscious France - no air conditioning. In some hospital rooms, even those filled with unattended elderly people, temperatures reached 120° F.

    On August 8 alone, more than 1,000 people died. In just four days, the death toll was staggering. The network of 39 hospitals and clinics serving the Franciliens - the residents of Paris and the surrounding Île-de-France - was put on alert and ordered to increase capacity, somehow.

    On August 10, Pelloux issued another warning and chastised his superiors. "At the level of the health ministry," he said, "absolutely nothing is happening. They venture to speak only of 'natural deaths.' " Health minister Mattei responded furiously from his vacation getaway, issuing a statement saying the death rate was "comparable to previous years, except in certain facilities and one or two départments in the Île-de-France."

    On August 12, some 2,200 people died.

    By now, the actual death toll was more than 10,000. Raffarin, at his villa in the south of France, held a casual press conference and denounced "partisan politics." Meanwhile, jammed funeral homes began turning bodies away and a rather alarming number of corpses began stacking up - because nobody was around to identify them. Still, coverage in the French press was muted, irregular, and not particularly alarming. The best coverage came from the Paris bureau of the Guardian.


    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MzgyYjNmOGRhODJiNjBlODAxMjFlNmNjZWE2N2VlNTk=

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "I don't even know what that means."

    Then I guess we're even.

  • Tomcat1066||

    He's not arrogant, he's just really stupid.

    He can't be both?

  • JB||

    Obama and his zombies: "2+2=5'

    Rational person: "No, it doesn't."

    Obama and his zombies: "You crazy, you evil, you whitey, you racist!!!11!!"

  • Rich||

    People want politicians to lie to them.

    I do not.

    Also, I recently heard discussion about requiring all pols to take a polygraph test. While this is clearly a non-starter (for several reasons), it's another indication of the growing, um, mood about pols.

  • ||

    Threadjack Alert:

    Just as welfare is often little more than using tax payers' money to buy Democrats votes, I have to wonder if the real interest in health care is not a perception by Democrats that if they can nationalize health care, health care workers will become ripe for unionization. Once healthcare workers are unionized, the Democrats will be able to demand their tithe from union dues creating a funding stream that could possibly make the Democrats invincible in future elections.

  • ||

    With such cynicism, government doesn't become a force of good, a means of giving people the opportunity to lead better

    And that pretty much sums up the leftist worldview. If you think government is a force for good, rather than at best a necessary evil, and at worst and unnecessary evil, you're gonna want to grow the government until it runs everythng.

  • Kevin||

    In my experience it's common for lefties to be completely convinced that their way isn't only the "right" way, but the "only" way. So in this sense Obama really is just another ivory-tower lib with great presentation.

    Think about that quote - "I don't understand how Nixon won. Nobody I know voted for him." That's the mentality we're dealing with here.

  • ||

    Patients Together has expressed concern over the length of time pregnant women have to wait to have their first appointment with a doctor at Dublin's maternity hospitals.

    In one instance, a woman who was three months pregnant was told she would have to wait until she was seven and a half months into her pregnancy to get a public appointment with an obstetrician.

    Hospitals are encouraging women to make an appointment as soon as they know they are pregnant because there is a peak in demand at the moment.

    AdvertisementPatients Together's Janette Byrne said the long waits are not acceptable and are a further indictment of how chronic the health service is.

    Ms Byrne said the issue is causing considerable distress for patients.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0819/health.html

    How could anyone object to socialized medicine?

  • Tony||


    Obama's path is so clearly illuminated by the light of his own reason, he simply can't entertain another possible way of being, a different set of beliefs, held by an intelligent person who is well-informed and well-intentioned



    When an intelligent, well-informed person shows up to the anti-reform party let me know.

  • B. Obama||

    "On August 12, some 2,200 people died."

    Yes but it was an ethnically diverse group of people so it was fair and just.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    STFU, Tony!

  • Warty||

    Shut the fuck up, Tony.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    Shunning is great fun!

  • ||

    By August 4, the temperature in parts of the country had reached 40° C (104° F)

    I wonder how much of that was waste heat from car arson.

  • ||

    What is funny is that Canada and the UK have pretty efficient governments. Just as efficient as the US or more efficient in some ways. We are not talking about Italy or Jamaica here. Yet, they can't run healthcare without it turning into a Orwellian nightmare. But, we are all supposed to buy that Obama can do it.

  • ||

    Screw the polygraph. Politicians need to be drug tested.

    Don't want to be tested? Don't become a politician.

  • ed||

    Gunboat Diplomacy | August 19, 2009, 3:55pm | #

    "I don't even know what that means."

    Then I guess we're even.


    We are? Even in what?

  • JohnD||

    Is Tony for real? He has got to be the dumbest f**k on the face of the earth.

  • Xeones||

    Is Tony for real?

    There's some debate about that.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "We are? Even in what?"

    In that I found what you posted to be devoid of meaning.

    "The right is running short of intellectual ammunition (not that they've had much of it these past hundred years). The left scores their victories by default. The vocal right resorts to groping, half-coherent blatherings that any competent opponent could swat away like so many flies, yet the left is even more unprepared to squash their foes than the right! We're a nation adrift, bobbing up and down on the waves of history. It's a critical moment, yet few in positions of power are genuinely suited to the task. We're teetering on the brink..."

    It reads like bad theater.

  • ToNy||

    I AM TONY!

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    I guess instead of the Freaky Friday reference I should have gone with, Ed Schultz much? Because he makes up shit all day long too.

    Always remember: If you have to lie to prove your position, you have failed to prove your position.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    I am Tony!

  • OO==D||

    I am Tonmy!

  • Randy Bottoms||

    I am Tony!

  • ||

    His positions are just different from most people here.

    This is not about two equal and opposite points of view. His position is that he wants to force his will on to me using the state as a cudgel. My position is that he can do whatever he wants with his own healthcare decisions but I have no interest in availing myself of what he is offering. The Constitution is on my side. Besides, isn't the left all about choice?

    Is cynic some sort of Obama code word for "principled debate from whitey that I can ignore"?

  • Xeones||

    Besides, isn't the left all about choice?

    Only if you choose correctly. What constitutes a "correct" choice will be decided by an enlightened and disinterested panel in Washington.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    In my experience it's common for lefties to be completely convinced that their way isn't only the "right" way, but the "only" way. So in this sense Obama really is just another ivory-tower lib with great presentation.



    Certainly no one on the right would ever think that way!

    Seriously, there's nothing you can say about left wing partisans that isn't almost always true about right wing partisans, and vice versa. The liberal coastal elites complain about the flyover country hicks, and the flyover country hicks complain about the liberal coastal elites.

    The issue isn't left or right; it's people who can't avoid stereotyping the opposition.

  • The Ghost of Nancy Reagan||

    "Besides, isn't the left all about choice?"

    Only if it results in killing something.

  • Paul||

    When an intelligent, well-informed person shows up to the anti-reform party let me know.

    Everyone is intelligent and well informed. Remember, it's a shadowy cabal of sinister insiders with a clever plan to overthrow reform.

  • Randy Bottoms||

    "The liberal coastal elites complain about the flyover country hicks, and the flyover country hicks complain about the liberal coastal elites."

    There is one differnce. The flyover hicks don't tell the coastal elites how they must live their lives.

    And that's a mighty big difference.

  • Warty||

    Oh bullshit, Horny Asses.

  • ||

    Irregardless of stereotyping, we have people in our government trying to ram an unconstitutional, expensive, destructive and unwelcome policy down our throats. If calling names, screaming and waving guns around provides the correct end result of getting them to leave me to my own devices, I'm all for it.

  • ||

    Tacos,

    The flyover coutnry hicks couldn't care less about how the people on the coasts live. They don't want to live there and want no part of it. For some reason though, the coasts are obsessed with how the country hicks are living and how they are engaged in such objectionable actions such as gunowning and living in a big house and driving.

  • ed||

    Gunboat Diplomacy | August 19, 2009, 4:37pm | #

    Always remember: If you have to lie to prove your position,
    you have failed to prove your position.


    How have I lied, anonymous commenter? Details, please.

  • Randy Bottoms||

    Oh really, Wartmeister? So it's the folks in fly-over country that are really, really pushing for government run healtcare knowing it would be theirs for the taking were it not for those damn coaastal elites with their undue influence.

    Got it. Thanks.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    There is one differnce. The flyover hicks don't tell the coastal elites how they must live their lives.



    What, then, are we to make of the social conservative movment? Liberal elites in disguise?

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "How have I lied, anonymous commenter? Details, please."

    Begining with the first sentence.

    "The right is running short of intellectual ammunition (not that they've had much of it these past hundred years)."

    If that's not a lie the at the very least it qualifies as stupid. I mean really, a hundred years? At best it's blather.

  • Hick from Iowa||

    I tell you this, we gonna take the original Louisana purchase and secede, then you right-coast and left-cost elites can starve to death.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Oh really, Wartmeister? So it's the folks in fly-over country that are really, really pushing for government run healtcare knowing it would be theirs for the taking were it not for those damn coaastal elites with their undue influence.



    Kind of. The opposition to government-run healthcare seems to be less about opposition to, um, government-run healthcare than it is about changes to medicare. Look at the ages of most of the people holding those signs. They're getting their healthcare from the government already, or soon will be. In fact, they'd have your balls if you tried to take their government-run healthcare away.

  • Hick from Iowa||

    Although we might gotta wall off Mississippi . . .

  • Proposition 8||

    "What, then, are we to make of the social conservative movment? Liberal elites in disguise?"

    Beats me.

  • Warty||

    Remember the Defense of Marriage Act, Horny Asses? I'm sure can remember a lot more petty outrages like it. Rednecks love the culture war just as much as the liberal coastal faggots.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    I tell you this, we gonna take the original Louisana purchase and secede, then you right-coast and left-cost elites can starve to death.



    Who is it it that depends on who for support, again?

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/266.html#fedspend_per_taxesbystate-20071009

  • Astroglide in Blue||

    "Look at the ages of most of the people holding those signs."

    Which ones? The ones in the Brooks Brothers suits, the ones with guns, or goons from the unions.

  • ed||

    Gunboat Diplomacy | August 19, 2009, 5:03pm | #

    "The right is running short of intellectual ammunition (not that they've had much of it these past hundred years)."

    If that's not a lie the at the very least it qualifies as stupid.


    An opinion is not a lie, anonymous battleship guy.
    Maybe you've been in the troll trenches too long.
    Go to the children's table. They have Twinkies!

  • Hick from Iowa||

    Who is it it that depends on who for support, again?

    We won't needs no corn subsidies once we starts charging fair market price after we secedes.

  • wingnutx||

    When an intelligent, well-informed person shows up to the anti-reform party let me know.

    John Mackey

  • ||

    "Kind of. The opposition to government-run healthcare seems to be less about opposition to, um, government-run healthcare than it is about changes to medicare. Look at the ages of most of the people holding those signs. They're getting their healthcare from the government already, or soon will be. In fact, they'd have your balls if you tried to take their government-run healthcare away."


    First, they are forced to by law. By law you have to go on medicare when you are 65. In addition, their private health insurance coverage, which most of them get through retirements that they paid into for years, are just medicare supllements.

    Second, old people consume most of the healthcare costs in this country. It is amzing to me that this is trotted out as some kind of insight by people. Yeah, if it wasn't for old people and sick people we wouldn't have all these damn healthcare costs. No kidding. So, when Obama talks about cutting costs and making medical decisions based on quality of life and actuaary tables, they know he is talking about cutting them off. So yeah, they are a bit concerned about Obamacare.

  • ||

    "Remember the Defense of Marriage Act, Horny Asses? I'm sure can remember a lot more petty outrages like it. Rednecks love the culture war just as much as the liberal coastal faggots."


    All the defense of marriage act did was give states the right not to recognize gay marriages done in other states. As it was, the plan was to get some states to recognize gay marriage and then shove it down the throats of every other state using the priveledge and immunities clause. The defense of marriage act does not prevent individual states from recognizing gay marriage. It just keeps those states from forcing other states to do the same. It is an example of exactly the opposite of what you are saying. Try again.

  • ||

    When an intelligent, well-informed person shows up to the anti-reform party let me know.



    First off, that's a straw man right there. Plenty of people aren't "anti-reform," they're just anti-reform along the lines you prefer.

    Second, if you were actually serious, try Keith Hennessey or John Mackey of Whole Foods.

    Who is it it that depends on who for support, again?



    Yeah, well, it's amusing that the richer states (and higher cost-of-living in dollar terms but perhaps not richer in the real sense) are the ones who keep voting for representatives to send more money to the poorer states. As long as money is mostly doled out via formula, that will continue as long as government grows larger.

  • Astroglide in Blue||

    "http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/266.html#fedspend_per_taxesbystate-20071009"

    Missing from that list:

    Missouri
    Iowa
    Illinois
    Montana
    Wyoming
    Colorado
    Utah
    Idaho

    On the list:

    Virginia
    Maine
    S. Carolina
    Maryland

    I really don't see your point.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    The flyover coutnry hicks couldn't care less about how the people on the coasts live. They don't want to live there and want no part of it. For some reason though, the coasts are obsessed with how the country hicks are living and how they are engaged in such objectionable actions such as gunowning and living in a big house and driving.



    Unless you want to marry someone of the same sex, buy a bong over the internet or maybe surf some porn, get an abortion from your doctor or a handful of suicide pills...

    Conservatives are culture warriors, too. Remember Terri Schiavo?

  • ||

    Kind of. The opposition to government-run healthcare seems to be less about opposition to, um, government-run healthcare than it is about changes to medicare. Look at the ages of most of the people holding those signs. They're getting their healthcare from the government already, or soon will be. In fact, they'd have your balls if you tried to take their government-run healthcare away.



    Yes, that's true that that's a lot of the vocal opposition. With government-run healthcare for only the poor and elderly, they can get the rest of us to subsidize them. If government-run healthcare is extended to everyone, we can't all be subsidized. The seniors are absolutely right to fear that changes would hurt them. There is, admittedly, a bit of irony that usually the senior brigade is mobilized by Democrats against similar Republican suggestions.

    I don't agree with the seniors, but I'm still against the proposed reform. Do I have to change my position or remain silent because someone else may agree with my position, broadly, but for utterly different reasons I don't agree with?

    That's like saying that you had to be pro-war because the American Nazi Party and Fred Phelps were against it.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    "An opinion is not a lie, anonymous battleship guy."

    If my opinion is that all blacks are stupid and incapable of achieving success it's just an opinion, not a lie?

    So you're YouTube?

  • Tacos mmm...||

    I really don't see your point.



    States in the south and midwest tend to be recipients of federal largesse; coastal states tend to be the source of that largesse. It's a general trend and doesn't hold everywhere (Texas, Illinois), but if states in the south and midwest ever did shake the federal government, the coastal states would probably be better off for it, at least financially.

  • Randy Bottoms||

    Hey Warty. I got enough of that horny asses shit in middle school. Knock it off.

  • Lurky McLurkerson Jr.||

    Irregardless of stereotyping

    English fail.

  • ||

    "Unless you want to marry someone of the same sex, buy a bong over the internet or maybe surf some porn, get an abortion from your doctor or a handful of suicide pills...

    Conservatives are culture warriors, too. Remember Terri Schiavo?"


    The flyover country would be happy to let the Blue states go their way and keep those things if that didn't mean them forcing it on everyone else. Gay marriage is a great example. It can't just be a state decision. Nope, it has to be a civil right that is inflicted on every state. It is the hicks who want to over turn Roe and leave it up to the states. It is the blue states who want to keep Roe and enforce their rules on everyone else.

    You are delluded if you think that the coastal elites just want to be left alone. No, they want to enforce one brand of sustainable lifestyle on the entire country.

  • Randy Bottoms||

    "We won't needs no corn subsidies once we starts charging fair market price after we secedes."

    True.

  • Warty||

    John, I would love to continue arguing about this petty point, but I think my head hurts too much to look at a computer screen anymore. Enjoy your victory by default.

  • Leftist||

    "So yeah, they are a bit concerned about Obamacare."

    Old people should be seen and not heard. Or better still, not even seen.

  • ed||

    Gunboat Diplomacy | August 19, 2009, 5:23pm | #

    "An opinion is not a lie, anonymous battleship guy."

    If my opinion is that all blacks are stupid and incapable of achieving success it's just an opinion, not a lie?

    No, it just proves that you're incapable of understanding satire.
    Gotta go now. Time to whip my slaves!

  • ||

    Warty,

    Default ones are about the only ones I ever win. So i think you. And my head hurts to.

  • ||

    make that thank you warty.

  • Astroglide in Blue||

    "Enjoy your victory by default."

    No. That's how Liberals win. Just ask ed. You need to stick to the script.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    I don't agree with the seniors, but I'm still against the proposed reform. Do I have to change my position or remain silent because someone else may agree with my position, broadly, but for utterly different reasons I don't agree with?



    That depends. I don't always hold that the enemy of my enemy is my friend; when two wolves and a sheep are voting on dinner, it's best that the sheep depart the scene quietly.

  • Astroglide in Blue||

    John Kerry today:

    "The current state of the health care debate reminds us of everything we need to know about stamping out the distortions and fighting back with the truth before lies take root. The rightwing [sic] and their allies have spent weeks and months spreading the most egregious mistruths about the health care reforms of Sen. Kennedy and President Obama, and whipping up anger. Now, you can't turn on your t.v. or radio without hearing repetition and repetition of misinformation, trying to drown out real debate.We can defeat the big lies and achieve health insurance reform, but it won't be easy now that the mistruths and anger have taken hold.So I need you to help me start now to make sure we knock down the next big lie--false statements about global climate change--before they frame one of the most important debates we'll ever have in our country. And we need to start NOW fighting against the misinformation that the rightwing [sic] is already spreading to try to derail the bill i'm [sic] working on with Senator Barbara Boxer and our colleagues; we can't wait until the lies take hold again.Believe me, I've learned this through hard experience--if you let the lies take hold, it gets harder and harder to root them out. Lies are weeds, choking out our debate, and we need to go after them hard and early to keep them from growing."

    Not lies, John. Opinions.

  • Astroglide in Blue||

    Great Moments in Socialized Medicine
    "A young mother gave birth on a pavement outside a hospital after she was told to make her own way there," reports London's Daily Mail:

    Mother-of-three Carmen Blake called her midwife to ask for an ambulance when she went into labour unexpectedly with her fourth child.But the 27-year-old claims she was refused an ambulance and told to walk the 100m from her house in Leicester to the city's nearby Royal Infirmary.Her daughter Mariah was delivered on a pavement outside the hospital by a passer-by, just before ambulance crews arrived.The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, reports on how the National Health Service treated an older patient:

    A family has won £130,000 from an NHS trust after it refused to pay for their mother's care fees, claiming her Alzheimer's was not a health issue. NHS Worcestershire ruled that Judith Roe, 74, did not qualify for NHS funding because her condition was a "social" rather than "health" problem, even though she was so ill she could not make a cup of tea and regularly left the stove on. She was forced to sell her £200,000 home to pay her £600-a-week nursing home fees, which would have been funded if she had been categorised correctly. Mrs Roe's family appealed to the Health Service Ombudsman, which ruled that Mrs Roe's assessment had been incorrect and her treatment should have been funded by the NHS. NHS Worcestershire has now reimbursed them for six years of care.

  • Astroglide in Blue||

    former Enron adviser Paul Krugman:

    "In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We've all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false. Like every system, the National Health Service has problems, but over all it appears to provide quite good care while spending only about 40 percent as much per person as we do."

    So don't worry. Even if ObamaCare denies you the medical treatment you need, your story will be false.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    It can't just be a state decision. Nope, it has to be a civil right that is inflicted on every state.



    Why, then, in every other session of congress for the last decade, have we gotten proposals for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage?

    It is the hicks who want to over turn Roe and leave it up to the states. It is the blue states who want to keep Roe and enforce their rules on everyone else.



    If Roe were overturned, and states created a patchwork of abortion laws, it wouldn't be long before conservatives were back at the federal level, trying to prevent women from crossing state lines to obtain an abortion; you'd have to be pretty naieve to think that people like Randall Terry are more concerned about the principle of federalism than the lives of the unborn.

    You are delluded if you think that the coastal elites just want to be left alone. No, they want to enforce one brand of sustainable lifestyle on the entire country.



    I'm not saying that they don't; I'm saying that the social conservatives are just as bad.

  • ||

    With such cynicism, government doesn't become a force of good, a means of giving people the opportunity to lead better

    And that pretty much sums up the leftist worldview. If you think government is a force for good, rather than at best a necessary evil, and at worst and unnecessary evil, you're gonna want to grow the government until it runs everythng.



    PL nails it.

    Wrong door drug raids, Tuskagee syphilis experiments, the Trail of Tears, Vietnam, Iraq, Johnson's great society, a social security ponzi scheme, GM tossing off a billion of clean-up costs on the taxpayers, ...

    Why don't I see the government as a "force of good"? I not only admit to being a cynic, I'm fucking proud of it.

  • Astroglide in Blue||

    "If Roe were overturned, and states created a patchwork of abortion laws, it wouldn't be long before conservatives were back at the federal level, trying to prevent women from crossing state lines to obtain an abortion"

    Interstate commerce. Never happen.

  • ||

    I don't always hold that the enemy of my enemy is my friend; when two wolves and a sheep are voting on dinner, it's best that the sheep depart the scene quietly.



    So you're proposing that libertarians should emigrate, perhaps to Singapore? Otherwise we don't have a chance to slip away quietly; if something is passed it will not be repealed. Government by its very nature does not let you depart the scene.

    The analogy is a poor one. Let A be the status quo, let C be Bush and Obama's cuts to Medicare but no universal health care, let B be Obama's cuts to Medicare but also universal health care. Then we could have:
    Elderly: A > B > C
    Progressives: B > A > C
    Libertarians: C > A > B

    Status quo wins.

    Or similarly, we could even have a situation of a cycle, such as happened in the '50s with federal aid to schools. Let A be federal aid to all schools, and B be federal aid only to desegregated schools, and C be no federal aid to schools. Then:
    Republicans: C > B > A
    Northern Dems: B > A > C
    Southern Dems: A > C > B

    In this case, if Republicans are able to offer an amendment banning proposed federal aid from going to segregated schools, they can sink the entire legislation, unless Democrats can maintain party discipline. (This is similar to what happens when gun amendments are offered.)

    Unlike people who favor a government-provisioned health care, libertarians don't have many places to go. Singapore's high-deductible, HSA-style health care is a reasonable one.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Interstate commerce. Never happen.



    You're damn skippy it can happen. Just make it illegal to cross state lines for the purposes of obtaining an abortion.

    Do you seriously think that pro-life activists just care about abortion in the state in which they happen to live?

  • ||

    Upthread, someone mentioned shunning, which gave me an idea for a new product: Shunglasses!

  • ||

    Why, then, in every other session of congress for the last decade, have we gotten proposals for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage?



    Sure, but it has zero probability of happening. The thing that gave the state amendments juice was the various judicial imposing of gay marriage. It'd take a while to analyze the results-- on the one hand, I certainly agree that judge-imposed gay marriage sped up the whole gay marriage prospect in many states. On the other hand, in some states it resulted in passing difficult to repeal amendments that will probably slow down the gay marriage process.

    Not that most people care about the nuanced arguments: note that no one cares that McCain has had a consistent position of opposing both the federal Gay Marriage Amendment and Human Life Amendment.

    If Roe were overturned, and states created a patchwork of abortion laws, it wouldn't be long before conservatives were back at the federal level, trying to prevent women from crossing state lines to obtain an abortion; you'd have to be pretty naieve to think that people like Randall Terry are more concerned about the principle of federalism than the lives of the unborn.



    Sure, but you'd have to be pretty naive to think that they'd succeed. Even Justice Scalia has said as much, that a federal ban would be unConstitutional without an amendment, and an amendment would never pass. (And if an amendment could pass, well, such a super-majority of the American people can do anything, as we've seen.)

    Slippery slope arguments are not inherently implausible, but the slope has to be at least justified.

  • ||

    I apologize for attributing prolefeed's wise comment to Pro Libertate in my previous.

    prolefeed, I humbly beg your forgiveness.

  • ||

    You're damn skippy it can happen. Just make it illegal to cross state lines for the purposes of obtaining an abortion.

    Do you seriously think that pro-life activists just care about abortion in the state in which they happen to live?



    You're confusing "some activists would want it to happen and would propose it" with "it would pass (and not be struck down by the courts.)"

  • Tacos mmm...||

    The analogy is a poor one. Let A be the status quo, let C be Bush and Obama's cuts to Medicare but no universal health care, let B be Obama's cuts to Medicare but also universal health care. Then we could have:
    Elderly: A > B > C
    Progressives: B > A > C
    Libertarians: C > A > B



    I was being a bit facetious, but I'm not convinced that we're better off with either A or B. The status quo in terms of health care is not maintainable - I have to agree with Obama on that; I work in health care, and since the late 70's, it's all been downhill.

    In terms of healthcare, I suspect one may be able to get more concessions from the reformers than the supporters of the status quo. That could improve the palatability of option B compared to A, but we're speaking so generally it's hard to make any real sense.

  • ||

    States in the south and midwest tend to be recipients of federal largesse; coastal states tend to be the source of that largesse. It's a general trend and doesn't hold everywhere (Texas, Illinois), but if states in the south and midwest ever did shake the federal government, the coastal states would probably be better off for it, at least financially.



    But the coastal states want to send the poorer states more money. Otherwise they wouldn't vote like they do.

  • ||

    In terms of healthcare, I suspect one may be able to get more concessions from the reformers than the supporters of the status quo. That could improve the palatability of option B compared to A, but we're speaking so generally it's hard to make any real sense.



    Well, I might would think that, but after the progressive reaction to the editorial of John Mackey (Whole Foods CEO), that position is no longer tenable to me. They're not interested in any reasonable reforms palatable to libertarians.

    All they want is to take credit for universal health care while getting Republicans to sign up for Medicare cuts at the same time so the elderly won't get mad at just Democrats.

    If the progressives were offering a reform plan along the lines of Brad DeLong's plan he mentioned before-- mandatory catastrophic coverage combined with universal HSAs, with a government funded contribution for the poor-- then I could definitely compromise on that.

  • ||

    On a thread yesterday about child molesting witch hunts in the 80s, somebody asked what the next big witch hunt was going to be. Here is my guess.
    With the left and the right squaring off now about healthcare reform, the battle is becoming more heated and more hysterical. I think the climate is just about ripe for the government to use the patriot act to start squelching the "anti-government types." They, with the help of the msm, will start a slow surge of govt investigating and subsequent destruction of those that oppose them. An ideological martial law type of thing.

    Like I say, I think we as a nation are in the perfect storm for such a thing to explode real soon.

  • Paul||

    Unless you want to marry someone of the same sex, buy a bong over the internet or maybe surf some porn, get an abortion from your doctor or a handful of suicide pills...

    Conservatives are culture warriors, too. Remember Terri Schiavo?


    This got me to thinking... it's pretty clear who's losing the culture war...

  • Tacos mmm...||

    You're confusing "some activists would want it to happen and would propose it" with "it would pass (and not be struck down by the courts.)"



    I'm not making that confusion in the least.

    If you follow the thread of my argument, I've been debating John, who stated that the pro-life movement was interested only in overthrowing Roe V. Wade, not in establishing national anti-abortion laws. I disagree, and think that the movement would seek broader bans; whether they could actually get them or not is immaterial.

    This evolved from my argument that both conservatives and liberals are interested in regulating the private lives of individuals; previous posts have stated that this was the purview of liberalism alone.

  • ||

    Ah, ok, my apologies then Tacos. Of course, the size and composition of the "movement" would change as their goals did, as they always do. Look at MADD.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    This got me to thinking... it's pretty clear who's losing the culture war...



    If only. I long for the day I can legally get high and fap to Terri Schiavo porn.

  • ||

    and fap to Terri Schiavo porn.

    sometimes the fist ammendmant is damned difficult to bear.

  • ||

    J sub D,

    It does sound like something I'd say, doesn't it? I was going to praise prolefeed's words, myself, but neglected to do so.

  • ||

    When obama says that people who don't agree with him are confused, he is speaking at the "a Priori" level, they don't understand what is important in life-people first, everything else later. You credit him with sincerity because he is totally committed, like a devout priest. You are correct. "The gifts or God are without repentence." Obama is an especially gifted person and we should value his public service offering and take extraordinary care to get as much as we are able while his light is allowed to shine.

  • hmm||

    All Hail the OBAMA!!



    * most excellent troll

  • Paul||

    If only. I long for the day I can legally get high and fap to Terri Schiavo porn.

    I can't speak for the Terri Schiavo porn... but I can speak directly about coastal elites and the drug war... sorry dude, they're front-and-center in keeping all that stuff illegal. Front And Center(tm). And, if our progressive friends have their way, there's going to be a whole lot more illegal in the coming years.

    I'm not sticking my neck into this "who's the bigger culture warrior" thing, but I can tell you that the cultural elites carry most of the electoral votes and have the largest bloc of representation in the Senate and Congress. If the cultural elites wanted your weed to be legal, it would be so.

  • bittejo||

    "Obama's path is so clearly illuminated by the light of his own reason, he simply can't entertain another possible way of being, a different set of beliefs, held by an intelligent person who is well-informed and well-intentioned-or so his language about cynicism, fear, and lies strongly implies. His assumption of bad faith or idiocy on the part of his opponents is done, it seems, with a pure heart."

    Well of course this is true, you have to go so badly through the wringer to become President that you very likely have to have a nearly megalomaniac mind in order to withstand the assault on yourself. At least he "has a pure heart", I interpret this as generally a peace-nick which is fine by the mild hippy in me.

  • ||

    PL

    People don't understand, when it comes to proposed government programs, cynics are the ones who are gonna be right.

    We've had medicare and medicaid for close to half a goddam century, you would think that the wise folks in DC would have all of the bugs ironed out by now and hold these programs up as shining examples of competence and fiscal responsibility vis a vis health care.

    Every time Obama uses cynic as an insult my opinion of him drops another notch. We need more cynics and skeptics in society. We could do with a whole lot less egalitarians and utopian dreamers.

  • Lowdog||

    The legislature in AZ had the same reaction to the voters when we approved medical mj. The first time it happened, they said we were confused, and basically overturned it. So it came up for a vote again, and it was once again approved, in addition to another piece of legislation that tries to keep politicians from reading our minds and telling us we're "just confused".

    It shows a complete lack of regard for the voters, as well as illustrating just how much control the politicians think they have over the entire process. (Which I guess are just two sides of the same coin.)

  • ||

    See, some time ago, Obama left the cave and gazed upon the perfect form of Healthcare. As he beheld its beauty and symmetry, he realized that he must return to the cave and communicate this knowledge to the unfortunate and less enlightened masses.

    J sub D,

    Cynic? Yes, when it comes to government. The 100% kick-ass rebuttal to the comprehensive healthcare reform proposal was uttered by someone early in the debate: "Fix Medicare first." Medicare isn't self-sustaining. Medicare doesn't cover enough services for most people, which is why there's a healthy business in supplemental insurance. Medicare is such a fiscal failure that it's about to outrun government funding. It's fundamentally unsound, which is why government can't fix it without finding a way to suck more blood from our veins.

    What's wrong with America today, more than anything else, is that we've lost our general skepticism about government. Distrust of those who want power over us. Distrust of promises from those--and those like them--that continually lie to us. Skepticism about claims without substantiation, especially grandiose claims.

    Look, we ALL know that what is being promised isn't exactly accurate. To put aside skepticism and to accept it all as true is the greatest possible folly.

  • squarooticus||

    JB | August 19, 2009, 3:57pm | #


    How many times and on how many threads are you going to repeat this? It was neither funny nor insightful the first time; it's just dumb now. Go away.

  • ||

    Tacos,

    There are plenty of examples of conservatives wanting to regulate individuals' private lives, why did you choose abortion? Pro-life people don't view restrictions on abortion as regulating individuals' private lives, rather preventing one individual from violating another individual's rights.

  • Hick from Iowa||

    Unless you want to marry someone of the same sex, buy a bong over the internet or maybe surf some porn, get an abortion from your doctor or a handful of suicide pills...

    My brother and his husband were legally married not to long ago.

    Haven't tried to buy a bong online, but I don't expect Iowa would be monitoring and interfering my online purchases.

    Got all the porn I want online and purchased online.

    Abortions can be obtained without leaving the state.

    Only one state will let doctors "openly" give a prescription for a fatal dose of meds. That does not give the rest of the east and west coasts bragging rights.

  • Hick from Iowa.||

    Iowa is a net importer of Federal dollars for two reasons:

    First, we have the third highest population of elderly in the nation (behind the retirement Meccas of Florida and Arizona). Therefore, we have a very high per-capita influx of social security and medicare entitlement dollars -- which we can thank the progressive movement for. Also, note that no one retires to Iowa, so all these old people have lived and worked here for decades before collecting these entitlements.

    Second, agriculture subsidies are the bastard child of big business and bleeding-heart liberals. These subsidies don't help the well-off folks on the coasts that regularly dine on fresh seafood and organic greens. But they definitely hold down the cost of staples and the highly-processed foods that the poor and lower-middle-class survive on. So you get weird coalitions of farm state republicans and big-city democrats that do everything in their power to keep the dollars flowing to ag producers.

    When we secede we'll feed ourselves and care for our elderly without your meager assistance.

  • J.P.||

    His assumption of bad faith or idiocy on the part of his opponents is done, it seems, with a pure heart.

    Excellent summation of one of the overriding themes of the Obama administration. And, indeed much of the political, social, and cultural left. When non-Democrats and/or non-liberals engage in such behavior, it's "hateful." But, since the left means well, it's "aw shucks" Sarah Palin-style.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    It's not just Obama... it's shitloads of Democrats who are also in this "we won, how DARE you disagree, you ignorant fucking racist peasants!" mode.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "He's not arrogant, he's just really stupid."

    Stupid like a fox, to quote Homer Simpson.

    I've thought for some time now, that Obama SIMULTANEOUSLY knows exactly what he is doing... and has no goddamned clue what he's doing.

    There's a hat trick for ya.

  • ||

    Some of the comments here supportive of Obama'a alleged political skills are premised upon the fallacy that there is some kind of fair, equitable, uncorrupted, impartial, reliable and accurate barometer with which to measure the alleged skills.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Oh, he's got skills, Libertymike... mad skills. Mad crazy Chicago thug politician skills.

    I'm waiting for Tammany Hall, Part II: Electric Boogaloo. Nothing would surprise me at this point.

    Okay, I dig it, the Tammany Hall thing happened in New York City... just couldn't resist digging it up. I'll bet even Glenn Beck hasn't copped on to it yet.

  • Snortin\' the Kool-Aid||

    You racist hicks make me sick! Fuck you AND your un-American ways! How DARE you defy Our Glorious Leader? He is The Truth, personified! None may sully His Good Name!

  • ed||

    J sub D | August 19, 2009, 6:21pm | #
    We've had medicare and medicaid for close to half a goddam century, you would think that the wise folks in DC would have all of the bugs ironed out by now...


    Whoa, whoa! Hold on just a cotton-pickin' minute there, J sub D! Are you telling us that Medicare isn't the Greatest Social Program in the history of this Goddamned Greatest Republic Ever? All the old-timers love it! Sure, they're stuck with it, and it's close to bankrupt, and nobody can figure out a way to pay for it, but are you telling us that we can't add another 130 million Patriotic, God-fearing, sacrificing (poor and possibly illegal) Americans to it? What are you? Some kind of right-wing fascist Teutonic hater? Shame. Shame!

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I have a new idea for protesting at town-hall meetings:

    Laugh your ass off. No yelling, no name-calling... just bust a gut, slap the floor, do the Curly Shuffle, whatever floats yer boat - laugh loud, laugh hard, and don't stop until you turn blue.

    I'd dare the MSM to call THAT "racist".

  • ||

    The Libertarian Guy-

    To borrow a phrase, "you're making my point."
    And Stalin's, too.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Stalin's?

  • ||

    Yes. "It does not matter who votes; what matters is who counts the votes."

  • Morton Kurzweil||

    The level of ad hominem attacks is evidence of extreme emotional reaction, a sure sign of religious fanatical behavior.
    The article would be understandable if the author knew what a cynic is.
    A Cynic believed virtue to be the only good and self control the only way of achieving virtue. Since the days of the ancient Greeks, philosophers have exhausted themselves in the fruitless attempt to define virtue.
    Today we refer to a cynic as one who believes all people are motivated by selfishness, scornful of the virtue or motives of others. The cynic substituted bitterness and mockery for objectivity and reason, a pathetic attempt at suggesting knowledge where there is none.

  • ||

    Mr. Kurzweil, color me jaded.

  • anonymous||

    "By the way, it not surprisingly isn't getting much attention from so-called mainstream journalists in America, but there is increasing talk in Canada (not exactly a bastion of right wingism), of basically scrapping their current health care system that Obama loves so much and starting over."

    Sweet, so pretty soon conservatives and libertarians can threaten to move to Canada too!

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Beats watching America getting turned into East Germany, The Sequel.

  • Brett Knoss||

    When the CCF introduced medicare in 1962 the response was both a massive demonstration and a doctor's strike. There were no swastikas but the premier Woodrow Lloyd and NDP leader Tommy Douglas were hung in effigy along with slogans "Down with Dictators", "Defend Democracy" and "Government Responsible for Chaos."

  • Anonymous||

    Sweet, so pretty soon conservatives and libertarians can threaten to move to Canada too!

    More like move to Mexico: the Lite Police State (tm)

  • Chad||

    Actually, Katherine, I can't imagine that anyone who supports anything like the status-quo has good intentions, and isn't quite certain that "they got theirs".

    This really is an inter-generational battle. The seniors got theirs (even though most of them didn't pay much of anything for it), while those in their 20's and 30's are getting screwed trying to pay for it all...while their own employers treat them like crap.

    I ran into a bunch of my old college buddies at a wedding a few weeks back. We were all the "honors" students, and are all professionals now. Only ONE person out of the twenty or so there has NOT changed jobs since we all graduated a 10-12 years ago. Health insurance has been a complete mess for many of us, with occasional spells of unemployment or job transitioning, or employers who simply drop coverage, or no-benefit contract jobs, etc. And remember, we are educated and smart. It's far worse for the average person.

  • ||

    I'm from the government, and here to process your physical...before you cough, please choose carefully which testicle you like the best...

  • Anonymous||

    I can't imagine that anyone who supports anything like the status-quo has good intentions

    The status quo is preferable to a massive government power grab, full stop.

  • kinnath||

    Actually, Katherine, I can't imagine that anyone who supports anything like the status-quo has good intentions, and isn't quite certain that "they got theirs".

    Chad, the bills in congress do not bring a single-payer system to the US. They merely double down on the worst aspects of the current system.

    Advocates for reform should be aghast at what is working its way through the meat grinder.

  • ||

    "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" - Network (1976)

    I don't think this is fear-mongering as much as it is Gen-X finally flexing our political muscle a little. Now that is apparent that we are expected to pick up the job of supporting the hippie generation now that the "Greatest" generation is passing away, we've finally gotten to the point where we say no.

    On another tangent I don't think that following ideas to their logical conclusion ("death panels" for example) is fear-mongering. The conclusions may be incorrect, but there's nothing wrong with at least testing an idea to it's extremes.

  • JB||

    How many times and on how many threads are you going to repeat this? It was neither funny nor insightful the first time; it's just dumb now. Go away.

    Until the lying cunts like you and other Obama zombies STFU or get out of the country.

  • ||

    *snark*

    I am from a LA purchase state, and the concept of secession is intriguing. Although, we're gonna have to fix NOLA fairly quickly, as it will be our only deep-water port.

    I am reasonably certain I can live for more than 40 days without ANYTHING that either coast can provide me.

    I choose that number because that is considered the outside survival window without food.

    And here, Hick, I fixed this for you:

    "We won't needs no corn subsidies once we starts charging YOU fair market price after we secedes"

    I would predict a booming export market for corn, wheat, beef, pork, poultry, oil, natural gas, coal, etc. to our estranged brothers and sisters by the beautiful sea.

    And with luck, many of our welfare shitbags will vote with their feet and move to your shining Democratic Socialist Republic, thereby increasing the trade imbalance in our favor.

    */snark*

  • Fluffy3000||

    I wondered when the "if you disagree with Obama you are a racist" stuff would start. It's later than I thought, but here we go.

    Be warned: at the far end of this link is batshit insane ideology. It is ugly. You have been warned.

    CLICK THE LINK

    Remember: if you don't fully suck the dick of this health care bill you are a racist. Oh, and every white person is racist. No one else is. Only whitey.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    There are plenty of examples of conservatives wanting to regulate individuals' private lives, why did you choose abortion? Pro-life people don't view restrictions on abortion as regulating individuals' private lives, rather preventing one individual from violating another individual's rights.



    Because liberals looking to regulate people's private lives say the same thing. They're not raising taxes on cigarettes because they're trying to interfere with your right to control your own body. They're concerned with the effects of second hand smoke on your children, or the guy at the restaurant table next to you, or the way that chronic lung disease will raise publicly funded healthcare costs...

    There's ALWAYS a justification that some third party will be injured (for the children!) when it comes to social controls.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    I'm not sticking my neck into this "who's the bigger culture warrior" thing, but I can tell you that the cultural elites carry most of the electoral votes and have the largest bloc of representation in the Senate and Congress. If the cultural elites wanted your weed to be legal, it would be so.



    Eh, not really. A larger percentage of Democrats than Republicans support legalization of marijuana, but not a plurality (somewhere around 30% compared to 20%).

    More importantly, though, older voters aren't in favor of legalization, and it's the gerontocracy that runs the country.

  • ||

    "Obama's path is so clearly illuminated by the light of his own reason, he simply can't entertain another possible way of being, a different set of beliefs, held by an intelligent person who is well-informed and well-intentioned..."

    What are those different beliefs, and who are the intelligent, well-intentioned people who hold them? For answers to those questions we'll have to look to some other op ed piece. This one amounts to twelve column inches of empty rhetoric decrying empty rhetoric.

  • ||

    Katherine Mangu-Ward is not nearly cynical enough.

  • ||

    But someone of a non-cynical nature might equally see this story as a great success of participatory democracy, with representatives accountable to the people.

    I wouldn't call it a success just yet. They're still trying.

  • ||

    one party is 95% stupid. the other party is 96% stupid. each declares the other totally stupid, each is willing to destroy the country altogether to prove the point and they are succeeding in stupefying everyone. I suppose the republicans will rule the ruins, which seems to be their present stated goal.

  • ||

    Obama as a product of affirmative action has never had anyone disagree with him or call him on anything.

  • ||

    The end result of ignoring the constituents, or stating over and over again that the voters have it wrong, well just get rid of this whole messy voter thing.

  • ||

    Has anyone heard any, even partially plausible, plan to pay for this trillion dollar entitlement plan. All I've heard is a few statements about saving a litte here and there and wishful thinking by ideologues.
    He's talking about a government insurance plan larger than the Canadian and Australian medicare plans combined. Anyone with common sense knows that would require a middle class tax increase.

    I'm really beginning to think he lacks the judgement and common sense to be president.

  • Anonymous||

    craig, are you afraid of spreading the wealth around? I think some civil servants in Ohio need some time off to dig up your confidential records.

  • ||

    Was it just me, or did this article not say why the author had concerns or what she didn't like about it? I think this is the main problem with the anti-reform people. They can't explain why they are against it. It's just that they are. Against it for the sake of being against it. It's people like this that destroys any chance of bipartisonship. Because no matter what plan is proposed, this author will be against it.

  • ||

    "Whenever America has set about solving our toughest problems, there have been those who have sought to preserve the status quo. And these struggles have always boiled down to a contest between hope and fear."

    Always? So those, like Obama, who opposed W's Social Security reform were gripped by fear. They had no principled ideas for how to fix the problem, and the only choice was to adopt W's hopeful position or retain the status quo out of fear. There was no reasonable alternative course.

    Thanks for clearing that up, Mr. Pres.

    In the heath care debate, like someone above said, prove you can do it by fixing Medicare first.

    The problem with that, of course, is that if "fixing" Medicare means reducing payments to providers, that magnifies one of the current problems. Part of the reason why private insurance premiums have risen so high is that providers cost-shift to private payers to make up for the low reimbursement they say they receive from Medicare. So "fixing" Medicare requires something other than simply cutting payment to providers, as that will lead to more cost-shifting and anyone with private insurance gets screwed even deeper than now.

    If non-government payment for medical services is to survive, fixing Medicare requires thinking up something more than reducing payment to providers. It may require the blue hairs to accept less than what they get now. It may require a different methodology for reimbursement than the absurdly inefficient fee for service with its thousands of line-item codes. Any success will probably require a combination of many things.

    But fix Medicare first before experimenting with the entire system. If that works, then try to sell the program to everyone else.

  • ||

    Jason, you came into the party too late and missed all the jokes. Katherine was just putting a cap on it. Ask around and maybe someone will be kind enough to fill you in, but really.

  • Jeff Perren||

    "His assumption of bad faith or idiocy on the part of his opponents is done, it seems, with a pure heart."

    Maybe, maybe not. But it's most certainly done with a dead brain, as it must be to accept Progressivism.

  • Jeff Perren||

    "I think this is the main problem with the anti-reform people. They can't explain why they are against it. It's just that they are. Against it for the sake of being against it." [Jason]

    More Progressive lies which fool no one. Opponents of the attempted further Federal encroachment into an area they have no business have explained countless times and in a dozen ways why they oppose it.

    1. Health care and health insurance are not the proper province of the Federal Govt.

    2. Govt programs invariably lead to higher prices and lower quality than free market goods and services.

    3. Having Federal official dictate to individuals from whom and how they will seek medical care and insurance, and at what prices, violates the right of voluntary trade. It's immoral.

    One could go on, but the Progressives have heard all these reasons and many more. Yet, like Jason, they continue to assert lies in the hope they'll sway someone who is not a Progressive. Good luck with that.

  • dicentra||

    Andrew McCarthy has also noticed Obama's inability to conceive of legitimate disagreement.

    http://proteinwisdom.com/pub/?p=2926

    I say it's because he's a clinical narcissist and therefore psychologically incapable of seeing another's PoV.

  • dicentra||

    "I tell you this, we gonna take the original Louisana purchase and secede,"

    Can the Mountain Time Zone come too? We've got Butte and Boise!

    "Who is it it that depends on who for support, again?"

    Oh, that old argument. "The red states use more Fed money than they put in!" Maybe we would like to turn the money down cold and rid ourselves of the strings. Maybe that money goes to supporting all that gubmint-owned land they partitioned off from us. If they give us the land back, we'll forgo the monetary influx.

  • ||

    "noble in reason, infinite in faculties, in form admirable" - the entire poem of which is spoken by the deranged national health central computer at the end of British filmmaker Lindsay Anderson's scathing commentary on national health, Britannia Hospital.

  • ||

    Obama reminds me of a fatuous sociology prof. I once had to endure. He clearly viewed us as his inferiors, never bothered to actually answer any question, and expounded, endlessly, on every subject.

  • ||

    Why weren't you guys this angry when George Bush passed Medicare D?

  • ||

    I think you are ignoring the context in which Obama is calling a lot of his critics mis-informed. The facts are that a former candidate for Vice President (from the opposition) did say publicly that end of life counciling means her son's life will be judged by a "death panel."

    The fact that, according to some polls, between 20 and 45% of Americans believe this to be true is evidence that he is right in some sense. He is not so caught up in the light of his own reason or whatever you say, he is reacting to thousands of people protesting what they believe will be a government imposed life or death plan for the elderly which isn't in any of the bills in congress right now.

    The way in which you de-contextualize he statements is, at best, unrealistic and, at worst, manipulative in its own way.

    The reality is that 90% of the people on this site, myself included, are full of generalities and "principles" we have picked up by "informing" ourselves by reading publications like your own which cannot possibly contextualize all of the nitty gritty complications of providing health care to 300 million people. That Obama is trying to refute what he rightly sees as a misinformed debate testifies to the belief that he is not a cynic, but a believer in the American people's ability to have a rational, calm, fact-based discussions.

  • ||

    I saw an interview a few hours ago on Greta Van Susteren's show, with this idiot organizing a protest against Whole Foods, after the CEO of that company proposed a different type of health reform from Obamacare. Basically the guy thinks this man is EVIL and "nasty" since he happens to disagree with him on exactly how to reform health care. It's disgusting.

    I think it's sooo ironic that people who are rich enough to shop at Whole Foods are in favor of this shit....I can guarantee nearly all of their customers already have insurance.

  • ||

    Matt,

    The death panels are not the end-of-life counseling. The death panels are the panel that decides what treatments work and who should get them.

  • ||

    Matt, Matt, Matt,

    Nearly everybody knows by now that Obama lies all the time. He's a believer in his ability to lie, that's all.

    He's an enemy of America, if you want to know the truth, the whole sad truth. His mother and his father so injured him emotionally that he has spent his life planning his revenge.

  • Ratdog||

    Obama can whip out his breast and rub his nipple in country's face, but he can't make it drink milk.

  • Justen||

    It's pretty incredible; I think you're right about his earnestness. How someone can be so wrong and so ill-informed and yet so self-assured I cannot understand. I'm sure he feels the same about his opposition, but when we look at facts instead of hope and change - facts about how well the government runs things, facts about where most of the costs in the medical industry lie, facts about what's really causing our below-average health here, realistic estimates of revenues based on his plan, the incentives the plan creates, - it's clear the solutions he has proposed are not going to work well, and are eventually going to bankrupt us.

    I hate to make a bunch of vague accusations and not back them up, but I'm not going to write an article dissecting the health care plan when there are plenty to be had here on Reason and elsewhere. :)

  • ||

    Obama's position is perfectly consistent with his history as a Chicago neighborhood organizer and as a Senator with the most liberal voting record in the entire Senate. He is a true believer in the collectivist, statist model who was realistic enough to masquerade as a centrist to get elected and is cynical enough to employ Saul Alinsky's principles relentlessly. Good looking guy, cool demeanor, some sense of style - great on the outside - but on the inside an absolute elitist, convinced that the people opposed to him are benighted, absolutely ready to use lies, misrepresentations, half-truths, personal attacks and any means possible in order to force his world view on them. Unfortunately for him, while he was able to fool most of the people for a while, Americans are pretty clever and they are catching up with the deception.

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on...the Bible's books were written by people with very different mindsets..

  • Mendel||

    So true abercrombie! If you took the bible literally, you'll have to choose between very differing beliefs about sin, the meaning of existence, even the nature of God. Unfortuanately, this means many evangelicals and other literal interpretatives do cherry pick verses, to whatever their current agenda is.

  • nike shox||

    is good

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