Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Screw Liberal Cynicism and Conservative Nihilism

From Democracy in America at The Economist:
The Massachusetts election is to a large extent a referendum on health-care reform, and health care is a complicated issue. Some on the left, like Jane Hamsher at FireDogLake, have a health-care position voters can understand: it's all the fault of the insurance companies and Big Pharma. That's not true and leads to no workable solution, but it makes progressives happy to hear it. Scott Brown has a health position voters can understand, too: it's all the fault of big government. That's not true and leads to no workable solution, but it makes conservatives happy to hear it. Barack Obama has a different position: it's the result of a set of systemic problems that need to be changed with a combination of government subsidies, regulations and market incentives, and to have a realistic shot at enacting a reform like that you need to get all the political and industry stakeholders involved and craft a compromise that better serves the public but that everyone can sign off on. That message is political poison, and it now has a significant percentage of the American public calling for his head.

Bullshit. I say bullshit to the cynicism of the Left which can't ever admit that government can get in the way of workable solutions to the nation's problems. I also say bullshit to the nihilism of the Right which can't ever believe that markets sometimes need regulation in order to be more efficient or fairer to all Americans. Obama and Congress fashioned an intelligent solution that addressed the issues on both sides of this issue, and as a result, 30 million more Americans will have to buy health insurance that can't be taken away from them. It's an insurer's wet dream and one that they will just as aggressively fight for when some future Republican president decides to dismantle it as too expensive.

Obama was not wrong when he said that Americans can understand and make sense of complicated legislation and policy matters. If there was a reality show on a network, however, that followed two congressional staffers as they dealt with lobbyists, the public, the media and their congressmen, you can bet people would watch.

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