Sunday, August 09, 2009

Disturbing and unhealthy

I've been noting with disappointment and concern (though not too much surprise) the lunacy and paroxysms of rage that have been accompanying right-wing responses to President Obama's efforts to somewhat expand existing forms of government health insurance so as to provide new opportunities for those that the current system does not seem to be serving well.

This is all a bit academic for me, as I live in a civilised country now (where the mainstream conservative parties are...you know, conservative and disagreeable, but in the main sane), but I liked Ezra Klein's comment:

This is something broader then a reaction to particular provisions in particular pieces of legislation. This is about how the conservative movement reacts to progressive change. My colleague Steve Pearlstein got it right this morning. "Health reform is a test of whether this country can function once again as a civil society," he wrote. "Whether we can trust ourselves to embrace the big, important changes that require everyone to give up something in order to make everyone better off."

That doesn't mean Obama's bill. It could mean a compromise like Wyden-Bennett, or something else. But what's going on out there isn't about a specific bill. It's about the fear of change. It doesn't really allow for negotiations and counter-offers. And it is very, very ugly.


Yes it is.

2 comments:

headbang8 said...

Correct. There is no hope for effective government if Americans cannot make this simple, fundamental, ELECTORALLY SUPPORTED change.

J. Carter Wood said...

Yep.

It may be because I'm watching this filtered through blogs and YouTube, etc., but I'm finding it hard to escape the conclusion that a sizeable minority back home have completely lost their minds.

If a popular president whose party has effective control of both houses can't pass a central piece of legislation that he said in advance he was aiming to pass, then something is seriously broken.