Monday, December 28, 2009

Healthcare reform isn't perfect!

New York Times liberal columnist Bob Herbert published an op-ed piece today saying "There is a middle-class tax time bomb ticking in the Senate’s version of President Obama’s effort to reform health care." I said:

...And yet equally liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman endorsed passing whatever highly flawed healthcare reform legislation emerges from Congress.

What's the difference between Herbert and Krugman? They're both equally liberal. Perhaps it's that Krugman is a distinguished economist and understands the big picture a little better than Herbert.

If this doesn't pass it's a good bet we'll get a Republican president in 2012, and given the age and health of the Supreme Court's less conservative minority, that ensures that an even farther right Supreme Court majority will be available to overturn progressive legislation and decide close elections in the GOP's favor for generations to come.

Moreover, healthcare reform, once passed, will be modifiable. Without passage of something, however flawed, the GOP sock puppets and their paymasters in Medicine-for-profit-Inc. will ensure that we won't get a second chance for another generation. They're already spending over a million dollars a day spreading breathtaking lies (according to and, turning public opinion against reform.

So while Mr. Herbert's complaints may well be valid, considered by themselves, from a larger perspective, we absolutely need to pass healthcare reform, however flawed.

I've read scores of comments on these threads by liberal Democrats declaring that this shouldn't pass because it falls short of their dream (and mine), and that furthermore they won't support Obama next time around because he failed to..what? We didn't elect him king. An American president has very constrained powers compared to many other kinds of heads of state.

When President Palin is busy undoing EVERYTHING Obama accomplished and is putting us in an even deeper hole than Bush put us in...remember this moment and what your whirly-eyed idealism did to us.

PS: I've been tallying up comment threads like this on the NYT and WaPo, and either both newspapers' readers are overwhelmingly far right Republican--or non-readers (probably in both senses of the term) are showing up in these forums the same way they showed up at congressional townhall meetings--to shout down anyone they disagreed with and to make it seem like there were more people like them than there really are.

So as you peruse this thread, look for semiliterate broad-spectrum denunciations of Democrats in general and Obama/Pelosi/Reid in particular, frequent mentions of "socialism" and other red-faced hyperbole, and generally venemous tone. And look at yourself reading them--see how they try to suck you into off-topic sparring with them instead of actually talking about Herbert's column.

You must ignore them. It's hard, I know. But you should know that you can't change their minds--that would require minds to change. We must combat them, but not by talking to them. Independents with genuine concerns, yes. Republicans like David Brooks and David Gergen and Colin Powell, absolutely. Not the nutjobs, though. That's what they want.


The NYTimes published 279 comments on Herbert's editorial. They deleted this one, though. Apparently it violated their terms, though for the life of me I can't figure out why. The vast, vast majority of the comments said Herbert was right and that healthcare reform resembling ther Senate or House bills should not pass. Most were liberals, but many righty-tighties also wrote in, saying they agreed with Herbert for the first time, then went on to make venemous disparaging comments about the president, all liberals and the congressional Democrats in particular.

I'm sorry "compromise" is so very difficult for people to understand.

I fear we'll get what these NYT readers are asking for: no healthcare reform at all, since it's currently impossible to get the kind they demand. And then we'll get President Palin.

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