Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hold your nose and support it

Yesterday's New York Times editorial advocated supporting the Senate healthcare reform bill, despits its many compromises and omissions. Liberal economist and NYT columnist Paul Krugman said pretty much the same thing.

I posted this comment (#29 on their website):

I watched the Senate debate the healthcare bill for most of the day. Doing that and then going to www.factcheck.org and www.politifact.com to can be quite an eye-opener. Basically, these rigorously nonpartisan sites call various Demos on shading the truth now and then--while the 'Publicans emit one whopper after another.

So while neither side is a cynosure of probity they aren't morally equivalent. It's like comparing a pickpocket to Bernie Madoff.

Of course Madoff is a piker compared to the GOP and their patrons. Madoff just bankrupted every friend he had in the world. The GOP did a number on the whole country--particularly their own rural rank and file supporters.

Supporters who buy every line the GOP feeds them.

For example, it turns out the GOP senators were shocked! Shocked! to discover that the Demos cut back room deals with compromises to the legislation and goodies for pivotal senators' home states to get this legislation through.


And then the constant posturing as deficit hawks, proudly presenting themselves as the champions of the little guy and protectors of his pocketbook. These are same guys whose #2 man during the Bush era said "Deficits don't matter."

And all of this with the same wide-eyed innocent look my son had as a kid when I saw him chinning himself on the towell rack, tearing it off the wall, then stoutly denied he'd done any such thing--with tears in his eyes at this impugning of his innocence. Hello, I SAW him do it!

What's scariest is I bet the R-Senators could pass a lie detector test. They've figured out how to compartmentalize their minds, I guess, keeping their own, um, indiscretions and venality firewalled from their righteous wrath as the Demos' shortcomings.

Another leitmotif was their nonstop whining about the Demos' unseemly haste. But they controlled Congress from 1994 through 2006 without enacting healthcare reform. So I guess their sense of proper pace is to be measured in decades...or, perhaps more accurately...never.

Best of all is their constantly citing opinion polls showing public approval of healthcare reform has been steadily dropping. I'm sure it has, and no wonder: the GOP's padrones in the Healthcare Insurance Denial industry have been spending over $1M a DAY for lo these many months.

And the American public is the product of the American educational system, which has been stripped of political science content by left and right wing special interest groups, with the resulting texts and curricula so inoffensive they've also become bo-r-ing as your senile Aunt Martha who repeats her entire conversation about her bowel movements that day every five minutes as long as you're there.

Today's NYTime editorial is fully synchronous with the factchecking websites I cited at the beginning of this screed. That's not always the case, but it is here, and I appreciate the non-doctrinaire liberal but realistic stance it takes--much like Paul Krugman has. An inability to compromise scuttled the Clinton healtcare plan, getting us decades of more of medical bankruptcies and routine insurer claim denials. Including one that stuck my spouse and me for $1,500--so I know whereof so many people speak.

I'm a NYT reader of long standing, and a political centrist who checks out what both sides say before drawing conclusions. So this comment should probably represent the mainstream of comments here.

But by the time they close the comments this thread will have been flooded by enraged rants by people who loathe every syllable the NYT editorial board has ever written.

Here's a tip: most of them aren't actual NYT readers. They're blog trolls. Some are loo-hoo-sers who flame for fun, because it's the only social contact they have. Others were sent here by right wing blogs and noted economist Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity et al. And it's possible that others are blogtrolls for hire. I hope the NYT puts a good investigative reporter onto that last possibility. I'd like to know whether it's true.

Whichever way the trolls arrive here, they can create the impression that NYT readers don't agree with this editorial.

Maybe that's the idea.

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