My Xmas Wish: Progressive Health Care Reform Grumbles Fall On Deaf Ears
I don’t want money. I don’t want clothes. I’ll even give up that iPhone I had my eye on. All if this ridiculous crowing from the far left is ignored.
And it’s not just me.
The latest broadside to the “kill the bill/single payer/public option” noise parade comes from Jonathan Chait. Basically, his article reads as such, “Progressives, don’t you realize what just happened? You don’t? Well, wise up dummies.”
The opponents of the bill are full of passionate intensity. The right, of course, is subsumed in rage and paranoia. Conservatives have been joined by fiery liberals like Howard Dean and a slew of left-wing blogs, denouncing the bill as a corporate giveaway and urging its defeat. The attitude closer to the center is more resignation and disappointment. (Frank Rich again: “Though the American left and right don’t agree on much, they are both now coalescing around the suspicion that Obama’s brilliant presidential campaign was as hollow as Tiger [Woods]’s public image.”) The endorsements invariably have a defensive tone—the bill “has some imperfections but is worthy of support,” concludes a New York Times editorial.
At some level, it is possible to understand the roots of liberal frustration. The machinery of Congress has ground away at the health care bill, as it does to almost any bill. But at a broader level, the liberal mood is insane. What has emerged from that machinery is not merely “better than nothing” or “a good start.” It is the most significant American legislative triumph in at least four decades. Why can so few people see that?
Because it’s easier to dream about the public option being passed through reconciliation, even though it’s likely that was never even procedurally possible. It’s satisfying to think about Dems forcing Republicans to filibuster, even though some moderate Dems and Lieberman were likely to have joined them.
Yes, single payer and the public option may seem better since so many other countries have variations on those themes, but these plans also have problems. Progressives ignore these realities or try to explain them away at every turn.
But don’t listen to me. If you want a reason to support what’s about to pass…look no further than the architect of the public option, who endorses the current legislation.
Chait sums it up…
The New Left rejection of “corporate liberalism” came at what we now regard as the historical apex of American liberalism. At the moment of another historical triumph, liberals are retreating from politics into languor, rage, and other incarnations of anti-politics. One day they may look back upon this time with longing.
Progressives™ – Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory so you don’t have to.