Friday, September 18, 2009

Thank God, at least the National Review cares about the poor

What the Left really cares about, these readers tell me, is setting up a Vanguard Party — comprised of them, of course — which will tell the rest of us, including the t.m.s ["toiling masses"], how to live, and whack us if we don't obey.
Which is why the Left is telling the "toiling masses" who they can and cannot marry, what form of health insurance they can have (or more likely, not have) and what they can and cannot put into their bodies.

And of course, thank God for the Right, which is currently embarking on one of the biggest plans to give health care to the poor this country has ever seen; which didn't spend the last 8 years establishing a police state that criminalized dissent; which hasn't spent the last 30 years throwing more people in jail per capita for minor drug possession (of which they were themselves guilty, in substantial numbers).

The media continues to make the case for its own demise

Once again, conservatives attack health care reform, and once again, a major media outlet (Reuters, this time) impassively transcribes their attack and calls it "news", without actually asking them any questions:
"The idea that the healthcare plan takes away choice and freedom, people see their liberties at risk," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, the conservative Christian lobby group organizing the summit of self-styled "values voters."
The Family Research Council also claims "Obamacare" will lead to federal funding for abortion -- an allegation hotly disputed by the president and his supporters -- and Perkins told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference that this issue went "beyond the ranks of the pro-life movement."
Those 10 words, enclosed in em-dashes, are the only stabs at reportorial skepticism in the entire piece. At no point was the question asked, "How do subsidies for health insurance 'take away choice and freedom', or put 'liberties at risk'?" This is basically the entirety of the conservative attack on health care reform, and nobody ever bothers to ask them for specifics or details.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Aaaaaand we win.

Sorry, Republicans. You put up a good fight there, with your....well, ok, you put up a shitty fight, with your death panels and your townhall disruptions and your childish disruptionism (epitomized so perfectly by this joker tonight).

But you played the hand you were dealt: you couldn't defend the current indefensible system that sends thousands of people to their unnecessary deaths every year. And you couldn't endorse the Democratic proposals in the House and Senate, because you'd be handing the Democrats a victory they'd spend the next two decades beating you over the head with. The only way you could win, politically, would be if nothing passed, or at least nothing very big. So, you threw every turd you had against the wall, hoping some of it would splatter far enough when it hit that it'd cover some Democrats, and that the resulting chaos would somehow keep the Dems from passing important legislation that would help America.

Well, it didn't work, and President Obama's speech tonight (God, I'll never get tired of typing those words) just made your victory impossible. Now, all you can do is fight over the details, but you've lost the big game: as Obama mentioned, about 80% of the proposed reform is uncontroversial and will have no trouble passing through Congress. The remaining 20% was just explained and defended very well by a charismatic media rock-star President, and you looked like 218 childish, petulant (white, male) teenagers who were mad that Dad wasn't letting you drive the Mercedes anymore.

Have fun in the political wilderness you spent the last decade working so hard to earn for yourselves. Come back when you have some big-boy and big-girl ideas about how to fix the country.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Right where he wants us

This is either going to look really stupid or really prescient, starting tomorrow, but I feel comfortable saying that Obama's going to win big on health care reform. The end game begins with his speech to a joint session of Congress tomorrow, and the end game ends when he signs a $1 trillion+, massive expansion of coverage, some form of public option, iterative overhaul of health care reform.

Why do I feel so confident? Partly because the Baucus Bill being circulated was always going to be the worst-case scenario (i.e., there's no way nothing will get passed, so something has to, and the Baucus-led Gang of Six was expected to, and has, produced the least-objectionable bill out of any of the relevant Congressional committees.) And it turns out that the Baucus Bill, which will only be improved (from a liberal perspective) isn't even that bad. $900 billion and a massive expansion of coverage would have been an overwhelming victory for the Left in any of the last several decades.

But even more than that, I'm confident because I've been here before. All through the campaign, the same pattern repeated itself: Obama campaign ignores the day-to-day; looks distant and absent from the political arena; conservatives win short-term victory after short-term victory; liberals get more and more anxious with Obama; and then, boom! When it actually matters - on primary days, late in the Fall of 2008 and then on November 4th - the plan that the Obama folks carefully prepared, above the shrieking din of the daily press riot, comes to glorious, victorious fruition. And the exact same thing is happening now: it couldn't matter less what happens in August of an off-year. But it does matter what happens now, and all the way up until a bill, the bill, is voted on.

And so now, to pardon the sports analogy, we have the star player coming off the bench, his team maybe down a point or two but still very much in it without the help of the greatest player in his generation, getting ready to play for an arena that will determine the fate of his entire career, his legacy, and we should be worried that he's not gonna pull it out? When the Bulls were down by 2 at the end of the 3rd quarter, did anyone say, "Sure, they've got Michael Jordan coming off the bench, but it's too late - they're fucked?"

Or did they say, "It's over - you've got to be leading by more than that when MJ gets back in the game."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I didn't know this, but apparently I'm lost

According to the State of Israel, anyway. This seems like a bad idea for an ad campaign - "Hey, half-breeds! It's not too late to atone for your parents' evil race-mixing ways and become really Jewish!" In particular, it seems like a bad idea for a state that pretty explicitly acknowledges its racial/religious-supremacist ideology, and uses that ideology to commit war crimes and illegally occupy territory.

I'm not particularly anti-Israel. I think Middle Eastern politics and history are too complicated for me to really be "anti-" anyone, since at this point everybody involved has a complex history and set of circumstances they're reacting to. And Israel does a lot of things right, much more so than basically any other state in the Middle East, with a few small potential exceptions. But it clearly has a "dark" side, one that's just as anti-Democratic, racist and frightening as any other state in the region, and ads like this make that unfortunate aspect of Israel quite clear.