Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No Side to Like on Health Care Reform

A while back, a friend asked what I thought of the movie The Other Boleyn Girl. "I didn't like it," I replied. "Every single character was ultimately unlikeable."

That thought brings us to the current debate over the Obamacrats version of health care reform. Democrats dismiss the unruly crowds of town hall gatherers as rubes. Republicans accuse those Democrats of taking the posture of authoritarian thugs. Both might be reminded that those possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

Thus, as the nation is called to the most significant domestic policy debate in a generation, conservatives are marveling at the exploits of loud ranters, some of whom are actually informed and many of whom are not. Because the town-hallers lack any ideas beyond their dislike for what they understand is before Congress, conservative leaders -- the heirs of the tradition of Burke and Kirk -- resort to celebrating their passion.

On the other hand, one can find brief amusement in the spectacle of the political left complaining about organized, manufactured outrage, which presumably they thought they had a monopoly on. But only brief amusement. Ideologues, who by the nature of things always end up trying to force reality into the shape of their ideas, eventually show authoritarian tendencies, and the group of left wingers currently at the head of government make no exception. While the White House, channeling Chairman Mao, calls upon snitches to report "fishy" information, the House Speaker and Majority Whip pen an article calling their opponents' methods "un-American." One wonders when Ms. Pelosi will resurrect the House Un-American Activities Committee.

All of this results from pieces of legislation currently before Congress that aren't even worth debating in their present form. Whatever one thinks about the merits of health care reform, responsible policy makers have to consider the costs, and, in this instance, the costs of the proposals before us don't work. This means that serious people don't have much to look at in the current bills. In light of that, the level of the volume coming from both sides of the aisle speaks volumes.


Blogger Janet Brown said...

The private sector and competitive market forces, not the federal government, are the best means to meeting our country’s rapidly expanding health care needs. One of the things I think we can do to help make that happen is support American businesses and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ( They’re doing things to reach out and show people that they can get involved, too.

11:51 AM  

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