Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The Message, pt VI
Michael Barone wrote in December of last year that Obama's electoral success was the result of a top-and-bottom coalition of the American electorate, roughly speaking the rich and destitute against the upper-middle class. He further notes that top-and-bottom coalitions tend to be unstable, and not just because there is too much divergence of interests but also because the establishment put in place by such a coalition only gets access to a very distorted picture of the reality around them.
We'll think about how this affects the Obama Administration some other time, but for now let's consider the opponents of the various Democratic health care plans circulating around. If not exactly top-and-bottom, we are definitely both ends against the middle. Mainstream conservatives want to reform and reduce the welfare state as much as is prudent. Medicare beneficiaries are want to keep the status quo. This is flying under radar a little bit now because in the media all the opponents get mushed together. But people will be figuring it out soon enough. Reihan has a piece on this today.
We need to make clear, that for the sake of the opposing the Obama bill, the old people are joining us, we're not joining them. So when people want to know what we would do, we have to be ready to tell them.