Tuesday, February 09, 2010

What He Said, pt X

My point is that the ones throwing the temper tantrum right now are the Progressives. They think that the 2008 election gave them the right to operate like China's autocracy, and they are lashing out hysterically at those they perceive as preventing them from doing so On the one hand, the villains are a small minority in the Senate. Or maybe the villains are the incoherent majority of the people. - Arnold Kling
As the prospects for the health care bill have dimmed over the last month, the liberals have taken several new talking points as outlets for their frustration. "America is ungovernable" is one, well rebutted by Jay Cost. But there are others as well: the filibuster is bad, the Republicans are obstuctionist, the American people are idiots who watch Fox News. This part denial, part shrewd calculation to avoid consideration of one obvious possibility (getting more obvious by the day): liberalism is comprehensively bad and wrong and should be repudiated root and branch.

The latest in this trend is from a colleague of Nate Silver, who argues that the complaints against the health care bill can be boiled down to "process" in which case they can be addressed and minimized. And Mr. Schaller (and Steve DeOssie, who he cites) are correct to characterize the problems as process. Unfortunately that doesn't mean what Mr. Schaller wants it to mean.

There's a scene in Patton, IIRC, where the general is receiving an order by radio that he doesn't want to obey. So Patton pretends that the radio signal is scratchy and inaudible and does what he wants instead. Unfortunately for the other team, that maneuver won't work for the health care bill. With the results of Massachusetts special election, we know that the health care bill has been repudiated and that message has been heard. The message of the election of Senator Brown is this: don't listen to Kevin Drum, Ezra Klein, or President Obama for that matter. You have to get right with us first. Anything else is raw insubordination.

At this point there are no real good options for the Democrats but the best one is to walk away from the bill, at least until it's no longer radioactive. It can't pass at this point, and the attempt to pass it will be severely repudiated by the voters.

No comments: