« It is pretty funny! | Main | Mother Nature strikes back? »




Here is a commentary from Newsr (which I find invaluable) about the winners and losers from the health care "summit."  While I don't like the tendency to turn  the legislative process into a mere recreational sport, still I found it an interesting commentary.  The Newsr piece is based on a longer article in the Washington Post.

As my own Vox post shows, I think there was another winner not mentioned:  American Democracy.  It is true that no health bill resulted, and it isn't clear if one ever will.  Those of you who lack insurance probably won't get it; those of you who have it probably will lose it; health care costs will keep exploding; insurance companies will be smiling, and your children will be left to pay for doctors out of their own pockets, even if they are unemployed and homeless (which seems pretty likely, too). 

But still--there was a civil discussion for at least a fair amount of the time.  What an improvement over the usual political "stories," over the disruptive tea party sessions and shouts of "you lie" at the President of the United States during the State of the Union message.  It is too much to expect that the Republicans will grow up and act like adults, because they can't and won't, but the Newsr article has good things to say about a couple of them, especially Tom Coburn and Paul Ryan.  So let's give credit when credit is due. That is also my strategy with misbehaving infants and grandchildren, and sometimes, it works, at least a bit.

Random Musings

[this is good]


I read in Time Magazine that the Republican tactic of refusing to work towards the common good began with Reagan, and morphed into a deliberate policy when Clinton was POTUS. They wanted to push the line that government couldn't achieve anything, and "proved" this by deliberately ensuring that this would happen by just saying "No" to everything. When the government failed to achieve change then this proved their point. Amazingly, enough voters swallowed this BS, and subsequently voted Republican. Hopefully, Obama may have flushed them out this time.


Snowy, I do wonder about your "flushing them out" point.  Maybe so!  I'm hoping!  The Republicans are so clearly being obstructionist, their goal so clearly is simply to make sure that "Obama fails," to prevent any major legislation of any kind from being adopted for which he or Democrats could take credit, and to prevent any change in the costly and inefficient health care financing system that we have, that I would think that might well be soaking into the minds of the less-attentive "public at large" by now.  And I imagine that is becoming very clear to all Congressional Democrats, too.

About Reagan, what you say is quite correct.  But still, without disagreeing with you in any way, I, personally, would not push claim that Reagan was in some sense a "bad" man.  He was a uninformed, naive, well-spoken by basically a simpleton.  But genial, likable!  And readily influenced by those around him.

Those around Reagan did in fact include some that I would say were clearly "bad," and some of those were hustled off to prison eventually.  But I wouldn't put Reagan himself in that category.  Sometimes "bad" things are started by people who don't have that intention.  I don't believe Reagan "intended" to serious damage American culture, the economy, and American politics, it is just that he ended up doing so, or that others took advantage of the opening he created for them.  (What do you call that in football?  Some big fellow who makes a whole in the line that others rush through?)

What about some other of tragic figures.  Nixon really was a crook, he was paranoid, but he did some good things on the public policy front, and he had some good people near him, as well as terrible ones.  Lyndon Johnson was a good man I think--look at all he (a white Southern!) accomplished for civil rights and anti-poverty efforts.  But--then of course, there was also the horrors of the Vietnam war.

George W. Bush too, by my assessment, is only a naive dummy, and not a whole lot worse than that.  I don't think he intended all the bad things that happened during his watch:  the 9/11 attack, the inability to find bin Laden, the false claims about WMD, two extremely difficult and costly wars, a financial meltdown, Katrina and its aftermath, and very nearly a second great depression.  Did he set out to do these things?  Were those his goals?  Perhaps I am simply naive and overly easy-going, but I don't think that he, personally, did.  Kind of like Reagan, he was "used."  (But of course he lacked the same sort of charm and fluency).

I appreciate your thoughts and notes, Snowy, and they force me to think a little more too.  And try to remember event in which I played at least a bit part, sometimes more.

The comments to this entry are closed.