On vacation last week, I turned on the TV in our hotel and there was Glenn Beck ranting about how Obama is leading us into socialism or some such. And now there's real fear, palpable, irrational fear that Obama's health care plan is going to lead us right into fascism.
I'm an avid reader of Andrew Sullivan's blog who is a pretty pragmatic moderate conservative who happened to support Barack Obama for president. He had some pretty interesting blog posts today detailing some of the craziness. Craziness I tell you, can someone, anyone explain it to me:
Ok, this one is Sarah Palin who is a certifiable nut.
This one shows some crazy hatred and anger over something they seemed to not understand at all. To quote Sullivan:
"What's fascinating to me is not just the blind fury of the people - it is much more than anger, it is close to explosive - but the bizarre points they are making. One man insists that when the new proposals come into force, his son with cerebral palsy will be denied all care. He is close to murderously adamant about this. But under what interpretation of any of the bills would that be true? Another woman asks heatedly, "Exactly where's the money coming from? Is it coming out of my paycheck? I wanna know if it's coming out of my paycheck--yes or no!" Well, if she has health insurance from her employer, yes it already is coming out of her pay-check in larger and larger amounts. Is she aware of this? Are the Dems planning to tax her to pay for insuring the uninsured? Unless she's very wealthy, no. And these pretty basic misunderstandings are then converted into a simple slogan: "Liberty or Tyranny!""
Or the folks carrying swatsika signs at a Nancy Pelosi townhall.
What's sad is that what's likely to be passed is going to be verrry modest reform and will likely not include a public option and will likely make a few insurance companies even richer, but no matter what, Obama will still be a fascist.
This article was linked by Sullivan's blog makes the strong claim that we should just keep Canada out of our reform debate. They have their system with their challenges. Nobody is arguing we should import it here.
A strong rebuttal on a Noonan's article that Obama is trying to bankrupt America with a new entitlement.
Loved this quote:
"What we have now is what we had in 1993: a radicalized base of a party that simply refuses to accept the legitimacy of another party in government."
And the hypocrisy of the Republican party:
"Now recall the Republicans' last major initiative on healthcare - the prescription drug benefit. That cost $32 trillion over the long run, and there was not even a gesture toward actually financing it. Much of the right was silent - as they were over all the other fiscally reckless policies of the past eight years."
A powerful description over the terms of the debate which the Republican party is inexplicably having a heart attack over.
"The passions out there are somewhat mystifying to me. Here is what we are debating: should we demand that insurance companies provide policies to anyone regardless of pre-existing conditions? Should we help the working poor buy that insurance with subsidies? Are competitive exchanges for health insurance a good or bad thing? Would a public option or a co-op help bring down healthcare costs? Does it make sense for the government to study the effectiveness of various treatments as a guide for doctors? These are all worth debating - and if you break it down into these questions, a majority would back them. Obama's proposals were very, very well illuminated in the campaign; there's nothing here that we weren't told to expect; in fact, he seems over-eager to placate moderates and keep some Republicans within the healthcare reform tent."
Finally, The Republican party is in real danger of just getting dismissed altogether, especially by the young who want no part of a party that has a hint of racism (seriously, only a handful of Republicans voted for Sotomayer, and coincidently one of those Republican Senators, one of the few Hispanic Republicans left at the federal level resigned). And you can't tell me that all of this hatred and fear spewed at Obama has no racial component to it.
Really, the extremes of the party are sounding more and more conspiracy John Birch Society all the time... And moderates are getting pushed out every day.
Its not something I want to see. I love a good healthy debate. Although it may not seem like it, I realize these issues are complicated and I honestly don't know enough about most things to really be sure my views are correct. I love to hear a well thought out, intelligent and informed dissenting opinion. And at the end of the day, I think having respectful discussions about the issues will help us work together toward solutions.
The shouting, the fear, and anger from the more vocal folks in the Republican party is frightening. Of course, you only hear those who are screaming. I know that many moderate, honest thinkers exist in the party. I just hope that civility wins out in the end.
Finally, Sullivan has a series called "View From Your Sickbed", anecdotes to be sure, but indicative about how crazy or current health care system works, here are a few:
View From Your Sickbed
View from Your Sickbed
View from Your Sickbed