Partisan Hackery?

15 07 2009

First off, I just wanted to say that extended warranties are a great idea for laptops.  I’ve just booted my MacBook Pro up for the first time in weeks (Apple fixed it within days, but I hadn’t been able to pick it up) and I’m pleased to report that there are no more dead pixels.  Dead pixels are terrible, especially when they’re directly in the middle of your screen, as was mine.  It’s like trying to talk to a childhood icon or a supermodel and the only thing you can focus on is a tiny piece of spinach stuck in their teeth.

And the mysterious grey spot that wasn’t quite a dead area is gone too, probably because Apple replaced the entire screen assembly.  Which seemed to have a faulty clasp as well.  Did I already mention that the extended warranty is more than worth it?

But all that’s not really enough for me to write a blog post about, though I’m sure some master of the inane probably could; there are more important things afoot in the world, like the massive bills being shoved through Congress like…well, I can’t think of any comparisons that don’t involve bodily functions, so suffice it to say that they are not passing through the, er, chambers in a manner suggesting healthy debate.

I woke up this morning to a glaring Drudge headline about “Rhamming” through a public health care option.  I don’t really want to talk about health care so much as the Democrats’ idiotic determination to get some bill, any bill, passed before August, even if they have to drop all pretenses of bipartisanship, or post-partisanship, or whatever the buzzword is now.

I will, however, remind anyone who thinks private insurance providers can compete with a government provider, no matter how well-intentioned that government provider is, is naive at best.  The consequence of such a plan, well-intentioned or not, will be a de facto single-payer system—private insurance will likely be available, but at a cost that would limit its accessibility to the wealthy.  This is not some Heritage Foundation talking point, it’s common sense.  And slapping an additional tax on the wealthy to pay for this is ludicrous, unless you think government jobs are a perfect substitute for the jobs lost by destroying the wealth of individuals who create most of the jobs in this country.  In which case you’re probably beyond hope.

I guess the main thing I wanted to bring up is that Democrats are dead-set on passing some form of health care bill before August, come hell or high water.  If not a single Republican votes for the bill, then so be it, apparently.  This is disturbing on many levels.  Perhaps, just perhaps, if no Republican votes for the bill, it’s not entirely for political purposes—it could be an abortive legislative monstrosity (not like anyone would actually know, though, since reading these things first doesn’t seem to be in vogue). Or, there could be a better way to accomplish the goal of making health care universally accessible, but that’s another debate entirely.

Bipartisanship doesn’t mean buying off a few (say, eight or so) members of the minority party to squeak a deeply flawed bill through the House; it means gathering ideas and taking input from both sides during the drafting of the bill.  It means that if the other side objects to a bill, there might actually be a good reason for it.  It means remembering that the other side are not just a few politicians to be bought off or crushed—that “other side” represents, however poorly, roughly half the country.

By marginalizing Republicans as the “Party of No,” Democrats have done a good job of dodging any real questions about the validity of their own bills (again, not like they actually know what’s in them).  Take the whole Cap and Trade trainwreck.  The line is such: the Republicans who voted against it were doing it for partisan reasons, while the noble Democrats (except those damn blue-dog defectors) had only the best interests of Mother Earth in mind.  All that would be hard to deny, except that even Greenpeace thought the bill was stupidly ineffective (for different reasons than me, to be sure).

It seems that Democrats realize their political capital is shrinking as fast as our $1,000,000,000,000 budget deficit (I think I got all the zeros this time) is growing, hence this rush to git-r-done before August.  One upside of this is that they are going to be forced to drop the annoying pretense of post-partisanship and admit, as they sort of did in the first article I linked to, that they really don’t care whether Republicans contribute anything to the bills that get jammed through Congress—it’s all about blindly advancing their agenda at this point.

Once that’s out in the open, it’s pretty easy to peg their legislation as purely partisan hackery (Axelrod’s prancing around the issue aside), since I’m reasonably certain that most Americans feel both sides should consistently contribute to an issue as important as health care reform.  Though I don’t have a poll to back me up on that.

This is getting really long, and without any pictures to distract you, I’m worried you’ll lose interest.  I’ll probably write something else later, since it’s much more convenient to do now that I’ve got my laptop back and I’ve got more tangentially related things to say.

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One response

16 07 2009
Paige

Like shit through a goose! I watched Animal House a few times up north, and the dean says that and it’s so fitting and I was excited that it was (so fitting) so I had to post. Also, I was going to mention the need for pictures but you’re on it.

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