Welcome to the Village

I have seen a lot of pretty good analysis of last night’s elections coming from the “fringes” on both sides, but especially from the far Left.  I have also seen a lot of crappy analysis coming from the establishment types on both sides.  But this piece by Lanny Davis takes the cake.  Essentially, Davis blames hard-core progressives for the loss – not because they failed to support Coakley, but because they’re somehow responsible for the elements of health care reform that have most angered people against health care reform in recent weeks – special interest giveaways to unions and Nebraska, the public option, and individual mandates.  Simultaneously, he seems to attack hard-core progressives for threatening to not support any bill without these provisions. 

Seriously – what world has Davis been living in?  Because so far as I’m aware, those giveaways to special interests were vehemently opposed by progressives and were a big part of the reason why they, along with a lot of independents, started turning against the bill.  So far as I’m aware, the same die-hard progressives Davis is attacking (ie, the Jane Hamsher/Firedoglake set) have also been strongly opposed to the individual mandate.  And, so far as I’m aware, the public option isn’t even included in the Senate bill that was the most proximate impetus for the voter anger for which Davis is blaming die-hard progressives.  Indeed, provisions like the individual mandate, and the various special interest giveaways seem to find their core group of advocates precisely amongst the group of New Democrats that Davis claims progressives should be following.

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6 thoughts on “Welcome to the Village

  1. There are two issues.

    1) Health Care Reform As Contained In The Senate Bill
    2) The Idea Of Health Care Reform

    Most “progressives” argue in favor of #2. I’m pretty sure that a majority of people (or voters, or however you want to shake it) are in favor of #2. I’m pretty sure that everybody who comments on this board (with, perhaps, the exception of a paleo or two and a well-intentioned crank or two, of course) would agree with #2.

    The problem comes when you then sit down and start dealing with #1.

    When I say we need more X or we need less Y, I’ll get any number of people to explain to me, slowly, that, no, we need *LESS* X and *MORE* Y. If I’m lucky, maybe one or two of them will shake the corpse of a child at me while they explain these things. Even this is fine, but when we get a bill between the House and Senate, X and Y are taken off the table and now the bill deals with P and Q.

    If one starts arguing about how P or Q are incidental to health care (let alone P *AND* Q), the responses come fast and furious about how I must not really be a supporter of #2 because I do not support the “Health Care Bill”. The Health Care Bill doesn’t address X! It doesn’t address Y! One wishes to shout “WE HAD ARGUMENTS ABOUT X AND Y!!! THE BILL DOESN’T DEAL WITH THEM!!!” but one knows that this will fall upon deaf ears because the people defending #1 argue as if they are defending #2 and thus people who oppose #1 are people who oppose #2.

    And we see this dynamic, this exact dynamic, here.

    The hard-core progressives were screaming about the corporate giveaways and whatnot while the more moderate progressives were explaining, slowly, about the need for #2.

    Maybe the moderates should shake the corpses harder.

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  2. Yes and everybody just complains and points out faults and criticizes to the point where everybody is upset and gives up. Which sounds like a great tactic to destroy something, pick and pick and pick until nothing is acceptable. Then say “oh well I guess the status quo is just fine (well its just fine for me)”. Then never offer a road to make things better, because, lord knows, somebody might complain and pick and complain and criticize without any realistic attempt to be constructive.

    Rinse and repeat.

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  3. I read a little-consumed blog about US Food Policy. Today they had a great analyis:

    “Briefly, it is true the Massachusetts is about 80% liberal by national standards, and only about 20% conservative. That makes Massachusetts much more liberal than most states. But the liberals are deeply divided. One half has working class and pro-union roots in manufacturing, construction, and government service industries, which are all suffering painful economic stresses. The other half is connected to the large higher education, financial service, biomedical, and software industries.

    The Democratic candidate, Attorney General Martha Coakley, is a highly educated lawyer who failed to reach out well to liberals with working class roots, who are genuinely fearful about economic conditions.

    Republican candidate Scott Brown compiled a coalition of conservatives (perhaps 30% of all voters yesterday) and some portion under half of the liberals with working class roots (gaining Brown 15% of all voters yesterday). His last 6% of all voters liked his good looks and pickup truck.”


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