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Leads I'm glad I never wrote

Heh:

I, too, have been irritated...

I, too, agree with BTD.

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vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

BTW, "stakeholders" is a pretty good name for the insurers. Though, ideally, they'd be on the business end of the stake.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... but color me surprised if anyone (especially if Booman is that anyone) brought up the question of whether a/the public option (if one) would be any good, available to all, etc.

It's easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than to get a straight answer (or any answer, really) on that from an A-list blogger.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

Isn't that, like, a fairly basic consideration? So Chris says something like "a small public option now is a more viable path to a meaningful public option down the road"—"small" as opposed to "meaningful"? Small as in "meaningless"?

Wouldn't anyone halfway sentient talk about what he means by those terms? Wouldn't any self-respecting blogger talking about this health care debate say "Here's the current public option on the table. It does x, y, and z. It does not do a and b. But, whether you like all that or hate it, here's why it's a good strategic move." I mean, it's just a matter of explaining what the facts are and then making an argument.

I really don't get this weird "hide the ball" strategy on the part of the A-list or the Democrats. Is something called a "public option" supposed to pass and then, four years down the road, in 2013, people are supposed to somehow forget what they thought they were getting (whether that has any relationship to reality or not)? How is this all supposed to play out? (Yeah, you raised the relevant questions on Chris's post, vastleft, about how we're supposed to get from point A to point B but I'm wondering how people are supposed to think and react. Like people don't pay attention to their health insurance?)

I also don't get the strange disconnect between the "weak-to-strong-PO" (or "PO-to-single-payer") rationale and the Democratic rhetoric that the public option will not turn into something stronger like single payer (à la Sibelius)—so what's that mean? Either Dem politicians are lying (but that's OK because it's in the service of a good "end") or they're telling the truth, in which case the whole rationale fails? Isn't that the least bit problematic?

Not only doesn't this all make any sense, it doesn't make any sense on its face. It's patently ludicrous. Or maybe I'm really missing something.

/rant>

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

Yeah, I get the explanation but I'm not buying the premise (and, really, neither do you). A person's status depends (in part) on not ignoring obvious truths, if that person has any sort of integrity. (See this comment for a stirring defense of honesty.) Yeah, I know Chris and all these other A-list bloggers think their status depends on them ignoring obvious truths but that's a short-term gain, long-term pain strategy.

Why would anyone want to read these clowns, if, like the MSM, their statements don't comport with reality or at least make an honest attempt to do so? Especially if they're supposed to be the reality-based, non-herd-mentality progressive blogosphere—as someone said (in a different context) "it shows that our New Progressive Alternative Media is coming along quite nicely as the heir-apparent to the MSM."

[I'm not fighting with you, vastleft, I'm just saying how idiotic and shortsighted it all is. And, yeah, I'm preaching to the choir.]

Submitted by lambert on

The structure of lies and bullshit in which we are enmeshed is extremely expensive to build and maintain, and it takes a lot of "creative" people to do that. It's not clear that there's a market for honesty at all, since, well, otherwise honesty would have a price, and wouldn't be honesty. The classic "professional" classes were long reasonably successful under agency theory at straddling this chasm. One variation in the cost of health care, of course, depends on whether the local culture treats an honest diagnosis as the responsbility of a doctor to a patient, or as the duty of an employee to the shareholders. And so it goes. I remember a book by Jane Jacobs, whose title I now forget, in which she claimed that the ethical collapse of the professsions presaged a new Dark Age. She might not be wrong.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

Yeah, Cassandra had a tough time giving it away also.

lambert's completely right about the expense of the structure of lies and bullshit but I'm saying something a little different: these guys are (supposedly) blogging about health care reform and one would think that would entail a bit of a description of what the various policies on the table are. Sure, tribalism and status are ruling the day but I'd think (kooky me!) that they would feel some obligation to give a few facts. Maybe I'm thinking at least they'd set expectations appropriately or something.

(Religion and all that is different because the supposed claims and the rewards and punishments are too far erratic or removed to be obviously disproven.)

But here's something—health care insurance reform—that supposedly will make health insurance "better." But if health insurance remains the same (or gets worse or more expensive) and everyone is forced to buy insurance, what's supposed to happen, in the view of these A-list bloggers? Are people supposed to think we've always been at war with Eastasia? Are people going to say "Well, thank goodness, we've got a really weak public option because that undoubtedly will lead to a stronger one later"? Or "Great job, A-listers and Dems. You called that, right"? I really don't get how, in their minds, it's all supposed to play out, even if we take their position as necessary, desirable, "the only way," whatever.

And, I dunno, I think it's a little, um, weird, that the same group of people who deride the Village for its status and tribalism have no problem with their own status and tribalism issues. I guess I have this strange view of consistency and adherence to principle and self-reflection as valued social commodities also. (Heck, maybe that's why I'm hanging out over here rather than somewhere else.)

OK, I'm done raising questions too obvious to be raised by anyone else.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

But it's plainly true. That's exactly how they're playing it.

I have a concept I've been working on to help crystallize this phenomenon, and one of these days I'll get around to writing it up.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

k, I'll be looking forward to reading it. Thanks, vastleft.

I actually do appreciate that there's this small isle (i.e., this site) of honesty, integrity, sanity amidst a raging sea of, well, the absence of those things. (Yeah, not very poetic.)

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I'm not liking it, not one bit.

But tribalism and status rule our world. See, for example, what Glenn just wrote about David Brooks. See the financial geniuses on Wall Street.

If you're in the right club and you act the right way, there are countless rewards and no penalties for extremely wrong and destructive short-term thinking.

The journalists that gave us the Iraq War are still elites. The bloggers who gave us Obama and who killed single payer and transparency, will remain the elites.

Status and tribalism trump good sense and good deeds any day of the week. Like Howard the Duck, we're trapped on a world we never made, and that's the way this world works. At least in the good ol' U. S. of A.

Submitted by lambert on

It's not even clear they'll be able to pull the ladder up after themselves.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

A network of organizations founded on untruths prospers for thousands of years. The Enlightment has had its moments, too, so we've got that going for us, which is nice.

Submitted by lambert on

... have going for them, it's not clear they're in the same league as, say, the one holy blah blah blah and apostolic church. To put this another way, if all religion had going for it was money, "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair."

realpolitik's picture
Submitted by realpolitik on

...with its totalizing tendencies towards modernization of others in the name of 'liberty', just as dependent on a group of people (men!) who purport false, dangerous policies and theories, and never--except for some cranky academics--face criticism for them.