7/20/09

Birth of a Zombie Lie
By: Mark W Adams


Ezra hardly challenges Bill Kristol admonishing his conservative cohorts that now is no time to rest on their laurels "[w]ith Obamacare on the ropes."  The Morning Joe crew at MSNBC (sans Joe) regurgitates this "conventional wisdom" in their continuing effort to shape rather than reflect or report on the state of public opinion.  Politico and the Washington Post also buy into this factless idea (link).

Now maybe this is all part of the grand scheme of 13th dimensional chess being played in D.C. to keep us, the pro-reform, single-payer/public option folks on their toes.  To be sure, complacency when we're "this" close to the end of a 30 year struggle to restructure and replace our profit-based health care system is something we cannot afford.  Maybe we're seeing the Obama Ropa-Dope at play one more time and Kristol & Co. are just playing along.

Maybe.  Or maybe the GOP is still as clueless as always.

Mind you, the media's infatuation with horse-race, right-vs-left coverage of politics at the expense of actual policy analysis plays a large part in this perception -- or rather attempt to frame this perception.  The Village seems to want a story-line to take them into August and beyond, filling the newsless void until Congress reconvenes in September with speculation on the success/failure of the Obama administration and the ramification of that expectation on the rest of his term, the 2010 Midterm elections, and prospects for Obama's reelection in 2012 based on his ability to get a health care bill before Congress splits.

Mind you, this whole "sky is falling" and the "future of everything is at stake" meme sits on the premise that in the first 7 months of this new president's term he can fight back the most well-funded lobbyists in Washington (who have killed every public health care plan since FDR), and rally a Democratic Party which has always been the very definition of fractiousness.

Now there are some who will try to run with the even more specious argument that the whole endeavor will be a failure -- thus again leading to ruin of all things Obama, his "Waterloo," if there isn't bi-partisan support for Obama's public plan.  As if he needs it.  As if he can get it.  As if ...

These myths won't disappear any more than the predictable over-the-top coverage of Justice Sotomayor's confirmation hearings delving into sturm und drang minutia despite her confirmation being all but assured the instant she was nominated.  The Village needs it's story.  They will milk this, even as they raise the bar for Sotomayor's confirmation on whether she gets more than 70 votes (which InTrade puts at a 90% probability), not just a seat on the court.

With a huge majority in the House, and 60 Democrats in the Senate, a popular Democratic President should be able to smite the earth and magically produce a Volvo in every garage.  But the Village needing a story will trump up controversy.  Coupe or Sedan? Why not a Mercedes option?  It's all the same with arbitrary pre-recess deadlines, bi-partisan support or 70 plus votes.  We get process and conflict instead of policy and results.

So, in case you're worried, especially in light of bogus numbers that Obama's popularity is plumeting even though he's done nothing unpopular, remember these few salient fact.

We do have a huge majority in the House.
We do have a filubuster-proof Senate.
We do have at least one GOP Senator willing to support a public plan, Olympia Snowe.

All the rest is posturing and dance routines played out for and by the Courtiers of Versailles on the Potomac.



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