Friday, August 14, 2009

Atrios and Phil Nugent: Verbatim

For those of us who are moderately sentient, it's been clear all along that the Republican strategy was to block health care reform at any cost. Their extra strategy is to do their best to make the bill as shitty as possible so that it's unpopular. Whether the Dems who are getting played get it and are just playing along or whether they're really stupid I do not know.

I've been at a loss for anything much to say about all this because what can you say? When you see people fervently declaring that a plan whose whole point is to extend the reach of medical care to those who can't freely pay for it will have the effect of costing more lives, or when you see a bunch of people who are protesting the very idea of government getting involved in medical care acknowledging that they're on Medicare and have no plans to divest themselves of it, you can't tell whether they're dupes or whether they're people setting an example for those they mean to dupe. When you spend some time at a health-care blog and notice that the comments section seems to feature some fellow who's there to say that he "respects" some of the people he disagrees with on health care but there have been inaccuracies on both sides--like, you know, Obama is overly confident that his program will pay for itself, and then there are people on the other side who think that it'll include a panel whose job is to kill Trig Palin--and, you know, there may be some good ideas in that mess Obama is pushing, but who in their right mind could ever support end-of-life counseling, you don't know whether to log in and gently explain what end-of-life counseling really is and all the ways that it would have been beneficial to the reputation of the Republican party if Terri Schiavo and her family had availed themselves of it, yet at the same time a part of you wonders if you should just assume that every blog on the subject has one of these characters issued to it by the GOP, to confuse everyone by acting dim as hell but, still, polite. And the first time you hear the one about the guy who insisted that Stephen Hawking wouldn't have lived if he'd been British, you have to wonder if you're the only person whose first reaction was, as in my case, to laugh out loud at something that you immediately assumed was meant as a joke? The issues at hand get lost somewhere in the swirl of trying to decide who's lying and who, like the editorial writer who made that blooper about Hawking, simply as dumb as a goddamned post.