Thursday, December 17, 2009

Questions and Choices

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight has twenty questions for those who want to kill the healthcare bill.

Kos has twenty answers.

Ezra Klein addresses the idea that the bill is a bailout for healthcare insurers.

Think Progress makes the case for passing the bill, and Keith Olbermann makes the case against it.

I realize that there are a lot of passions about this issue, not to mention some genuine asshattery on the part of the GOP who, lacking any ideas on how to actually do anything about healthcare, have resorted to grade-school hi-jinks in the Senate. (Ironically, the right-wing nutsery is still claiming that the bill represents a “government take-over” of healthcare. Have they not been paying attention?) But I find it interesting to observe that some — not all — of the people who held the GOP up for scorn and mockery for marching in lockstep behind George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are now incensed that President Obama and the Democratic leadership in the Senate aren’t marching in lockstep to their demands for the perfect healthcare bill.

I think we have two choices. We can pass this bill as it is, get what we can now, and then work to add to it. That’s how we got Social Security, it’s how we got Medicare, and it’s how we got civil rights passed in the 1960’s. Or we can form a circular firing squad, lose the bill, lose the House and Senate in 2010, lose more seats in 2012, and, as John Cole put it, “we are back to where we really like to be- in the minority, bitching about the Republicans, raising lots of money for our PACS, while Sarah Palin cuts the top marginal rate to 4% and invades Iran. Victory!” I’m not crazy about the first choice, but I sure as hell am not ready to go back to the second.

PS: Check out what Joan Walsh at has to say. For the most part, I agree with her.