Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A strange note of optimism on health care reform

It's not looking so good. The whackos are pulling ahead. The media is feeding off hate and fear, and amplifying the dark nihilism of the modern GOP.

Rationalists realize that reason has no sway. There's a whiff of despair ...
Bernie Madoff and the birthers - Paul Krugman Blog
... How did Madoff pull off his scam? A lot of it probably involved affinity fraud: Madoff’s victims, largely affluent Jews, trusted him in large part because he seemed like one of them.

What I think is going on here, at least partly, is that the peddlers of anti-progressive lies are managing to convince a certain kind of American — white, socially conservative, etc. — that the hate-mongers are people like them; and, even more important, that progressives are Those People, people not like them.

Obama’s skin color makes this easy; but the Clintons faced the same kind of thing. Why? Well, the old line about Clinton being the first black president gets at something: even if Bill Clinton had a regular skin and name, he was obviously comfortable with people who didn’t, which made him one of Them.

And anti-intellectualism is also part of it.

In any case, it’s scary: you’ve got a good segment of the American population that is completely impervious to any kind of evidence, any rational argument. I mean, who collects statistics? People in black helicopters!...
America is looking pretty sick. So why do I feel some hope?

Well, for one thing, Obama is the President. That helps.

For another, he's dealt with a lot of fear and hate in his life. If anyone can shift it, he can. If he can't -- well, then nobody can.

Not lastly, the frothing chumps that the GOP is playing are going to run out of steam. On the one hand they thrive on hate and fear, but on the other hand they will get tired of punching at the air.

Lastly -- this isn't new. America has been binging on cheap rotgut since the late 90s. This isn't just one night off the wagon, it's going to take years to get the nation to out of the flophouse. Even so, we sobered up long enough to elect Obama. That means there's hope.

Keep you head down, keep moving, keep the pressure on your state Senator (in MN, Thank Wellstone, we're now much better off than most).

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