Monday, August 31, 2009

Parsing Change

Michael Kinsley - Health Care: Americans Want Change While Keeping Status Quo -

Kinsley is a very smart guy, but the effect of being part of the "anointed elite" is somewhere between sad and humorous. Like the fish that finally thinks it is getting a handle on being wet, Kinsley is so unable to smack himself in the head and say "oh, it's all around me!" that one feels sorry and giggly all at the same time. It is the feeling that I suspect that Christians might get at the moment of death -- "Oh Wow, it's been obvious the whole time".
The reason Americans have turned against health-care reform, after
electing President Obama in part for promising it, is simple: Despite
protestations to the contrary, Americans don't like change.
As he discusses later, "change" is abstract. People LOVE "change" when it is "whatever they are dreaming it is at the moment" -- it gets to be less positive if it is "change underwear with the guy on your right".
Why does this happen? Some people (including me) say the voters are immature. Politicians (and those talk radio fellows again) are always telling them that they are wise and those folks in Washington are fools. Pollsters seek and validate their opinions on subjects they haven't bothered to learn anything about. Politicians drown them in benefits with no thought of how the bills will be paid. No wonder that
citizens turn out like spoiled children.

But "immature" is a label, not an explanation. It's just a guess, but my own suspicion is that the raucous town hall meetings that blindsided pols and press alike reflect the voters' true feelings -- misinformed, perhaps, but sincere -- and their previous passionate demands for what they now passionately oppose -- in a word, "change" -- were empty ritual. Discontent verging on anger is almost the price of admission to our political culture these days. You're nobody if you're not furious at Congress and/or the media and/or your health care and/or the president. To believe in your country's institutions is virtually unpatriotic.
Remember how BO ran on what he was specifically going to do? Niether do I ... his platform was "Change!" ... and "Yes We Can!". It is hard to imagine a more vacuous platform than "change" and "yes we can". How about "Different" and "yes"??

"To believe in your country's institutions is virtually unpatriotic". How much ink has been used on Abu Ghraib? "lies" about WMD? the "complete botching of Katrina"? The list could go on, but I believe that we just came out of 8 years of history where the institutions of the government were assailed on a daily basis as being completely corrupt and incompetent. I fully understand that the MSM and the Democrats INTENDED all that ire at the government to suddenly go away on the day the shining BO administration walked in the door, but is that really reasonable? Even the smartest of "smart bomb sniping" is going to have SOME collateral damage. I'd argue that the level of completely ridiculous lefty "carpet bombing" is going to have fallout for years to come!

If the US government was anything at all like the horror that has been portrayed for especially the last 4 years, it would be impossible to turn it around in many years. I happen to think that it was handed over in better shape than when the the semen stained oval office was handed over in 2001 without a whole lot of the furnishings, but I know the press and the Democrats have done all they can to convince us that that things have been in a horrible mess for 8 years.

Kinsley, journalists and the chattering classes in general REALLY believe "it's all in our minds", and "reality IS what THEY think it is". To THEM, on the day that BO took office, the horrible US government was transformed from a decrepit evil broken down hag into a beautiful shining maiden. I suspect to their minds, it looks something like what happens after Belle kisses the beast in "Beauty and the Beast" -- "the spell is broken" and the castle, help and all around is transformed from evil and ugly to good and beautiful in the twinkling of an eye.

Kinsley finds the idea that not everyone shares his view of a Fairy Godmother transformation to be "immature". Now that the evil Bush has been vanquished and we have entered the sunny rule of his lordship BO, why do the common vermin not scrape and bow as is befitting of the royalty that as now deigned to rule their "misinformed" and "immature" carcasses?

How indeed one might ask?