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Mad Movement

Paul Krugman on the insane that opposes President Obama.

This opposition cannot be appeased. Some pundits claim that Mr. Obama has polarized the country by following too liberal an agenda. But the truth is that the attacks on the president have no relationship to anything he is actually doing or proposing.

My best advice to the President (and the rest of the Democrats) is to simply quit listening to the opposition. Not Republicans in America, but the Republican elected leaders and punditocracy who no matter what will translate "comprehensive health care reform" into "death camps where the elderly are turned into soylent green" no matter what the President actually says. Just ignore them, get the conservadems to quit dragging their feet, and get as good a bill addressing actual concerns that we can get.

We saw this with the stimulus bill, as Republicans pushed all sorts of efforts to water the bill down - some of which were foolishly included - and then proceeded to vote against it anyway, and to badmouth it before the ink was even dry. And now? The bill seems to have helped do what it was designed to: soften the economy's decline and assist in a rebound.

Right now Republicans and conservatives are engaged in the worst sort of hyperbole and blatant lying in order to either stop health care reform or at least appear to have stopped the progress of the bill. We've been debating this idea for 40+ years, but suddenly they need time to discuss the specifics - which they'll be against anyways.

I know the Dems - the most risk averse incarnation of a political party in American history, so help me God - are afraid of losing seats. Chances are this will happen one way or the other, it tends to in the first congressional election after a presidential one (2002 was an outlier, largely prompted by risk averse Dems caving on the Iraq War). Better to lose seats and have serious reform pass than to hand the Republicans victory and as a "bonus" leave millions still uninsured.

The opposition in this country checked out some time last year and they haven't been serious - even allowing for a generous interpretation of what is serious, including ghouls like Dick Cheney - so why should we treat them as such? You don't pretend that a cancerous lump is a beauty mark, nor should we pretend that the Republican party and the conservative movement is serious about anything besides throwing excrement on the walls.