August 14, 2009

THIS ROBERT REICH COLUMN ON THE HEALTH CARE DEBATE is supposed to make you feel bad about the “right wing hate machine,” but instead it’s a stunning admission of incompetence:

Why are these meetings brimming with so much anger? Because Republican Astroturfers have joined the same old right-wing broadcast demagogues that have been spewing hate and fear for years, to create a tempest.

But why are they getting away with it? Why aren’t progressives—indeed, why aren’t ordinary citizens—taking the meetings back?

Mainly because there’s still no healthcare plan. All we have are some initial markups from several congressional committees, which differ from one another in significant ways. The White House’s is waiting to see what emerges from the House and Senate before insisting on what it wants, maybe in conference committee.

But that’s the problem: It’s always easier to stir up fear and anger against something that’s amorphous than to stir up enthusiasm for it.

Hmm. So it’s like this:

Obama: I’m going to turn healthcare upside down. Not sure how.

People: I don’t think I’ll like this.

Obama: Haters!

Remember how Bush was supposed to be the idiot who went into Iraq without a plan, while Obama was supposed to be the cool methodical one? But Reich is admitting that despite all the Administration hoopla, there’s still no plan. Or, possibly, that the White House has a plan, but won’t tell us what it is. And yet the people who don’t want to see a bill — some bill, doing who-knows-what — rammed through in the dead of night are somehow the ones who are ignorant and being manipulated. Right.

UPDATE: Reader John Copella writes: “What’s especially hilarious is this delusion taking root among the left that these things are ‘astroturfed’. Have you ever seen a clear case of projection in your life?”