August 20, 2009

KATHERINE MANGU-WARD: Among The Cynics: When It Comes to Health Care, Obama Doesn’t Believe Reasonable People Can Disagree.

It’s funny—I don’t feel like a fearmongering naysayer. And I haven’t gotten a check from a health insurance lobbyist in ages. Actually, come to think of it, I’ve never gotten a check from the insurance lobby. But Obama says that I am, along with (pick your poll) 30 to 60 percent of Americans who are not on board with massive government intervention in one of the biggest and fastest growing sectors of our economy. So it must be true. . . .

A plan—noble in reason, infinite in faculties, in form admirable—was presented to the American people. The obvious genius of the plan failed to carry it through intact. As more details were revealed, more and more people got antsy about the whole endeavor. They mentioned their concerns to their congressmen, sometimes loudly. Congress got cold feet, and now everyone is sitting in time out, thinking about what they did wrong.

When Obama, the man of hope, tells this story, it sounds like a failure of the democratic process, corrupted by special interests who somehow forced all those people to holler at town meetings and forced me to write this article. Again, though, without the actual writing of checks. But someone of a non-cynical nature might equally see this story as a great success of participatory democracy, with representatives accountable to the people.

Yes, who’s cynical here?

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