29 July 2009


Matt Taibbi:

The reason a real health-care bill is not going to get passed is simple: because nobody in Washington really wants it. There is insufficient political will to get it done. It doesn’t matter that it’s an urgent national calamity, that it is plainly obvious to anyone with an IQ over 8 that our system could not possibly be worse and needs to be fixed very soon, and that, moreover, the only people opposing a real reform bill are a pitifully small number of executives in the insurance industry who stand to lose the chance for a fifth summer house if this thing passes.

It won’t get done, because that’s not the way our government works. Our government doesn’t exist to protect voters from interests, it exists to protect interests from voters. The situation we have here is an angry and desperate population that at long last has voted in a majority that it believes should be able to pass a health care bill. It expects something to be done. The task of the lawmakers on the Hill, at least as they see things, is to create the appearance of having done something. And that’s what they’re doing.

Indeed. Greenwald specifically points to the first poll on that sheet, but really all of them show solid support for guaranteed health coverage. 55 percent believe guaranteeing coverage for everyone is more important than containing cost. Yes, the number has been slipping, thanks to the one-sided propaganda war waged by Serious People and their corporate media lackeys, but it remains positive. That's not nothing.

Liberals, of course, are barely much help. Smoky, backroom debating among intellectual philosopher-kings is just how they imagine government working; it's only a matter of finding that elusive combination. They paid for that education. Surely it ought to give them some special clout. Populism? Let's not be uncivilized here!