Dissenting Justice — a great blog by Darren Hutchinson, a law professor at American University — has had some of the best commentary I’ve seen on the emerging crackpot realist narrative about the health care bill, in which the White House and its cheerleaders attack as “naive”, “insane”, or “irrational” those who actually support health care reform but are critical of the current bill’s shortcomings, while coddling and catering to those who oppose real reform and have merely used the opportunity to enact corporate welfare for the insurance industry and to impose further restrictions on women’s reproductive freedom.
In his latest post, Hutchinson asks, ”What do you think explains the disparate treatment of liberals and moderates by the White House?” Applying Occam’s Razor, the simplest explanation would seem to be that the White House (despite liberal fantasies to the contrary) in fact sides with the “moderates”.
Seriously, the only “irrational” belief is that Obama was ever anything other than a liberal in the Phil Ochs definition: “10 degrees to the left of center in the good times, 10 degrees to the right of center if it affects them [or their corporate sponsors] personally”. The interesting thing about this irrational belief is that it is shared both by Obama’s liberal fans and his reactionary foes. The process and outcome of the health care bill should be enough to put to rest the hysterical (in both senses of the word) right-wing claims that Obama is some kind of Saul Alinsky/Piven & Cloward acolyte. Alas, the right-wing are so utterly deranged that they are impervious to evidence, and will just keep embracing their delusion. Let’s hope that the same is not true of liberals & progressives.