Friday, July 13, 2007

Greenwald writes:
As frustrating as it can be, this sort of day-to-day pressure on individual journalists and political figures is the most effective weapon possessed by blogs, websites and other organizations devoted to forcing into our public discourse various perspectives and narratives which are otherwise excluded. [...]

The point here is that changing our public discourse is a slow, grinding, difficult process. Any changes that occur, any progress that is made, will be made only incrementally, one day after the next. Each individual change is usually so slight as to be imperceptible, but aggregated, those changes can be substantial. [...]

Defeatism can lead one to believe that there is no progress at all and that progress is impossible. Impatience can lead one to conclude that the progress is too slow and incremental to matter. But slow and incremental progress of this sort is the only kind that is viable, and ultimately, the only kind that really matters.

Good words, and a good reminder.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I have plenty of half-baked thoughts about health insurance. This post, however, is about the politics of health insurance.

A Battle Over Expansion of Children’s Insurance
The fight over a popular health insurance program for children is intensifying, with President Bush now leading efforts to block a major expansion of the program, which is a top priority for Congressional Democrats.

The seemingly uncontroversial goal of insuring more children has become the focus of an ideological battle between the White House and Congress. The fight epitomizes fundamental disagreements over the future of the nation’s health care system and the role of government.

Democrats have proposed a major expansion of the program, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, to cover more youngsters with a substantial increase in federal spending.


White House objections to the Democratic plan are “philosophical and ideological,” said Allan B. Hubbard, assistant to the president for economic policy. In an interview, he said the Democrats’ proposal would move the nation toward “a single-payer health care system with rationing and price controls.”

This is what it comes down to. We can yap about the philosophy of government all we want. In the meantime, there are children who have no coverage. That is a problem that needs to be addressed, no delays, no bullshit.

The Dems need to take a hard line on this, and they need to tar and paper the Repubs who are opposed. Make damn sure that people know what's at stake, and make damn sure that people know what the Repubs are doing.

For the Dems, this is an issue where the pragmatic and the philosophical line up. Children need coverage, here is a way of getting them coverage. Do it because it's the right thing to do.

Show people that the anti-government rhetoric is just that - rhetoric. Empty, meaningless. "All that talk about small government isn't going to cover one additional child."

No compromises. No engagement. "Here is our plan. Let the other side try to explain their opposition." I don't think there will be too much sympathy out there for not covering children who need it.