Thoughts on a current lack of a health care reform bill for the President to sign

If I can get political for a brief moment1, I look around on the morning after the Massachusetts special election and see a lot of blaming going on. This is to be expected: elections produce winners and losers, and it’s human to try to figure out why.

I’ve got some opinions, too, but for the moment I only want to make one small point. John Scalzi suggest that some of the blame for the endangered state of health insurance reform lies at the feet of progressives, because progressives criticized the President and somehow weakened him, is just the same old “it’s always OK to punch a hippie” conventional wisdom.

When I look at progressives, what I see is that they have been trying whatever they can to enact real health care reform, not just pass any fucking thing, shovel money at the insurance industry middlemen, and call it good. I do not get how that translates into “weakening President Obama”, I just don’t.

Jane Hamsher has been trying to push through better legislation. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga pushed for better legislation. Many many more, that I’m too lazy to google and link, did the same.

Of course, Mr. Scalzi doesn’t actually specify who he means by “progressives”, which may be chalked up to his writing that post late in a sleepy frame of mind. Or it may just be a strawman argument and a reflexive “punch a hippie” attitude. I don’t know which. Mr. Scalzi strikes me politically as a “moderate”; he often tries to distance himself from what he sees as both right and left extremes. I’m definitely a progressive, way over here in Little Beirut.

But from the way I see it, criticizing a president only seems to “weaken” him if he’s a Democratic one. It’s always OK to do… whatever… when one is a Republican.


1 And I can. It’s my blog. Not being mean, just being real.