TrumpCare’s first draft was written in secret. Obamacare was written largely in the public view.
TrumpCare was written over the course of a few weeks. Obamacare was written over the course of four months.
When drafting Trumpcare, Republicans didn’t get public input from doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, or patients’ advocacy groups. Democrats held public hearings with doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and advocacy groups to get their input on early drafts.
“Consider yet another survey from Gallup, released on Thursday, which examined the ideological views of about a thousand people, who were roughly equally divided between Democrats, Republicans, and independents. (Actually, there were slightly more independents.) Despite this relatively even partisan split, forty-two per cent of the respondents described themselves as “conservative” or “very conservative.” Thirty-seven per cent described themselves as “moderate,” and just nineteen per cent described themselves as “liberal” or “very liberal.”
If you think this sounds promising for the Republicans, I would agree with you, especially since fifty-seven per cent of the respondents described President Obama as “liberal” or “very liberal” and only twenty-three per cent described him as “moderate.” Continue reading →
I don’t understand my country. None of its political labels make a damn bit of sense. Too many of them are outright falsehoods. And at least a couple have been maligned by so much propaganda that they may not be salvageable. “Liberal” is one. The word itself has become weaponized to the point where even liberals often eschew it in favor of “progressive”. I’m still not sure what that even means. Progress is cool, i suppose, but requires direction and a destination. And then there’s that pesky Zeno and his paradox: is progress even possible for a monkey with fancy thumbs? “Libertarian” is pretty bad these days too. Far too often the word is invoked as a dog whistle for social Darwinism and neo-liberalism. Liberty being best wholly described by “free” markets and possibly gun ownership. “Conservative” is the biggest laugh. Aside from conserving fetuses and the holy sanctity of heterosexuality (airport bathrooms and male prostitutes being the acceptable exceptions), i’m still at a loss for how these people got or retain the label.
Pulitzer- and Emmy-winner William Henry‘s famous polemic, In Defense of Elitism (1994), argues that societies can be ranked along a spectrum with “egalitarianism” on one end and “elitism” on the other. He concludes that America, to its detriment, has slid too far in the direction of egalitarianism, and in the process that it has abandoned the elitist impulse that made it great (and that is necessary for any great culture). While Henry’s analysis is flawed in spots (and, thanks to the excesses of the Bush years, there are some other places that could use updating), he brilliantly succeeds in his ultimate goal: crank-starting a much-needed debate about the proper place of elitism in a “democratic” society.
Along the way he spends a good deal of time defining what he means by “egalitarianism” and “elitism.” Continue reading →
1988 is the first year I can recall being cognizant of national conventions. In the intervening 20 years, never have I seen a convention that has been as much of a three-ring circus as what has already gone on this week at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota. With delays because of the hurricane that didn’t amount to much and the Palin circus, I’m still waiting to hear anything of substance come from the X-Cel Center stage.
Since we might be waiting awhile for something substantive to happen, I thought it might be fun to create a playlist of songs that represent the key players at this week’s RNC. So, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, this Democrat is happy to present the Official 2008 RNC Mixtape: Continue reading →
With the war in Iraq, the faltering economy, and health care dominating the issues front for the candidates, it’s no wonder technology issues have largely been back-burnered in the mainstream political debate. But that doesn’t make them any less relevant or important–or less requiring of coverage.
CNet’s Declan McCullagh and Anne Broache sent 10 technology-oriented questions to the candidates, discussing net neutrality, Internet taxation, REAL ID, wiretapping, and other issues, and CNet has published the answers as part of their Technology Voter’s Guide. After the jump, we’ll take a closer look at who answered (and who didn’t), and what they said. Continue reading →