Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fringe journalism

We originally posted this article back in March of this year. The sentiment still holds true, though the approval numbers we site for the tea party have improved and those of Congress have plummeted in the meantime.

When you are a former liberal columnist like Frank Rich and you have painted yourself into an ideological corner by defending the completely illiberal and illegitimate piece of legislation like ObamaCare, there is no defending its merits beyond lashing out and smearing those who have had the temerity to object and object strongly in a constitutionally-approved fashion.

That a tsunami of anger is gathering today is illogical, given that what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than either the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Medicare, an epic entitlement that actually did precipitate a government takeover of a sizable chunk of American health care. But the explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. The real source of the over-the-top rage of 2010 is the same kind of national existential reordering that roiled America in 1964.

We'll spare you the balance of the sickening article but we will point out that reading Rich's tripe, one gets the feeling that he really, really is hoping for an honest-to-god racial incident to confirm and advance his agenda.

Rich likens what he perceives as hysterical opposition to ObamaCare to that towards Medicare and Social Security when those two programs' respective legislation were being passed. Perhaps Rich didn't get the memo but Social Security is running a deficit and Medicare is going broke and the demographic truth of the matter is that they are both completely unsustainable without a radical restructuring of both programs. This is fact. The objectors to both programs perhaps knew something back then that Rich cannot even acknowledge today.

Rich also refuses to acknowledge the completely unfounded nature of the charges of racism that occurred on Capitol Hill last Sunday by launching into his tea partiers = racist meme by invoking the Civil Rights Bill.

After reading Rich's article you really start wondering who's out-of-touch and who's representative of the fringe in American politics and society.

In official Washington, some consider the Tea Party movement a fringe element in society, but voters across the nation feel closer to the Tea Party movement than they do to Congress.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of U.S. voters believe the average member of the Tea Party movement has a better understanding of the issues facing America today than the average member of Congress. Only 30% believe that those in Congress have a better understanding of the key issues facing the nation.

When it comes to those issues, 47% think that their own political views are closer to those of the average Tea Party member than to the views of the average member of Congress. On this point, 26% feel closer to Congress.

Finally, 46% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is more ethical than the average member of Congress. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say that the average member of Congress is more ethical.

That Frank Rich would even approach those generous numbers granted to Congress.

We will give Rich for credit for one thing though: the title of his putrid column is "The Rage Is Not About Health Care" and he is exactly right because ObamaCare itself is not about health care let alone reforming the American system. One doesn't need 3,200 pages (combining the Senate bill and the reconciliation bill) to
legislate coverage for 3o million unisured Americans and prohibit health insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, the two items proponents will tell you this law is all about.

We all saw the formation of this legislation (actually we didn't, and that's the problem) and we are beginning to learn what all is entailed within the bill. If Frank Rich were an honest journalist instead of just a deluded water-carrier, though he may still disagree, he would understand the why of the rage.

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