Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Them's is Fighting Words...

I just read an Op-Ed piece from the Wall Street Journal in which the author commenting on Palin's victorious style of debate, states, "Except that Palin didn't 'set off' this discussion; President Obama did by trying to ram through legislation postalizing the medical system with no time for debate or reflection." The article itself was rather interesting to me because Palin's style of debate is something that I think about often -- and truthfully worry about. I distinctly remember thinking during the pre-Bush years thinking Rove's campaigning techniques were preposterous and would easily be beat, the same sentiment most of us seem to have about Palin. But sadly, Bush and now Palin stir something in America's seedy underbelly of undereducated, easily incited mob-mentality voters and if we don't figure out a way to properly combat it, I'm afraid we're looking at a sad 2012.

Anyway it is those very mob-mentality voters who were on my mind when I read Mr. Taranto's article and subsequentially stumbled over his comment that Obama was ramming through the health care reform legislation with "no time for debate." I'm sorry, what? I'm confused as to what is going on right now in the US. I'm confused about things like this and this and this. Oh, and this and this and this. And yes that only took me two minutes to find those links of all the debating currently being done. I'm a new Mom I don't have more time to spend on that. So there.

My point is this -- there very clearly is time for debate and debate is being had. I could even point out from my own very partisan view, that if you think for one second such time for debate would have ever been offered under the Bush administration you are clearly delusional, Mr. Taranto. If you think Bush would ever have encouraged, let alone gone to a unscripted town hall meeting, let alone a press conference, you are out of your mind, Mr. Taranto -- but I don't need to comment on that because of course the comparison between administrations is obvious.

What I would like to point out however is that the mainstream media is that the debate is a little sad -- and that is not Obama's fault, or the opposition's fault though maybe Palin's. After all, people are very clearly following her example with sensationalized arguments against the health care reform bill. Such as my favorite smack-down of the moment:

The news is rife with such footage of angry town hall attendees, yelling out their questions to flustered congressmen, few of which have been able to react as admirably as Barney Frank. I would argue that part of the reason why is the sad, softening of our rhetorical standards as I have previously stated. But I have also occasionally come across coverage of people attending these meetings, having done their homework -- sometimes standing there with printed copies of the 1000+page bill all nicely highlighted and post-it noted -- with intelligent questions. I haven't attended a town hall meeting yet as I already know where I stand on the issue, but I like to believe that there is some actual logical debate going on behind all the crazy. It's interesting to me that these angry attendees are coloring the debate and swaying public opinion more than intellectual dissenters. Sad but interesting. I wonder if the opposition realizes that they have been colored in such a negative light by their own side.

At any rate, I think it is clear that debate has been had. And debate will continue. And that people are crazy! That's all that I'm going to say for now, because that takes the heat off of my anger at the moment, and also because again I have a new baby. I don't even have time to proofread this blog, so there.

1 comment:

Literary Auntie said...

You are so right, typos and all.

I blogged about health care, finally.