We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There is a populist message at the convention: individual Americans versus a system of lobbyists, partisan bickering, fear-based character attacks, old white men and George W. Bush. It might seem like weak tea and a bit inchoate so far, but it is possible Obama will tie it together, and ramp it up, in his speech.
Why government medicine remains a bad idea, at Pajamas:
Public healthcare becomes the default option, but it never outperforms private or semi-private care, as exhaustive comparisons of European healthcare regimes show. State-of-the-art care becomes harder to access, as incentives for healthcare providers, administrators, and consumers are all skewed by artificial constraints. Those without the money to obtain the best treatment, or the connections to pull strings, find it increasingly hard to get appropriate medical care. The most pernicious aspect of government provided health care, though, is in the rationing of medical care and services. When the commodity being mismanaged is healthcare, the results include injury, disability, and death. Chilling examples from Canada show why single-payer, universal healthcare is not the way forward.
It doesn't matter if Obama ate babies on Jerry Springer with Hitler and Nixon's ghosts. It just doesn't matter.
I had a depressing chat with a co-worker today.
Here are the pull quotes:
"...but George Bush has ruined EVERYTHING in this country..."
"...but McCain is just going to be another 4 years of Bush..."
"...Unemployment is higher than it's EVER been..."
"...the oil companies just made 40 billion dollars and Bush gave them 400 million in tax breaks..."
".... everything is worse for me and everyone I know..."
This last one killed me- this person just got a raise and a promotion, some shitty economy, eh? It's exactly as el Rushbo has said for years- it's not if things are bad for you, things could be fine for you, but you worry about the person down the street eating cat food because of Republicans.
It just doesn't matter. Meatballs, where are you when we need you?
Because we - no, scratch that, our elites - live in a post Christian world in which the primary desired role of government is to be therapeutic. Explaining the transformation from government as representative to government as therapeutic quickly gets us in pretty deep water.
I've been thinking about this quite a bit. So only sort of OT is this interesting article by Joseph Bottum in First Things about the death of mainline Protestantism, giving a partial explanation of how we've gotten that way: