Monday, November 15, 2010

Hendrik Hertzberg Doesn't Think Much of the American Voter

I've written so much against Obamacare (177 posts, to be exact) that I'm not sure I have one more post in me about it; I ranted and railed against the bill and most of its provisions for months and then when it passed in March something in me just died.  I could not believe it.

My copy of The New Yorker arrived today which I only still take for the fiction and the cartoons; the political opinions I can do without.  I try to scan through "The Talk of the Town" section just to get a glimpse of the other side, but sometimes I can't get through it without screaming out in rage and throwing the rag into the wall.  Such was my experience with Hendrik Hertzberg's column, "Electoral Dissonance."

Hertzberg begins his piece as an analysis of the mid-term elections but wastes no time in taking swipes not only at Republicans but at the poor dumb American voter who was too stupid to realize that it was all the Republican's fault that we're in the mess we're in right now:

As for “the American people” themselves, it seems clear enough that their rejection of the Democrats was, above all, an expression of angry anxiety about the ongoing economic firestorm. Though ignited and fanned by an out-of-control financial industry and its (mostly) conservative political and intellectual enablers, the fire has burned hottest since the 2008 Democratic sweep. By the time the flames reached their height, the arsonists had slunk off, and only the firemen were left for people to take out their ire on.

Hertzberg's "fireman" analogy is somewhat akin, I guess, to Obama's earlier demand that conservatives just "get a mop" and help clean up the mess:

“I don’t mind cleaning up the mess that some other folks made, that’s what I signed up to do," Obama said. “But while I’m there mopping the floor I don’t want someone saying ‘You’re not mopping fast enough or you’re not holding the mop the right way.’ Grab a mop! Why don’t you help clean up?”
Mr. Hertzberg may have forgotten that George W. Bush tried to enact reform to stem the economic crisis, to reign in Fannie and Freddie, but the Democratic Congress wouldn't jump.  It's not exactly accurate for Mr. Hertzberg to put all of the blame in the laps of the Republicans.

Yet, it's the poor dumb American voter who just doesn't understand:

Frightened by joblessness, “the American people” rewarded the party that not only opposed the stimulus but also blocked the extension of unemployment benefits. Alarmed by a ballooning national debt, they rewarded the party that not only transformed budget surpluses into budget deficits but also proposes to inflate the debt by hundreds of billions with a permanent tax cut for the least needy two per cent. Frustrated by what they see as inaction, they rewarded the party that not only fought every effort to mitigate the crisis but also forced the watering down of whatever it couldn’t block.

I'll agree with Hertzberg on the fact that voters are "alarmed by a ballooning national debt."  Obamacare alone has added $917 billion in new entitlements, although Hertzberg doesn't seem to blame the Democrats for that.  In fact, he falls back on Obama's favorite explanation that the message just wasn't delivered clearly enough to the poor, dumb American voter. "Another part of the problem," he says "is public ignorance."

Hertzberg laments the misinformation and ignorance of the average American on several topics including:

The health-care law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says, will bring the deficit down.

This is pure misinformation.  This one statement is one that I have railed about for months.  This is as much a lie as Obama's statement that you can keep your health insurance.

By now it would seem that everyone (except Mr. Hertzberg, it appears) knows that the CBO score is skewed.  There are many problems with the way the CBO scored the bill, most of which include trickery by the Demorcrats just to get the score they wanted, such as the "doc fix."  Equally egregious is the evisceration of Medicare that is to come.  When Hertzberg and the Dems say that Obamacare will lower the deficit, what they are not saying is that  they've got to raise taxes, raze Medicare and deceive the CBO to get to that statement.

What you're left with is a new entitlement program that most Americans now realize we can't afford and which strips them of the freedom to manage their own health care decisions.

Hertzberg closes with this thought:

There will be no more transformative legislation; it will be all Obama can do simply to protect health-care reform from sabotage. The economy, like the climate, will be left to fend for itself. And the world will watch, wonder, and worry

All I can say is thank GOD there will be "no more transformative legislation."  I think the voters have spoken, and I don't think they're in the dark anymore.


Fenway_Nation said...

It's the New Yorker....methinks they don't think too highly of the intellect of pretty much any American West of the Hudson and north of I-84

The Oracle said...

To hell with Hertzberg and his puerile jabbering.
I'm impressed that you still get the New Yorker. I jumped ship and told them to stuff their subscription four years ago.

Charlene said...

Your statement that you still get The New Yorker because of the fiction and cartoons made me laugh. My husband always subscribed to Playboy and I'd tease him about looking at the naked young ladies. He said with a straight face, "I only subscribe for the articles and jokes. SMILE

Anonymous said...

It used to aggravate me a lot that fools like Hertzberg had a format and audience to post their egghead opines. I have not watched mainstream(??) media news or read a newspaper (I live in St. Pete FL and the papers are printed by the government) for almost 20 years. I would really like to have an email list of ALL the goofy pundits, so I could express my opine back at 'em.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

I love how he thinks we don't get it...

Yea just keep thinking that for the next two years so we can continue to clean house and toss the socialists and the RiNOs out.