Just when you thought you'd read everything there was to read about the health care debate, our nation's op-ed writers have upped their game. Here are four pieces from today and yesterday challenging the conventional wisdom on the topic.
What are the myths they're tackling?
- Just Like 1994, Democrats Are Cruising for a Huge Loss Nope, declared Ross Douthat in yesterday's New York Times. He had a talk with pollster Frank Luntz, who argued that the failed Clinton health care initiative wasn't the impetus for the Democratic losses in '94--that honor belongs to the Clinton crime bill. "The even better news for Democrats," reported Douthat, "is that they aren't up against Newt Gingrich this time."
- Only One Party Is Lying Actually, wrote Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post this morning, both sides are full of fake. "Obama's selling of 'reform,'" continued the anti-big government columnist, "qualifies as high class hucksterism, but in fairness, most conservative opponents match or exceed his exaggerations and distortions with low-class fear-mongering." The implications disgust him: "One side believes it must fool Americans ... the other thinks it must frighten Americans."
- Twitter Is Helping Both Sides Mobilize Wrong! Twitter may be helping the right, explained James Othmer, a former advertising executive, but the social media that aided Obama in the election is hurting him now. The president is getting shouted down online by a tool "much less effective ... for articulating the extraordinarily complicated details of health care reform."
- Turmoil Proves Our Democracy Is Flawed Think again, suggested the Los Angeles Times' Gregory Rodriguez, who wants to replace our town-hall Tocqueville with Walt Whitman. "Whitman," offered Rodriguez, "warned against Americans thinking that politics and policy were the sole foundations of a strong democracy." The real foundations of democracy, in Whitman's words, were "not so much legislation, police, treaties, and dread of punishment, as the latent eternal intuitional sense, in humanity, of fairness, manliness, decorum, etc." This intuitional sense, Rodriguez explained, "was fostered by a strong dedication to the nation's literary, artistic, and intellectual life."