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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Republican FAIL

Seems like every time I turn on CSPAN or tune in WRKO there's a Republican shouting that the health care reform bill should die because "the American people are against it." They keep pointing to poll results saying 70% of Americans are against the bill. And?
If they did a poll to ask folks "are you in favor of life sentences for all the Wall St. bigwigs who were responsible for The Great Meltdown," what would the results be? I'm guessing it would be at least 70% in favor. We simply don't resolve issues like this based on polls.
For eight years we had to listen to the Republicans excoriate Bill Clinton for his allegedly basing his policy decisions on poll results. Never mind whether the Republican accusations were true or not. The point is, we are representative democracy. Republican democracy embodies the concept that policy making should be insulated from the momentary passions of (ill-informed and easily manipulated) ordinary citizens. The polls are a reflection of these (usually ephemeral) passions.
The founders of our nation knew that few of us would have time to consider the myriad implications of every piece of proposed legislation so it made sense to elect people to do this on our behalf. How well this arrangement works is another (endless) discussion. Considering that the Republicans took their party's name from this very concept it seems a bit disingenuous for them to be suggesting we should vote down a bill because last week 75% of people polled in Indiana don't like it.
If you doubt the Obamacare (Deathpanel) Plan will work from a fiscal perspective, visit Paul Krugman's page at the NYT.

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