The best way to think about Romneycare is on a left-right scale of 1 to 10. If 10 is a libertarian utopia, and 1 is a left-wing dystopia, Governor Romney moved Massachusetts’ individual health-insurance market from a 2 to a 4. That is, it moved that market modestly to the right.
I can remember well a Senator Obama who joined the Democratic chorus against the warrantless wiretapping of the Bush administration. Now, that chorus has gone mute. The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald has noted what he sees as “a defining attribute of the Obama legacy: the transformation of what was until recently a symbol of rightwing radicalism – warrantless eavesdropping – into meekly accepted bipartisan consensus.”
Not every Republican or Democrat is part of that consensus. When the Senate rushed through a last-minute extension of the Fisa Amendments Act over the holidays late last year, Senator Mike Lee (Republican, Utah) and I offered an amendment requiring stronger protections on business records that would’ve prohibited precisely the kind of data-mining the Verizon case has revealed. Senator Ron Wyden (Democrat, Oregon) introduced an amendment to require estimates from intelligence agencies of how many Americans were being surveilled. Both these measures were voted down.
Read the Whole Thing, as they say. And marvel at the next round of excuses to emanate from the usual suspects.
Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling “Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,” or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils.
I suppose I could take this as a tonic not to get too excited by the ongoing SCANDALPALOOZA. If this turns out to be less than we’ve imagined, that will be good, right? If Obama really is schocked and offended by what the IRS was doing, and takes steps to prevent its future ocurrence, that will be a bonus for everyone, yes?
I must admit this. But I also must admit — because it is true — that I deeply enjoy watching my ideological opponents fail. I enjoyed watching Obama run like a frightened squirrel from the podium after promising us that he was like, REALLY MAD, YOU GUYS! I’M SERIOUSLY! It was fun seeing Eric Holder be all “DURR, WHAT ARE CELL PHONES?” I really dont’ mind watching Jon Stewart losing his temper and realizing the epic truth that the right have been promulgating for decades:
In response to the news today that the economy contracted -.1 percent in the final quarter of last year, Democrats are touting the claim that this is “the best-looking contraction in U.S. GDP you’ll ever see.” The claim was originally made by chief U.S. economist for Capital Economics Paul Ashworth.
Yup. We are double-dipping, ladies and germs, and the smart boys are loving it. Because apart from the contraction of the economy part, everything else was really “encouraging”. Yeah, that’s the word.