Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pearlstein's lame defense

In his latest online chat someone asked Steven Pearlstein, the Washington Post's business columnist, a great question:
NOVA: First, I am not a crowd disrupter at the health care town halls. I think those people really stage their protests because Limbaugh or Beck told them too. However, I have some questions about what is being proposed in Congress. Few people would feel the Post Office, the IRS, the Pentagon, Medicare, etc. are well run government organizations. How can we feel secure in the government running health care?
The question make eminent sense. Given that government really doesn't do too many things very well, what reason is there to think it can do something like health care, which has traditionally not been run by the government in this country.

His response:
Okay, I tried to answer this once already. let me try again.

Your smear on government is unfounded, as is your fear that the government is going to run health care. [...]

Moreover, who says government can't run anything? Those town meetings were full of old people who had been scared by right wing goons into believing that somebody was going to take away their Medicare. Obviously, they think its a pretty good program if they were demanding that nobody touch it. And I think if you ran on the platform that our boys and girls in Afghanistan were doing a lousy job, you probably wouldn't get many votes. As for the Post Office, if you think everyone hates it and nobody values its services, then why is there a public hue and cry whenever it is proposed to close one office or do away with Saturday delivery? Maybe you ought to rethink this knee-jerk, ideological view that government is always bad.
What a poor answer. Medicare is broke, while few people question our members of the armed services in Afghanistan skepticism is growing over the mission, and the fact people think a poor service -- the USPS -- is better than no service at all proves nothing.

That Pearlstein is reduced to offering such a terrible defense of his beliefs makes it rather apparent who in this debate is engaged in knee-jerk ideology.

No comments: