In one of the best essays I’ve read on the President Obama’s attitude toward those who oppose his plans for a government overhaul of our health care system, Katherine Mangu-Ward dissects the Democrat’s words, notably his op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times, concluding When it comes to health care reform, Obama doesn’t believe reasonable people can disagree.
Mangu-Ward finds that even before this past Sunday, Barack Obama was eager to deride those who opposed further government control of health care as cynics:
Back in the misty days of January 2007, he warned the Democratic National Committee about us. The “cynics,” he predicted, would fight health care reform. “With such cynicism, government doesn’t become a force of good, a means of giving people the opportunity to lead better lives; it just becomes an obstacle for people to get rid of. Too often, this cynicism makes us afraid to say what we believe. It makes us fearful. We don’t trust the truth.” He blended together his own health care plan, government as a force for good, and truth into a delicious rhetorical smoothie, and they ate it up.
Sorry, Mr. President, it’s not cynicism which prevents me from seeing government as a force of good, but experience, experience with the efficacy of the free market and experience encountering the obstacles of state-run services. That’s not just my own experience, it’s also that of countless others who have seen the failure of government endeavors to improve out lot, initiatives which succeeded only in impeding the efficient delivery of services and slowing (if not blocking) innovation. Such experiences have reaffirmed the commitment of many who now oppose Obamacare to a principle, the idea of freedom.
Based on this principle, this idea, many have put forward reform proposals to improve our health care system different from those Democrats have offered. Yet, the President ignores our proposals, suggesting that since we don’t want to fix things the way he believes they should be fixed, we want to do nothing and so preserve the status quo, leaving Mangu-Ward to conclude:
Obama’s path is so clearly illuminated by the light of his own reason, he simply can’t entertain another possible way of being, a different set of beliefs, held by an intelligent person who is well-informed and well-intentioned—or so his language about cynicism, fear, and lies strongly implies. His assumption of bad faith or idiocy on the part of his opponents is done, it seems, with a pure heart.
As Glenn who alerted me to this essay might say, just read the whole thing.