Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not dead yet

McJoan at her Daily Kos diary has been paying close attention to the health care debate. The Republicans' and Blue Dogs' main strategy to kill real reform has been to delay, delay, delay, to give time for the opposition propaganda and insurance lobby money to have more effect. And a delay on the vote until after August is a bad thing.

But McJoan points out that the fight's not over until it's over. And of the three key Democratic leaders in the pro-reform fight (Obama, Pelosi, Reid), two of the three are declaring themselves determined to get it passed. Hint: "Give 'Em Whine Harry" Reid isn't one of the two. As she puts it in Rumors of Death of Healthcare Reform Greatly Exaggerated 07/27/09:

The traditional media is all geared up to declare healthcare dead, or at the very least on life-support, and President Obama's first term doomed to failure because of this. It's an easy template for them--if they talk about the politics then they don't have to bother learning the policy and reporting on the stuff that really matters--how the various policy options would work, what it would mean to average families, or even what happens if reform isn't done.

What they're forgetting is that two out of the three most important people in making this happen--Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi--are committed to getting it done. [my emphasis]
We can't afford to ignore or underestimate the role that our serious media dysfunction plays in political controversies like this. Our celebrity press doesn't care whether health reform passes or not. Plus, talking about it bores them. My own Exhibit 1: Mark Shields on the PBS Newshour of 07/24/09. So they do a rotten job of reporting it. And that works very much to the Republicans' advantage, since they are trying to throw out as many red herrings as possible to discredit health insurance reform. The less people know about the facts, the more effective Republican factoids will be.

Richard Cohen thinks all this health care stuff is boorrr-rring, too. Our press corps is really, really sad.


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