Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Over at Kos:
Has anyone else noticed that the split in the progressive blogosphere between those who are saying "it's a good bill in spite of everything" (Kevin Drum, Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, Josh Marshall, to name a few) and those who just can't bring themselves to support Liebercare (Markos and Digby come to mind, among bloggers who have been at it since 2003) is eerily similar to the split between those who grudgingly backed the invasion of Iraq and those who fought against the war seven years ago?

To a large degree, it's the same cast of characters, with the same tone to the arguments. It's the policy wonks versus the activists. On the wonky side, there is (and was, in 2003) a resigned sense that this isn't an ideal action, but that we don't live in an ideal world, and that consequently we should suck it up and support an imperfect initiative. On the other, there is (and was, in 2003) a resistance born of an awareness that Congressional Democrats will more often than not -- and often unintentionally -- screw themselves and the country, out of a misguided belief that powerful forces with agendas very different from that of the Democratic Party can be managed and trusted.

It's been long enough since the invasion of Iraq that the two camps - the credulous wonks and dirty fucking hippies - have reconciled (and even interbred), but the dynamic that separated us in 2003 is the same. The fundamental difference in approach is still there. When all is said and done, the wonks trust Democratic politicians to protect our interests. The activists don't. That doesn't mean that we don't like certain Democratic politicians, or that we don't cherish our wonky brethren. It just means that we're not willing to get fooled again.
This reminds me more of the Hillary Clinton / Barack Obama split from spring of 2008.

Drum, Yglesias, Klein, and Marshall were, in varying degrees, pro 2003 Iraq war. Were they "policy wonks"? Hard to see it that way since any wonky-ness would have focused on the complete failure of the U.N. inspectors to find WMD. At least that was where I was. It was my view that the more "emotional" bloggers were pro-war.

As a rule, Kos is a pragmatist, and I consider myself one too. Yet BooMan is pragmatic and he's in favor of the Senate bill. What's going on?

I think it boils down to an assessment of the political ramifications of the Senate bill. I think it will be a big problem, what with the forced mandate and potential for millions to experience insurance premium hikes.


Looks like it's the Pragmatists vs. the Idealists.

Me, I'm a pragmatist who was dead set against the Iraq War. But I favor passing the half-a-loaf health care reforms we can for now and make improvments later.

By Blogger A Pragmatic Liberal, at 12/17/2009 10:47 AM  

Yet BooMan is pragmatic and he's in favor of the Senate bill.

No, BooMan has AFAICT become a shill for Obama.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/17/2009 2:28 PM  

bI am a pragmatic idealist. (That was a joke.) If this pig passes as is it will be great news for the republicans. It won't control costs. It will hurt millions of middle class pocket books. It will trap millions in shitty health care plans. And the republicans will all run away from it and spend the next fifty years explaining how this proves you can not trust big government dems. The dems are a collective bunch of morons.

As for me I have been voting straight dem ticket for 33 years. It is third party time for me. I am done with these corporatist warmongering pigs

By Anonymous Mart, at 12/17/2009 4:45 PM  

when lanny davis says it's a good bill --- you know it's corrupt as hell.

By Anonymous omen, at 12/18/2009 9:40 AM  

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