Sunday, January 19, 2014

A petty rant: Republicans are the real lying liars on Obamacare
...But let’s say it was a sinister deception undertaken by a man who believed he had to lie for the greater good. Why was he being so defensive?

Part of it can be attributed to the Democrats’ elephantine memory of Bill Clinton’s failed attempt to overhaul the healthcare system. It turns out that the biggest obstacle facing anyone trying to reform the healthcare system is that you can’t do it without creating some amount of disruption, and most people in the country have insurance they’re pretty happy with. So Obama wanted to minimize not just the disruption but the fear of disruption itself. A fair critique of Obamacare is that it leaves too many of the worst parts of the old system in place, but that’s no consolation if you took Obama at his word.

Another part of the story, though, is that he was responding to an incredible amount of bullshit.

And this is where I want to be petty.

Noble lies have in many ways defined the debate over the Affordable Care Act,...

...This raises an interesting philosophical question about the moral differences between lies told in the service of creating something, lies told in the service of trying (but failing) to prevent it, and lies told in support of alternatives that will never come to pass. It also bears mention that people are experiencing and reacting to the real consequences of Obamacare, and it’s natural that there’s more clamor about the law itself than about the false but abstract claims opponents have made about it.

But as far as political credibility is concerned the distinction is moot. These are all just lies, even if each is rooted in the fact that people have different and contentious views of the greater good....