Matt Taibbi has written what to me looks like the definitive account of the health care reform process thus far. I can’t find a thing in it to argue with. The most frustrating thing about it is that I have a hard time seeing how it could have gone any differently. It’s not as though anyone can point to any one bad decision that would have made things go more easily — this is how our government works.
The one thing that really does disappoint me is that when campaigning for President, Barack Obama said he would break through the gridlock in Washington by going directly to the people and getting them to put pressure on Congress to enact important reforms. I’m not sure whether he’s to blame for not harnessing the public effectively, or the public is responsible for not answering when he called. But we’re now stuck with the same dysfunctional lawmaking process that we’ve had for as long as I can remember.
Not only are we stuck with a government that is incapable of effectiveness, but we are stuck with a populace that is unwilling to demand effectiveness. The most energized portion of the electorate is operating in a fever dream of paranoia and stupidity so deep that they are indistinguishable from followers of Lyndon LaRouche.