Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Liberal Enthusiasm Convinced Me To Oppose Medicare Buy-In

From the Huffington Post:

In an interview with the New York Times, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) revealed Tuesday that he decided to oppose a Medicare buy-in in part because liberals like Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) liked it too much.

[I]n the interview, Mr. Lieberman said that he grew apprehensive when a formal proposal began to take shape. [...]

And he said he was particularly troubled by the overly enthusiastic reaction to the proposal by some liberals, including Representative Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, who champions a fully government-run health care system.
Click here for more.

A few years ago I was having margaritas back in Houston with a couple of theater buddies of mine, one liberal and one conservative, both of them extraordinarily intelligent. The whole immigration debate was taking up a lot of space on the evening news at that point, and our conversation drifted in that direction. After the standard liberal/conservative back and forth on the issue, I threw out one of my dissenting ideas: I don't understand why liberals don't take this issue as seriously as conservatives; after all, illegal immigrant workers depress wages for everybody, and that's bad for workers who are actually citizens.

Both my buddies loved this, and one of them, I forget whether it was the conservative or the liberal, asserted that both sides are prone to knee-jerk responses. That is, if the right wing says one thing, liberals often feel compelled to say the other, simply because it's the opposite of what their adversaries are asserting, and vice versa.

I suspect this happens a whole lot more than people are willing to admit. I mean, it's easy to blast Lieberman for it because he's a dick and an idiot. But at least he's being honest about how he doesn't really give a shit about what people who disagree with him have to say. The bottom line here is that we don't really listen to each other. My take is that conservatives are probably more guilty of this than liberals, but I'm sure I'm biased on this. Actually, there are some rather profound and frightening totalitarian tendencies on the left, so opposition simply because it's the other side is probably as pronounced among liberals as it is among conservatives.

At the very least, we ought to hear each other out, fairly and at length, before we render judgment. But I guess that's not really the zeitgeist, is it?