Monday, August 24, 2009

Watching Oberman

Oberman is incensed that Ted Kennedy's name has been invoked in the health care debate by republicans claiming that they could have reached a deal with the lion of the Senate. this is supposed to be some horrible crime on the Keith Oberman show. But it is reasonable to point out that Kennedy is a deal maker. even though his preferences are extreme in the American context and that McCain and Hatch are in no way in agreement with Kennedy's preferences, it is fair to point out that Kennedy as a Senator has a great track record of making deals, taking half a loaf when he couldn't get everything he wanted. That is, after all, how no child left behind got passed. And the reaction of the Oberlinites is rather odd. they talk of "invoking" Kennedy's name, as if his name is some sort of worship word that Republicans dare not profane with their lips. What is up with that?

The great oddity about the whole debate is that people are against some small scale reforms on the basis of what they think those small scale reforms would lead to in the long run. This makes the debate less about the policy but about the tendency of institutions to evolve after policies are enacted.

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