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So bad it’s good—or not

March 29, 2010 - 1:30 pm

Today’s editorial in The San Diego Union-Tribune was the most schizophrenic piece of writing I think I’ve ever read. Let me try to break down what it said:

1. The healthcare bill was a travesty, but at least Congress displayed courage and resolve in getting it passed.

2. Congress should now use that same courage and resolve to solve other vexing problems.

3. Saying that lawmakers found their backbone isn’t a compliment, mind you. In the case of the healthcare bill, courage and resolve produced something bad. But, “still,” it was “remarkable” that Congress managed to pass a bill that was wildly unpopular. This kind of thing should happen more often, even though saying it happened this time is not a compliment.

4. The healthcare bill should be repealed ASAP (presumably, for the same reasons an “overwhelming” number of Americans hated it).

5. Congress doesn’t care what the public or special interests think, and that’s awesome. Let’s see more of that.

Having read the editorial again, I think it would have made more sense if this part had been edited out:

Now, suddenly, lawmakers have found their backbones. Understand, this isn’t a compliment.

The editorial seems to be saying that Congress should do what it thinks is right, even when faced with sizable opposition—something is has an unfortunate history of not doing. But the writer completely undermines the message by saying that now that Congress has done what we’ve wanted it to do for many years, that’s not a compliment. Clearly, the writer—or perhaps the group-think of the editorial board—couldn’t decide whether courage in the face of opposition is a good thing or not. Or, it just couldn’t reconcile courage, which the editorial seems to like, with what that courage produced.

I’ll be interested in watching to see if the U-T criticizes Congress for flouting the will of the people the next time this kind of thing happens. Maybe that’ll be a good thing, unless it’s bad.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 31, 2010 - 9:05 pm 9:05 pm

    Same old story, it’s courage if your leaders push through legislation you agree with, and bullying if you disagree with the legislation. Bleh.

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