Anyway. Noah analyzes how the Republicans aren't even pretending to be for the average American anymore, instead fretting about private health insurers' profits. Noah:
Eschewing any pretense that their primary concern is for medical consumers and taxpayers, they focus on the harm health care reform might bring to private health insurers... The reasoning was (and remains) that holding the line on government spending is socialism. Letting the government pay in excess of the market price is capitalism. Surrendering to such Alice in Wonderland reasoning is insanity.
This follows a pretty good earlier column by Slater Christopher Beam -- who's somewhere below Noah but higher than average as far as Slaters in J's esteem -- about how Republicans are trying to use the language of "universal health care" to rebrand their same brand of "gee, if you have money, you can get access to it -- what's not universal about that?" Indeed, they refuse to define what universal even means to them, but Beam gives us a hint:
Under a [traditional] Republican plan, "universal access" means anyone can buy insurance if they want it, but they don't have to. The problem is, "access" is a slippery concept. George W. Bush famously said that "people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room." By that definition, "universal access" already exists.
It's worth noting that Noah also points out that Obama is not really seeming geared up to provide universal health care, in the article linked above, as well as in a month-old column here (first installment of Obama Soft-on-Health-care-watch here.
In news of something more completely different, Fire Mickey Kaus takes a brief jaunt from its primary, and quite laudable, goal (of firing Mickey Kaus), to ask WTF is up with Slate's XX Factor, a nominally female-perspective blog of various Slatesters. Suffice it to say, FMK is about as impressed with XX Factor as we here at Anekantavada are. (To be clear, that level of impressedness == not very. The best thing I can say about their average quality is that it allowed me to use the wonderful word "gormless" in context for the first time.
*To be clear, you don't have to be as Left as J to be a J-Fave, but left-liberal authors like Noah who are clearly smart enough to see the world as it is and who make trenchant criticisms of both parties yet still pretend that either party is an honest broker... I guess what I'm trying to say is, you have to be intellectually consistent, and Noah's points are so insightful and indicting of the current system sometimes, that I feel like it's a total cop-out for him to still back much of the mainstream system. Perhaps he's afraid to go farther within his own mind, for the sake of his job, or he really doesn't see what I perceive to be the gaping chasm between his analysis of US Politics and anything like even qualified support of the status quo, but, yeah... I feel like something's holding him back from truly revolutionary writing, as opposed to someone who really is completely consistent and logical within their own worldview. But that's just me, mayhaps.