Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Irony, or Why I don't take conservatives seriously, pt. DCCXIII

Politico reports:

Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 – 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.


“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

Understood properly, however, Mr. Harris isn't really being the hypocrite he appears to be. Conservative hostility to health care reform never rested on fiscal concerns. It all comes down to the most fundamental dichotomy of conservative thought: their self-image of themselves as responsible, hard-working producers v. lazy, irresponsible parasites (aka "liberals"). It's why Social Security and Medicare remain untouchable, while health care reform was frequently opposed on the grounds that it would offer benefits to illegal immigrants (surely the most trivial of concerns regarding the financing of health care reform).

Mr. Harris is hard working and responsible. He deserve health care, and he deserves it now. I won't quibble with that. I just wish he would consider that he might not be the only one.

Via The Daily Dish

1 comment:

James Hanley said...

I think Social Security and Medicare remain untouchable because elderly people benefit and as a demographic group they uniquely combine size with high propensity to vote.

But other than that quibble, I do think you're right that they're making an-stated distinction between deserving and un-deserving, and amazingly they always end up on the deserving side.

It's probably the same logic by which a businessman can argue that he supports free markets and opposes government regulation, but his business is a special case.