Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Question of Authenticity

Sen. Ben Cardin's townhall meeting on health care was the national debate writ small--sort of. There is a question of authenticity at these events. The Democratic narrative of opponents of the Demcoratic plan being nothing more than paid operatives for the insurance industry is ringing a tad hollow:
But the professional-seeming organizing by the supporters of the health legislation only undermined their own narrative -- that they are the genuine grass roots, while the opponents of reform are themselves organized by the unseen hand of right-wing forces, Adam Smith, Obama haters. Many of the supporters waved glossy signs from the activist coalition Health Care for America Now -- setting themselves up for a chant from hand-lettered-sign-carrying opponents: 'Why the pre-made signs? Why the pre-made signs?'
On the other hand, there are legitimate questions about organization of oppoenents:
But if the skeptics were so spontaneously unorganized, why were some of them carrying around the list of 20 questions for Cardin and "Obamacare" being circulated ahead of time in conservative circles?
Well, lets consider a few things. First, a printed list of questions can be obtained by a person via email from friends, colleagues and yes, the RNC or insurance industry, I will grant you that. But that is a negligble cost. A pre-printed glossy sign is an indication of serious organization and serious money behind the organization--those signs aren't cheap.

Plus, I do believe that there is some significant organziation on the side of opponents, but that is not the only form of opposition. I do believe a fair amount (not all, but a significant portion) is a matter of spontaneous reaction by voters who simply don't like what they are seeing and hearing from their elected leaders.

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