Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Will Only Say This Once

Catholic bishops would be well advised to pay considerably more attention to where the priesthood are putting their dicks than where they're putting communion wafers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Half A Loaf

With regard to the current health care bill, I am sympathetic to frustration with the current process. Although misattributed to Bismarck, the quote, "Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made," remains accurate. Would I prefer something else, with a robust single payer option, or even better something that freezes out insurance companies entirely? Yes. It is morally vile to make money off of human suffering and that is exactly what a stockholder in a health insurance company does.

This is unhelpful however. Though I'd love single payer, Steve Benen and Ezra Klein are right: Failure of this bill now does NOT increase the likelihood of a better bill (from my perspective), unless I am willing to grit my teeth and let the situation become utterly intolerable (or as a Marxian would have it, "Until the dialectic becomes obvious to the proletariat,").

Since the dialectic ain't gonna be obvious until you have LOTS of bodies piling up in a way directly attributable to bad health insurance coverage, and since I think that pile will be like an iceberg, most of it out of view, I cannot muster the cold bloodedness necessary to let thousands or millions die simply in order to stick it to insurance companies.

The current bill is far from perfect. The current bill is far from adequate, in point of fact. But it is more adequate than the status quo, and furthermore, it inserts into the public discourse the concept that health care, however inadequate to the actual need, however constrained by people's misinterpretation about what their personal Magic Sky Fairy wants from us, that Health Care is a right and not a privilege to be given or withheld at the whim of an employer or our economic status. We can build from that. We can't, no matter how much we think we ought to be able to, build from the wreckage of the current bill. Our pursuit of purity is why we have the current inadequate bill. It will only get inadequater if we scrap this one.

Better half a loaf and the principle that bread is a human right to a false sense that we'll get better bread if we drop the current version in a ditch and simply push harder later for a nice crusty sourdough.