One of the striking things about the Netroots Revolt against the health care bill is how much the rhetoric sounds like Tea Party rhetoric: the government is a conspiracy between the two major parties and the special interests to screw over good, decent, ordinary folks, and the current Administration is corrupt and incompetent. But since “Teabagger” is about as nasty a name as you can call someone in Blue Blogistan, I decided (for once) to be polite and not make the point.
But what’s the use? Jane Hamsher just made it for me.
There is an enormous, rising tide of populism that crosses party lines in objection to the Senate bill. We opposed the bank bailouts, the AIG bonuses, the lack of transparency about the Federal Reserve, “bailout” Ben Bernanke, and the way the Democrats have used their power to sell the country’s resources to secure their own personal advantage, just as the libertarians have. In fact, we’ve worked together with them to oppose these things. What we agree on: both parties are working against the interests of the public, the only difference is in the messaging.
Right. The bailouts that prevented the Great Recession from turning into a second Depression were a bad idea, because some bank executives took home bonuses they didn’t deserve. And the only difference between the party that gave us Justice Scalia and the party that gave us Justice Sotomayor, the only difference between the party that passed the Lilly Ledbetter bill and the party that opposed it almost unanimously, the only difference between trying to stop global warming and denying that it exists, the only difference between Sarah Palin and her racist-nativist-theocrat crew and Barack Obama and his supporters, is “messaging.”
And therefore it makes sense for Jane Hamsher to join Joe Lieberman and Bill Kristol in putting an effective end to the Obama Presidency, while leaving tens of millions of the uninsured out in the cold.
Footnote Henry Aaron, who actually knows what he’s talking about, disagrees. So does Paul Krugman. But now that the Netroots have parted company with the reality-based community, following people like Howard Dean who have parted company with reality, that scarcely matters.
Update Commenter KCinDC pulls a better quote from Hamsher’s rant:
… the “lazy progressive bloggers” and the tea party activists are saying almost the exact same thing about the Senate bill.
Now, lemmesee, I used to know how this “logic” thing worked.
If (1) Teabaggers are stone crazy, and if (2) Jane Hamsher agrees with the Teabaggers, then …
… better not go there.
Steve Benen rebukes people criticizing the Netroots for trying to scuttle the bill:
there are reflexive, knee-jerk opponents of health care reform, who seem more concerned with an ideological agenda than the nation’s needs. You won’t find them on Daily Kos or FireDogLake — these opponents include Tea Party activists, Fox News’ on-air personalities, and the vast majority of the Republican caucuses in both chambers of Congress.
I see what he’s trying to say. But it’s hard to agree with him when Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake says, in so many words, that she agrees with the “Tea party activists.”