Monday, August 10, 2009
Bright and early this morning, we find that the White House has put up a new website: Health Insurance Reform Reality Check. (Let us love it and squeeze it and call it HIRRC.) It's annoyingly video-heavy, but maybe that's an advantage in these days of higher bandwidths and lower attention spans. At any rate, they seem to know what they are up against:
If you've tuned into the news in the past few days, it's clear that the debate about health insurance reform has heated up as Senators and Representatives return to their home states and districts. A troubling trend has also emerged: as more people become engaged in the issue, defenders of the status quo have responded by muddying the waters with more wild rumors and scare tactics.A-freaking-men. There's a more reassuringly old-fashioned FAQ, too, although it could use some editing. Viz: "The savings being proposed from Medicare won’t harm patient care. In fact it will improve it." Pronouns must agree in number with antecedents; the antecedent here seems to be savings (plural), so should that be "In fact, they will improve it"? This would be more grammatically correct, and it would avoid the annoying repetition of it in the short clause. I'll toss in the comma to set off the transitional expression from the main clause for free. C'mon, elites! Did you pick up those Ivy League degrees at a yard sale?
The road ahead will surely reveal more aggressive efforts from defenders of the status quo to confuse and scare Americans with half-truths and outright lies. We're all too familiar with the time-tested tactics that opponents of reform have used for decades to prevent the meaningful change our health insurance system needs.
I wonder whether this new site has anything to do with the "change" tantalizingly spoken of by the Howler this past Saturday:
Change is coming: Yesterday, we had the pleasure of taking part in a strictly top-secret training session for fourteen impressive federal managers. Our topic? “Influence of the Media on the Policy Process.” After spending three hours (minus breaks) with these managers, we will only tell you this: We suspect that major change will soon be visible all through the federal government.I don't know, but if someone in this Democratic administration is asking Bob for advice on waging logical/rhetorical struggle in the age of Beck, Limbaugh, Milbank, Kurtz, Cokie, etc., I'd say that's a damn good sign.
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