Sunday, January 22, 2006
Good Morning, My Chickadees
...even if you accept that the activist base's concerns are valid--that Judge Alito may in fact be a "judicial radical"--the Democrats simply didn't prove it. They certainly could not justify their absurd insinuations that he was a closet bigot.He goes on to discuss the Galston/Kamarck analysis of the 2004 election, which can be found here in a large pdf file. A shorter article attempting to summarize it can be found here. I'd summarize Gerstein's point slightly less tactfully; the national Democratic party has developed a poorly concealed but deep-rooted contempt and distaste for the mainstream. That is what is killing them. The mainstream hasn't changed much in thirty years, but the national Democratic party has.
...that's the heart of the problem with our party and its angry activist base. It's not so much that we're living in a parallel universe, but that we have dueling conceptions of what's mainstream, especially on abortion and other values-based issues, and our side is losing. We think that if we simply call someone conservative, anti-choice and anti-civil rights, that's enough to scare people to our side.
This episode shows we don't have any leader in power who will tell our base that we're not going to become a majority party again by telling the majority they're out of the mainstream.
The second item that should give us all pause comes from Queensland, Australia, which is battling a doctor shortage so severe that it is shutting down emergency and even obstetrical services in a number of hospitals. They are trying to recruit doctors from abroad, but then they face the problem of certifying them. There have been some outrageous cases of malpractice by such doctors in Australia.
This caught my attention because it mirrors what is happening in South Georgia. The problem here is that a huge percentage of the population is on PeachCare, Medicaid or Medicare, and the reimbursement rates are not sufficient to keep doctors afloat. Nationalized medicine does not seem to work to me, and expanding it is making things worse. For example, if you don't have insurance in South Georgia, it can cost you $500 for a PAP smear and a yearly gynecological checkup. The clinics and doctors have either gone out of business or been driven to balance their budgets on the backs of the uninsured. The secretary at my insurance agency paid $750 out of her own pocket for such services last year. There's nothing wrong with her. It was all routine.
This situation is extremely unstable, because many people caught in this bind are now going outside the state for medical care, sometimes because it is cheaper and sometimes because doctors are unavailable locally. A friend of Chief No-Nag's had a stroke a couple of years ago. He is now on his fifth neurologist; they keep retiring or moving away. Those who claim that expanding Medicare is the way to control medical costs while ensuring that most people receive quality health care can't add. Once the bulk of the population is covered under such programs, reimbursement rates will have to be sharply raised or doctors will not be there to provide services a la Queensland and S. GA.
To boot, the PeachCare program is driving down tax receipts for Georgia because it makes more sense for married couples with moderate incomes not to accept raises that would lift them above the income qualification line. So many people with children simply have an arrangement with their employers not to give them raises.
Great post, as usual. Gerstein is only reinforcing the pundit that remarked that the dems today are this generation's Archie Bunkers- angry, outraged and incapable of making a cogent argument in their own defense.
The world has changed- and they have missed the boat, refusing to acknowlege their agenda has been rejected and continues to be even more marginalized.
They cannot win an argument- or election- based on acceptance of the new realities. Instead, they embrace deceit and the Michael Moores- and, as I have noted, they wonder why they cannot win an election.
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