Expert Perspective by Grahall’s Robert Cirkiel
Any doubt that the Health Care Reform debate is all about politics should be dispelled by the August 8, 2009 article by AP reporter Mark Theissen titled “Palin Says Obama’s Health Care Plan is ‘Evil’” summarizing a posting on Facebook attributed to Sarah Palin (although its interesting that her statements need to be authenticated, like those of another reclusive “freedom fighter” ).
The Democrats initially sold reform as a remedy for the coverage and treatment denials made by the evil profiteers aka the health insurance industry. Apparently, the Democrats got their market research right because the Republicans are using the same exact issue to argue against reform, by changing the villain to the government. (The fact that Medicare does less to impede care than any private insurance program seems to be getting lost in the discussion, but let’s not let the facts get in the way here.)
Enter Sarah Palin. There has been a civil war in the Republican Party for the past few years between the powerfully entrenched “Country Club Republicans” and the upstart “Blue Collar Republicans.” Ms. Palin is positioning herself as the leader of the latter group and her biography suggests that she is the real deal. Opinions of her are just about 50/50 within the Party. It’s grey (literally) vs. blue all over again!
Unless I’m giving her too much credit, this is a very clever maneuver by Palin. Although intelligent, her comments are emotion based rather than intellectual, analytical, or even factual. Her depiction of the government insurance option as “Obama’s Death Panel” is nothing short of brilliant. I’ll take a wild stab here and say she’s running for President.
Rather than dismiss her comments as “noise” I think that the emotional side of this debate is every bit as important as the intellectual. In fact, I can foresee the next four years of politics being a tug of war between emotion vs. intellect. Palin is separating the Blue Collar Republicans from everyone else. The result is that the Country Club Republicans end up on the other side of the Mason Dixon Line together with everyone else who is out to screw the Blue Collars, such as the Ivy Leaguers, Northeast intelligencia, and Wall Streeters. Ironic that the Country Clubbers helped to create this monster by enabling the unleashing the health care rationing argument in the first place.
In the meantime, Grahall will be using an analytical and factual approach when reporting on Health Care Reform.
You can email Robert Cirkiel at firstname.lastname@example.org