Saturday, April 5, 2014

Obamacare Victory Despite All Odds




Some time ago somebody wrote that when we feel passionate about something that's under siege we want to fight for it, so we instinctively look for the news or for blogs or videos that criticize it, because then we’ve got something to fight about!

Well it takes all types. I don’t ever go looking for the bad news about Democrats, or President Obama. I’m constantly on the lookout for articles that illustrate to me something positive. The problem is that I can’t find much of it and haven’t been able to since President Obama first took office. This has always puzzled me, because it’s not as if his achievements aren’t monumental. Even when there’s a great victory – like 7.1 million people signing up for health care under Obamacare and targets set were met despite all the difficulties of the roll-out – everybody, including the liberal media, can’t even have one day’s worth of clean celebration without sullying their articles with gloom and doom predictions about the future.

It absolutely drives me crazy. Sometimes I think the liberal media is almost as harmful as the right wing media, because who ever reports on the good news without also slipping in a gloom and doom opinion perspective, under the guise of news, that is actually pure speculation and opinion on the part of the writer?

Take the New York Times’ coverage of President Obama and his administration’s Obamacare triumph.  The article was a pleasure to read. It’s news, and unbiased reporting. Then I clicked on Times a Minute, a video, half way down the page. It starts with President Obama quipping about Armageddon and Death Panels, which is pretty appropriate.

Then you cut to a reporter with a very serious and almost sad expression on her face, talking about how many obstacles there are ahead.

It’s not fact, though; it’s speculation. The reporter had three options: to do gloom and doom and give us a sense that things probably won’t work out. Or predict that the incredible success of Obamacare so far despite the rollout hitches indicates that this is a President who who takes problems seriously, apologizes for them and fixes them immediately and effectively. She could also have predicted that law will ultimately be a resounding success and back up her opinion with facts and figures about how unpopular Medicare was at first. Or she could have done both, acknowledged that it’s all speculation and shown us how truly unbiased Times a Minute is.

But the choice was the most depressing option; speculation about what could happen with nothing to counterbalance it. The heading for Times a Minute was: “Times Minute | A Health Care Milestone: Today on the Minute, how yesterday’s health care milestone will affect the debate on health care and the expansion of medicaid.” But that didn’t represent the content at all. In fact the only conclusion one could draw, if one believed Times a Minute was representing truth, was that the President didn’t take the real problems seriously and deliberately withheld the real information about them from the public.

Grrr. Well, on the bright side, I guess they got most of it right. As for me, I’m not one of the readers who wants to read what the opposite camp writes about President Obama and Democrats, especially given what a lot of lies are spewed out. I want to read acknowledgement of the truth.

When Americans for Prosperity puts out ads that have no factual base, I want to read the media that exposes it, and it’s available. When Justice John G. Roberts Jr. rules for big money to have the freedom to openly buy politicians I want to read the media outrage. And that’s available too.

So why doesn’t the liberal media get behind this President uncompromisingly in the way that, for example, the right wing media gets behind their politicians, no matter what they’ve done? When President Obama triumphs in the way that he has with Obamacare, it’s exciting, it’s thrilling, because achievement of this kind is an honorable, noble thing. I'm uplifted, inspired and real grateful that I live in an era when such a man as Barack Obama is President. I'm in awe that he's surmounted all obstacles. I’m happy that all the GOP skulduggery hasn’t been able to make the ACA fail.

I want to read articles written by journalists who know enough and are honest enough to see the triumph for what it is - an unprecedented moment in American history achieved by a President that Americans have not seen the like of for a very long time.

Thank God for Paul Krugman, a New York Times op-ed columnist and brilliant economist with a phenomenal understanding of social dynamics, whose opening words on this even were “Holy seven million, Batman!” He always calls it like it is. Funny thing is, when he does, especially on Obamacare, a lot of readers don’t want to hear it. Well, it’s their loss. I’m breaking out the champagne.