Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Friday, January 8, 2010

Health Care Reform Transparency

Please read the next sentence carefully. THERE WILL NEVER BE TOTALLY OPEN AND TRANSPARENT NEGOTIATIONS ON A CONTROVERSIAL POLITICAL ISSUE. End of discussion. If you believe otherwise, you're wrong. This is common sense if you think about it for more than two seconds. If negotiations on the health care bill were openly televised on CSPAN, there would be too much incentive for individual legislators to posture for their voters, give long-winded speeches, and otherwise act like performing seals. Deals are made when the principles meet in private away from the pressure of their voters to stick it to the "bad guys". It isn't perfect, but that's just life. It allows them to be candid with each other, strike the side deals that smooth the way to a majority, throw ideas at the wall to see what sticks, etc.

So in the large, principled sense, I don't blame Obama/Reid/Pelosi for reneging on all of the silly transparency talk during the campaign. They said what the voters wanted them to say, but now they're not going to deliberately impede their signature legislation just to keep a campaign promise voters were naive to expect in the first place. If you believed them (or ANY politician who promises a new standard of ethical behavior), then you're probably not a person who should be voting anyway. I DO have a Nigerian banker I'd like you to e-mail though... However, from a practical standpoint, because this bill stinks and I want it dead, I hope the Republicans take this issue and ride till the wheels fall off. The Dems made a decision to kill Republicans on the transparency issue in the election, and in exchange they exposed themselves to similar treatment down the road. Time to pay the piper guys.