And why it's quickly becoming the "Gordon Ramsey and Top Gear" Channel. Because it tolerates, even promotes, rubbish like this. You know, for an organization that claims it's primary aim is to inform the British people about the rest of the world, it seems to find people of the worst caliber to do so, and that only causes one to conclude that the BBC is near-absolutely worthless as a source of information.
I watch BBC World News America often, and quite frankly, this article is par for the course. It's difficult to actually explain something you don't actually know while pretending to be an authority. That the BBC calls this sort of thing "journalism" is laughable. The author, a Dr. Runciman, begins with the unproven and unprovable premise that Obamacare is of absolute benefit to everyone, and that only a fool would see it differently. He takes this as being universally-understood, like the water being wet, Tinky-WInky being gay, or Janeane Garofalo being permanently menstrual. A point so irrefutable as to stand like the Rock of Gibraltar; unassailable, unquestionably substantive, so....rocky and gibraltar-y as to defy gainsaying.
Listen, just because Britain has a National Health Service that tolerates dirty hospitals, dead patients left on gurneys in hallways, lack of equipment, crappy service and denial of medication or procedures as cost-savings, it doesn't stand to reason that America should have one, too, or that it's worth the expense that the Obamatards and the Democratically-controlled Congress believe we taxpayers (because they won't have to pay a dime for it, and can keep their gold-plated insurance plans) should have to pay for it.
We don't have to be like you, nor think like you, but that's not the ultimate point of your article. If it were, the BBC would never have allowed it to be printed or broadcast. Your secondary point is to simply call Americans you disagree with names behind the shield of "journalism", which makes you a pansy. That's what a certain class of British people, like the self-appointed elites at the BBC, have done ever since Yankee Doodle Went To Town. Your primary point, however, is to try to explain to your own overtaxed and under-served citizens just why their less-than-stellar eyedrops-and-bandaids-for-everyone system is superior to Americas market-based system, and just why the American example of revolt against "Obama's reform" should not be copied in Britain.
Mostly because leftist elites, like Dr. Runciman, are frightened by the recent electoral rise of the British Nationalist Part (the new Fascist party), something which he obviously equates with the American Tea Party movement, itself a main factor in the war against Obama Care. He sees the rise of British Fascism and American Tea Parties as being essentially the same thing, and that the first aim of these American Nazis is to ensure that the "poor" don;t get the things they rightly deserve. Much like BNP members who scream that the Native-born (meaning White) British should be first in line for government largesse. But there is a far more important set points in play here; we reject Obama care not because we're a nation of racists and fascists, we reject it because it's proving to be overly complex, costs too much, is obviously polticially-motivated, and cant guarentee even a minimum level of services.
But that's not really Dr. Runciman's argument. His aim is to try to explain why British people speaking against their own government healthcare (and in fact, any government-run program) is not such a good thing.
Primarily, Doctor Runciman is content to make this argument by finding several different ways of saying "Americans are stupid" and that's somehow supposed to represent an actual reportage of the facts. Your typical BNP yobbo is supposed to be frightened of being seen as acting like an American if he thinks some pansy at the BBC might think him stupid, right?
Dr. Runciman begins the demonization process with this little tidbit about the Town Hall Meetings:
"What happened was an explosion of rage and barely suppressed violence... "
I didn;t see any "rage". I saw "outrage", but no foaming-at-the-mouth-murderous-rage. He fails to note that the majority of the violence was perpetrated by Union Thugs allied to the democratic party, or "citizen's groups" -- like ACORN, the Black Panther Party, and others --who are (or at least were) protected by the democratic party establishment. In one of the more famous incidents of violence, a man in St. Louis was beaten by members of the SEIU on camera. These men have yet to be investigated or have charges brought against them, and I can promise Dr. Runciman, none of them was a conservative. They were muscle bussed into the meeting specifically to intimidate the opposition.
And by the way, what the Obamatard and Congress are offering is NOT "reform". If it were reform, it would still be recognizable as the American Medical System. Firstly, what they are offering is a fundamental loss of liberties disguised as compassion; once the government has the responsibility of keeping you alive, it then has the right to tell you how to live, depriving yo uof the right of choice. Second, is the problem of expense. Government never does anything efficiently or cheaply, primarily because the nature of bureaucracy is to expand and entrench itself, and because it's not subject to the forces of market capitalism (being taxpayer-funded, and immune to lawsuit), it has no reason to be efficient, fair, consistent or even logical in it's activities. Finally, the expense of such a system cannot be born by a tax base which already loses upwards of 40% of it's income to taxes on all levels before it even sees it's paycheck, and in which the greatest Federal expenses are entitlement programs which never gear benefits to economic realities. The American National Debt now stands at just over $12 trillion dollars, roughly equal to Gross Domestic Product.
The money to pay for Obamacare can only come from two places: the taxpayer, who can't afford it, or borrow it from China, which simply puts the taxpayer in deeper debt.
Undeterred by those facts, Dr. Runciman than goes off the rails and comes up with this pearl of wisdom:
"But it is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform - the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state - are often the ones it seems designed to help. Instead, to many of those who lose out under the existing system, reform still seems like the ultimate betrayal. "
Those who oppose "reform", Doctor, are simply those who are expected to pay the most for it and derive the least benefit from it. The "System" isn't designed to help them; it's supposed to help politically-selected groups like Blacks, Illegal Aliens and Union Workers, who will be reliable democratic party voters for eons to come. It's a "betrayal" to those people (the bproposed beneficiaries) because they're under the impression that they've been promised something "for free", or at least, at someone else's expense. So, why shouldn't they feel "betrayed"? They thought "The Rich" would finally be getting their comeuppance and "The Poor" would benefit (by the way, the average "Poor" person in the U.S. has a cellphone, a rent-stabilized or state-subsidized apartment, most have cable TV, air-conditioning and automobiles, and pull in about $36k a year in government benefits with no tax responsibility whatsoever).
However, all this "bending the cost curve down" that Obama talks about runs into a problem: there aren't enough "rich" to soak for it. The "Rich" is a category the Obama Administration keeps defining downwards; he started at $250k a year, then it became $200k, then $125K, and now some estimates of the current bill before the Senate estimate that people earning under $50k will be paying higher taxes to see Obamacare become a reality. So long as someone else pays the bill it's the greatest thing since penicillin, otherwise, if you have to stick a crowbar in your own wallet during a recession and with no guarantee of employment, then it's a betrayal.
But see, finding all that stuff out would be, like, work, and if there's one thing pseudo-intellectuals hate to do, it's work (it's why they became intellectuals, you know). So, not having all the above at his disposal to condition his thinking, Dr. Runciman then leaps into the minefield:
"It might be tempting to put the whole thing down to what the historian Richard Hofstadter back in the 1960s called "the paranoid style" of American politics, in which God, guns and race get mixed into a toxic stew of resentment at anything coming out of Washington."
There we go! I was wondering when we'd get to the Bitter Clingers accusation. Took you long enough, Doc; Andrew Sullivan would have had it in the first paragraph. Yes, people who don't like the idea of taxpayer-funded-government death camps disguised as hospitals advocated by a black man are all shotgun-toting-redneck-racists who wish Jim Crow were still in effect. I'm not sure if Dr.Runciman has ever been to the States (I've been to Britain eight times, myself, and every time I made an effort to get out of London -- which is New York with a funny accent and politer pigeons -- and got into the countryside to actually meet real people), but I wonder if he's ever left the Upper East Side, or rubbed elbows with the great, unwashed masses he accuses of racism? Someone who could write that doesn't know jack-shit about Americans, never mind the attribution to a noted (uber-liberal) historian.
But the good Doctor is unaware of the danger of making sweeping generalizations without obvious first-hand knowledge, because he continues:
" They do it because they resent having their interests decided for them by politicians who think they know best. There is nothing voters hate more than having things explained to them as though they were idiots...."
Yeah, we'd rather just have it foisted upon us without a word of explanation at all. Like how the EU does it. You know, you can overdo that whole "democratic process" thing if you're not careful. Better to just pass the legislation in the dead of night, behind closed doors and then explain what you've done afterwards, just before you stick us with the bill, or just as John Q. Douchebag is about to be wheeled in for the double-bypass he waited 11 months to get approval for. If only we Americans were like you enlightened "Europeans" and just meekly accepted what our betters have crafted in our name, the world would be such a different place...
Doctor Runciman then goes off on a tangent to present an example of Americans' obstinate stupidity and appalling lack of servitude to it's ruling class. An excerpt from a book (I won't reprint it here, but it's in the article) which purports that Liberals are Always Right But Just Make Terrible Arguments -- by, amazingly! "A frustrated Democrat" -- who also happens to be a psychologist. Which means he's twice the bullshit artist for the same, low price. That example is from the 2000 election when supposed-idiot George W. Bush wiped the rhetorical floor with a not-quite-yet-environMENTAL billionaire juggernaut, Al Gore. The implication is that Gore's good ideas, backed up by all the wonky polls and apparent grasp of facts, were unable to stand up to the relentless ridicule of George W., and Al Gore went down to defeat, taking his brilliant policies with him.
And we're supposed to believe, what? Good, self-interested Americans with half a brain and not a whiff of racism about them should have elected Gore in a landslide? Instead, they fell for the wily rhetorical tricks of George W. Bush, and Al Gore and his superior ideas were doomed to electoral defeat?
(It always amazes me that it is (conveniently) forgotten that the World Left considered George W. Bush just slightly smarter than the retarded Kennedy, and incapable of putting together a coherent sentence. Yet, somehow, he becomes Cicero, Pericles, Lloyd-George, and Cardinal Richelieu all rolled up into one just when he needs to be in oder to destroy the brilliant ideas and world-vision of the Left? I'm supposed to take people who can think this way seriously?)
Word of advice, Doctor: if ever you wish to win an argument in which your premise is that the American people are too stupid to obey their obvious self-interest and hitch their fortunes to a cabal of evil rich white men who are even dumber than they are -- don't use Al Gore as your example. Seems to me the enlightened Left hitched their wagon to Gore's star, and he led them to defeat -- at the hands of a man they consider a cretin, no less. You've already lost the argument as soon as you mention Gore. Al Gore has absolutely zero credibility in this country. He's claimed to have invented everything from breathing to the Internet. He's claimed that he and his wife were the inspiration for Love Story, and probably Pygmalion, Romeo and Juliet and Lady and the Tramp, as well. He's disgraced himself by trying to sue his way into the White House, after failing to get the votes in Florida selectively recounted to his advantage. He's seen as one of the primary perpetrators of a scam which has enriched him, and which threatens to destroy our economic well-being --Man-made Global Warming -- which is being even further discredited on a daily basis.
As soon as you start talking "evil rich men" and you try to portray an Al Gore, Bill Clinton, John Kerry or anyone named Kennedy as the hero of the proletariat, you've arrived at the battle completely unarmed.
Not content with this already-pitiful display of stupidity and cluelessness, the Doctor can't help himself but to continue thus:
"Obama's administration made a tremendous mistake by not immediately branding the economic collapse that we had just had as the Republicans' Depression, caused by the Bush administration's ideology of unregulated greed. The result is that now people blame him."
Okay, I don't even know where to begin! The Doctor apparently doesn't watch American television (why should he? He works for the BBC!), because Barack Obama only complains about the economic crisis being George Bush's fault 72 times a day. And when he isn't doing it, his surrogates are. It's always "I've inherited this..." or "George Bush did that..." I don't think Barack Obama has been remiss in placing blame anywhere; it's the only thing he's good at, frankly, and "unregulated greed" was the result of Democrats not taking the Bush Administration position that the mortgage market needed serious reform, six years before it imploded, because Chris Dodd was (figuratively) in bed with the mortgage lenders, and Congressman Barney Frank was literally between the sheets with them.
This is why people who don't know the first thing about the United States, it's people or it's politics, should never be allowed to write a fucking thing; they only end up making poor arguments and looking ridiculous. You start to conclude that Doctor Runciman must live in a cave, and then he proves it. He contends that the Success of the American Right (it was so successful that it got voted right out of power in 2006 and 2008!) can be explained away, thus:
"Thomas Frank, the author of the best-selling book What's The Matter with Kansas, is an even more exasperated Democrat and he goes further than Mr Westen.He believes that the voters' preference for emotional engagement over reasonable argument has allowed the Republican Party to blind them to their own real interests. The Republicans have learnt how to stoke up resentment against the patronising liberal elite, all those do-gooders who assume they know what poor people ought to be thinking. Right-wing politics has become a vehicle for channelling this popular anger against intellectual snobs. The result is that many of America's poorest citizens have a deep emotional attachment to a party that serves the interests of its richest."
We're back to that other cherished rubric of the Left (the first being that Americans are dumber than dogshit): we Americans just love to beat up geeks. We hate those who appear smarter than us. We torment those who are different; we misunderstand them, we fear them, we go out of our way to belittle and denigrate them. We are deathly afraid of people who wear glasses, sip Chardonnay and use big words. The leftist icon of the Powerless, Helpless Intellectual, with his Coke-bottle glasses, domed forehead and stalk-like neck, gets trotted out yet one more time. They're martyrs to the cause of helping their fellow men who don't appreciate their eforts, you see?
Of course, the implication is that we're just too stupid to understand them, and when people lack understanding they embrace fear and violence and reactionary politics, which brings us back to the original problem -- even when Liberals insist they aren't being patronizing, they still fucking are. Insufferably so. Add their insufferability to their extremely bad ideas (that none of them ever expects to pay or take responsibility for, or suffer the consequences of), and you can see why people "vote against their own interests". It's not because we're nosepicking retards, but because we're smart enough to recognize a turd no matter how well you've polished it with faux-intellectualism and statistics.
If you thought the hole he was digging was deep enough by now that Doctor Runciman may have struck water, guess again. He quotes author Thomas Frank, again:
"You vote to strike a blow against elitism and you receive a social order in which wealth is more concentrated than ever before in our life times, workers have been stripped of power, and CEOs are rewarded in a manner that is beyond imagining. It's like a French Revolution in reverse in which the workers come pouring down the street screaming more power to the aristocracy... authenticity has replaced economics as the driving force of modern politics. The authentic politicians are the ones who sound like they are speaking from the gut, not the cerebral cortex. Of course, they might be faking it, but it is no joke to say that in contemporary politics, if you can fake sincerity, you have got it made."
See? We're back to "These Americans are stupid". Doctor Runciman keeps coming back to the same argument he made in his first paragraph, only now he has a "noted' author to back him up. That's one historian, one author..that's TWO intellectuals! How can you argue against that? To a certain extent, he's right; we are idiots...that's how Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Janet Napolitano, the late-Ted Kennedy, the unfortunately-not-late Robert Byrd, and Barack Obama got elected to office in the first place; stupid, often-desperate, people cast ballots for them. In other words, they were elected by the very people Runciman insists are a) the majority, and b) have the most to gain with Obamacare, but are c) his biggest opponents.
(Ed. Note: The French Revolution, incidentally, set out to depose a king in the name of egalitarianism, only managed to slaughter tens of thousands in the name of Political Correctness while it hypocritically screamed "Brotherhood". It brought a dictator (Napoleon) to power -- twice --who led the country to utter ruin in a series of decades-long Continental Wars. Miraculously, the Revolutionaries then somehow managed to restore the discredited monarchy -- as a more-reasonable alternative to Revolutionary Government and the Brotherhood of Man -- by the time it had run it's course. If you're going to use the French Revolution to decry the innate "unfairness" of the American System, at least be truthful about what it did and what it ultimately accomplished! If your argument is that Statist solutions are best, the French Revolution is perhaps the worst example -- next to Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union -- to make your point with!)
The Left, the very people who claim to be representing this great mass of stupid, desperate voters, has control of all three visible branches of the American government, and had veto-proof majorities before the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, so the question, Doctor, is not "Why are Americans so stupid as to fall for a Scott Brown and this Tea Party nonsense to their own detriment, and not get a National health service?", but "why didn't Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama bring this thing in for a landing while they could?" They didn't do it, Doctor, because the members of their own party, the ones who feared for their professional lives in Congress, stopped them dead.
Not Town Hall Meetings, not Tea Parties, not "fake authenticity" or "rage and violence"; the democrats would have continued with the disaster that is Obamacare if they had not been stopped by their own members.
Because those three (Reid, Pelosi and Obama), and the "Blue Dog" democrats, are symbolic of just what truly is wrong with the American political system; it's not the voters, Dr. Runciman, Mr. Westen, and Mr. Frank, its the fucking politicians. That's where the real issue of self-interest lies. The Halls of Washington are full of self-absorbed morons who live in an artificial isolation of polls, policy papers and lawyerly language, who believe they are entitled to earn their living on the taxpayer teat and exercise the power of political office, and make a life-long career out of it. As soon as that rice bowl appears threatened by angry voters, see how quickly committed "public servants" suddenly lose their nerve? These people have absolutely no idea of what the Common Man faces in his daily life, how he thinks and feels, so how can they be expected to understand what we want and what we need, especially if their only interest is in keeping their cushy job? Whenever they try, they simply step all over thier own interests and then stick a future generation with the bill, and this is the real issue. It has nothing to do with " the appearance of authenticity"; These Lefties are the people who laughed at G.H.W. Bush because he apparently didn't know the price of milk or what an electronic supermarket scanner was, but thought that an effete John Kerry wearing trendy yellow spandex biking outfits, or a Micheal Dukakis talking up Belgian Endive as guarenteed economic boon, were somehow "regular guys" whom the public could relate to and follow unquestionably, while the great majority of them simply lived the good life that comes with privelege and political station.
It's the Irresponsible-Congressional-Democratc-Dukakis-Kerry model of public policy that got us into the trouble we're in. It's why U.S. Sentaors expect to be bribed to vote for legislation their party considers essential, and which BBC "journalists" consider "beneficial". That's why we reject it even more now, you dolt!
Douchebag BBC article writer finally finishes chasing his tail:
"This is a culture war but it is not simply being driven by differences over abortion, or religion, or patriotism. And it is not simply Red states vs. Blue states any more. It is a war on the entire political culture, on the arrogance of politicians, on their slipperiness and lack of principle, on their endless deal making and compromises. "
FInally, an ounce of truth. Somehow, you think Doctor Runciman believes this is a bad thing.
It's a good thing he writes for the BBC, Doctor, because if he had to actually write for a respectable journal that wasn't supported by extorted tax dollars, he'd be in deep trouble.