Tuesday, July 28, 2009

William Kristol on The Daily Show

Just saw William Kristol on The Daily Show. It is really puzzling why that man is considered some sort of pundit. It's one thing for him to predict that Sarah Palin would be a good choice for McCain's running mate, somewhat before McCain actually chose her. As a pundit he should have known more about her, but his error could be forgiven since she had not yet been subjected to much questioning. But to believe it now, after all we know about her many deficiencies, and after her precipitous drop in popularity, makes one seriously question Kristol's political acumen as well as his good judgment about doing what's best for the country. Maybe he just fell in love with her latest line that the media should "stop making things up" (about her presumably) because soldiers are dying. For most commentators, poking holes in Palin is like shooting fish in a barrel, but apparently Kristol has seen or learned nothing.

Kristol also was beaten up rather badly by Stewart on healthcare. However, he made one statement which Stewart didn't challenge: that we shouldn't have government programs like Medicare because they are more expensive. He doesn't explain this claim, but even if it were true it's because private health plans are the ones that ration care the most -- just look at the list of things these plans don't cover. Look at how they disallow pre-existing conditions; look at how they compete with each other for the healthiest patients. The gross rationing of healthcare by its steep cost is also one of the disgraces of the current system. People like Kristol can't seem to see the difference between that and "rationing care" by weeding out ineffective or inefficient treatments -- or maybe they can see the difference but cynically use the word "rationing" simply to attack ideas that don't fit their ideology.

Stewart did get Kristol to acknowledge that the healthcare the government supplies to soldiers is the best -- even though it is supplied by the government, something conservatives hate to admit. But, says Kristol, it's OK for the military to get the best care and the rest of us get not-as-good care, or none: that's because they are risking their lives. However, most folks in the military aren't risking their lives, but have fairly safe desk jobs or are quite a distance from harm's way, yet they all share the benefits of this excellent plan. But, what about members of Congress? They are not risking their lives, yet they are also covered, with their families, by a first-rate plan, 75% of which is paid for by all taxpayers, who themselves, according to Kristol, are not entitled to such coverage.

Ah, Kristol is such a lightweight. The Republicans deserve him and Palin: if only they'd run as a ticket in the next election -- even all future elections.

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