California’s favorite moderate Democrat badly misinterprets the results of yesterday’s Senate election, as well as shows how little she understands the suffering going on here in California:
“You see anger. People are worried. And when they’re worried they don’t want to take on a broad new responsibility,” like health care reform, she said….
“I think we do go slower on health care. People do not understand it. it is so big it is beyond their comprehension. And if you don’t understand it when somebody tells you it does this or it does that and It’s not true, you tend to believe it, even though it isn’t true. It’s hard to debunk all of the myths that are out there.”
Shorter DiFi: since voters are stupid, we have to “go slower” on something they desperately want.
I don’t know what universe Dianne Feinstein is living in, but the health care crisis is very much a part of our economic crisis. It’s not some frivolous thing that we can wait until we’re flush with money. It is a major part of the reason why we are broke as a state, a huge element of the inequality that built up over the last 10-15 years, a major cause of household indebtedness and financial distress.
It’s just stunning to me, although not exactly surprising, that DiFi thinks health care is some minor side issue that isn’t important and doesn’t matter to people. The current health care crisis is a major drag on our economy. The US spends far more on health care than any other industrialized country and gets much less in return. It’s difficult to start new businesses because people can’t get affordable coverage on their own, and consumer spending is held down by concerns over ability to pay the medical bills.
In short, it is very difficult to see how California or the nation will experience any rapid or lasting economic recovery until we fix health care. It is a central part of economic recovery efforts.
And as national polls show, the public very much wants health care to be done. Anyone who thinks that doing less on health care, or kicking it even further down the road would be a good idea is fundamentally misreading public opinion.
Feinstein tops it off with a gratuitous slap at the public, which she essentially argues isn’t intellectually capable of understanding the issues. It doesn’t help that Democrats have done a very poor job of messaging and selling health care in 2009, but DiFi prefers to blame others for her own failures.
I suppose I should be thankful for this, though. With statements and political analysis like this, she is doing everything in her power to run a Martha Coakley campaign in the 2012 Democratic primary. Let’s hope there’s a good progressive out there willing to mobilize public opinion and finally put DiFi into retirement.