While it's been noted that the one thing President Obama needs to make his arguments, it's a bad guy. He desperately needs a villain that he can rail against, so he can properly cast himself as the "good guy' fighting against the bad guys. It's pretty much lifted whole cloth from the conservative side, but at least with them you can be halfway certain that the bad guys are actual bad guys -- the Soviet Union, Saddam Hussein, Iran, and whatnot.
This dovetails quite nicely with the liberals' own preferred tactic of finding and protecting "victims." If there's anything that comes across as more noble and self-sacrificing and good than fighting the bad guys, it's defending the helpless. Any scholar or fan of the heroic myths (Joseph Campbell, comic books, classical mythology, etc.) can tell you this. It's hard-wired into the American psyche.
However, these worthies currently using these archetypes should know better -- if you're going to make it work, you better do your homework first. People are a lot more savvy now, and they will distinguish between actual representations of these archetypes, and weak-ass attempts to fake them.
Case in point: President Obama's latest poster girl for health care reform, Natoma Canfield. She's a woman who came down with leukemia when she didn't have health insurance, and now she's sick as hell.
Obama's name-dropping her all over the place, talking about how much better off she'd be if we'd had ObamaCare in place before she got ill. And she's remarkably photogenic for the role -- he'd wanted her to introduce him at his carefully-screened speech, but she was bedridden with her illness.
But a few people started looking at her circumstances (after she and Obama had invited us all to imagine ourselves in her shoes, it was only natural that a few might actually check what size shoe she wears), and the details painted quite a different picture
It turns out that she wouldn't necessarily have been better off under ObamaCare. She's already being treated at one of the nation's top cancer clinics, who did NOT turn her away when it was discovered she had no insurance. They are not planning on putting a lien on her house if she can't pay the very high costs the clinic is incurring in treating her.
Under the current fatally flawed, cruel, heartless, unforgiving, greedy system, Ms. Canfield is getting some of the best care available for her condition, and while the hospital would like to recoup at least some of the money they're spending on her, they're going to do all they can to do so in as kind a way as possible: helping her get state aid, qualifying her for charity care, or other avenues of payment -- but have already ruled out taking her home.
The oncologists are not running a credit check on her before her chemotherapy. The nurses are not treating her pain medications as COD. There is no running meter on her hospital bed. And no one at the hospital is chastising her for remaining essentially unemployed for 12 years.
Under ObamaCare, though, as Jim Hoft noted, her prior bout with cancer might not have been detected as quickly as it was -- the screenings that caught it would have been deferred until she was older, as she wasn't in a statistically significant risk group.
Ms. Canfield reminds me of Graeme Frost, the little boy who became the Democrats' pet poster boy for expanding the S-CHIP program. They trotted him down to DC to give their response to President Bush's weekly address. Little Graeme pluckily read the speech prepared by the Democrats talking about how S-CHIP had helped save his life and his family after a horrific car crash.
Details of that didn't quite ring true to some people, so those people started asking questions. Chief among them was Michelle Malkin, who discovered that the Frost family had considerable assets and resources -- but had chosen to invest them in other areas than health insurance.
In both cases here, the "victims" weren't victimized by "the system." They were "victimized" by their own choices, and "the system" that Obama so desparately wants to change actually worked quite well for them. The Frost family put other priorities ahead of health insurance for their family, and Ms. Canfield -- when she could no longer afford her private coverage -- did not avail herself of available state-provided charity care until she was terribly ill -- and then her hospital put its resources behind getting her state benefits while simultaneously giving her the care she needed -- NOT waiting for guarantees of payment first.
What these people want -- and what Obama is trying to secure for them -- is freedom from responsibility. Freedom from worrying.Freedom from anxiety.
Well, guess what? There's no guarantee of that in life. Life comes with exactly one guarantee -- that it will end. We all -- rich, poor, white, black, man, woman, powerful, powerless -- all get one permanent, lasting death. That's it. That's all we're promised. Everything else is catch as catch can.
Unless, of course, you're a liberal. Then you have a constitutional right to be treated :"fairly" by life under every exigence. And if something "unfair" happens, then the government is obligated to come in and make it all better.
Just remember these words of wisdom: "The government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have."