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A Little Too Honest
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I'll probably have more to say on Michael Moore's new movie Sicko in the weeks to come, but for now I wanted to link to this entry by Kevin Drum, in which he quotes Jonathan Cohn:

Tanner's op-ed was a good reminder of the proper context for considering Sicko — the fact that opponents of universal health care have been spewing half-truths and outright falsehoods for decades. If anything, the proponents of universal health care have probably been too honest, getting so caught up in nuance and policy accuracy that they undermine the very real moral power of their own argument. As another great health care debate begins, it's worth remembering that the fundamental challenge isn't technical. We have plenty of good ideas for achieving universal coverage. The challenge is political. Our side needs some passion and, yes, perhaps a little simplicity, too. That's what Moore has supplied. No wonder the health care industry is spooked.

[emphasis mine]

This is the kind of stuff from the Left that makes me want to hurl. Oh, we've been too honest. We're telling it too much like it is. There are a couple of implications here. One, that the general public is either too stupid to weigh legitimate arguments and/or they don't appreciate honesty in policy debate. As a corollary the best way to win such a debate is by either dumbing it down (i.e. "simplifying"), misrepresenting, or lying. There's this kind of "fight fire with fire" mentality among many Democrats, that the Right plays dirty, so what we need to do is play dirty too (or dirtier).

Well, no. Michael Moore has done more to hurt the cause of the Left than he has to help it. Because he "simplifies" (i.e. misrepresents, skews, and distorts) he turns off the bulk of independents who might actually be swayed by a cogent, factual argument. His stuff is propaganda, pure and simple, and it doesn't do anything but polarize people. And guess which side the people in the middle are going to be pushed toward?

I've already seen a bit of the movie, but it's more of the same stuff Moore always dishes out. He plays fast and loose with the facts, accentuating the worst of American's health care system (without representing the good aspects) while hyping the systems in Canada, France, and yes...even Cuba (without representing the downsides).

We could quibble whether or not it's outright lying, but it's certainly not presenting the whole picture. It's misrepresentation, and that's exactly what some Dems think they're party needs more of.

Um, don't.

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