December 5, 2013 22 Comments
Peggy Noonan is one of those writers. One of those that sometimes seems to be the heart of conservatism, after all she wrote President Reagan’s “Pointe du Hoc” speech for the fortieth anniversary of D-Day. But then she supported Obama, twice-no less. So do you pay attention or not. You’ll have to decide for yourself.
My conclusion is this: when she makes sense, nobody does it better, she really is a great writer. But, and it’s a huge but, as long as she lives in Manhattan society, she doesn’t really understand the people beyond the Hudson. She does her best, and she gets flashes from the real world, like here, but not consistently enough to set your calendar by, let alone your watch. At least that’s my take on it.
Here though, she hits if maybe not quite a home run (arguably, it might be by ground rules) at least a triple. Because isn’t this what we seeing? The unwilling led by the unknowing someplace no one wants to go.
Enjoy, here’s Peggy:
The president’s problem right now is that people think he’s smart. They think he’s in command, aware of pitfalls and complexities. That’s his reputation: He’s risen far on his brains. They think he is sophisticated.
That is his problem in the health insurance debacle.
* * *
People have seen their prices go up, their choices narrow. They have lost coverage. They have lost the comfort of keeping the doctor who knows them and knows they tend to downplay problems and not complain of pain, and so doing more tests might be in order, or tend to be hypochondriacal and probably don’t need an echocardiogram, or at least not a third one this year.
At the very least people have been inconvenienced; at the most they’ve been made more anxious in an already anxious world. In a month, at the worst they may be on a gurney in an ER not knowing the answer to the question “Do you have insurance?” and hoping they can get into an exam room before somebody runs the number on the little green plastic card they keep in the back of their wallet.
Everyone understands in their own rough way that ObamaCare is a big mess. And that it’s not the website, it’s the law itself. They have seen systems crash. In the past 20 years they’ve seen their own computers crash. They know systems and computers get fixed.
But they understand a conceptual botch when they see one. They understand this new program was so big and complex and had so many moving parts and was built on so many assumptions that may or may not hold true, and that deals with so many people with so many policies—and they know they themselves have not read their own policies, for who would when the policies, like the law that now controls the policies, are written in a way that is deliberately obscure so as to give maximum flexibility to administrators in offices far away. And that’s just your policy. What about 200 million other policies? The government can’t handle that. The government can barely put up road signs.
The new law seems like just another part of the ongoing shakedown operation that is the relationship of the individual and the federal government, circa 2013.
But back to the president, and his problem with being known as intelligent—Columbia, Harvard Law, lecturer on constitutional issues at the University of Chicago Law School.
- Ethics Quote Of The Week: Peggy Noonan (ethicsalarms.com)
- Peggy Noonan on Obama’s ‘problem’: ‘people think he is smart’ (theblaze.com)