I recently come to a realization over the last couple weeks. Since sometime in the summer, the entire media establishment, and that includes all media including non traditional (web, talk radio, blogs, etc.), has been retelling the same story over and over.
The root of news is new. There's been almost nothing new since the summer. We had some new news to report in August when the townhalls occurred because that was an entirely different dynamic.
Here's what the story has been since the summer. The Democrats are struggling to get a majority surrounding the public option, abortion, illegal immigration, and other contentious issues. The conservatives think this is a government takeover that will lead to rationing, government bureaucracy, and another failed government entitlement program. The liberals think the current system is corrupt and want to create more competition. The Democrats think the Republicans are obstructing. The Republicans think the Democrats refuse to listen to them. Meanwhile, the poll numbers for this plan, the president and the Democrats have fallen precipitously and steadily since the summer.
I defy anyone to find a story since July that says anything different than something I just mentioned. Believe you me, I am as guilty as everyone else. I've struggled to create posts that are in fact really rehashes of other posts. No one has said anything new or different about this in months. If I read one more story about how this is a government takeover and that will lead to rationing, my head may explode. Don't get me wrong. I believe it is and I agree but how many times can you read the same thing over and over. If someone really wanted to say something new they'd do a detailed analysis of either or both the Senate and House bills. Rather than talking about things theoretically, that would be real and practical analysis. It would also require two thousand pages of dull reading and so that's unlikely.
It's in fact a sad indictment not only of our media but ourselves. It's true. The media hasn't said anything new about this in months but it's also true that we can't get enough of it. Answer this honestly. How many people reading this have read an editorial about the health care debate that called the bill a "government takeover" and that will "lead to rationing". I bet almost everyone has and most of you probably recommended said piece to others as though you'd read something groundbreaking. You haven't. The idea that this is a government takeover is not new, it's not earth shattering, and anyone writing such a thought at this late stage is merely parrotting thoughts established long ago.
The reason you enjoyed said piece is because you want your view reinforced ad nauseum. Most of us don't want to be challenged or shown something new. Instead, we want our positions reinforced over and over. That's what's happened in the health care debate. Each side has staked its position and each continues to reinforce said position over and over. We all digest it breathlessly as though everyone is saying something illuminating and not parrotting the same position ad nauseum.
I'm through with it. Wake me up if and/or when there's a Senate agreement. Then, let's see what it is. Then, there might be something new to talk about. Until then, spare me another article on how this is a government takeover.
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