David Broder is a Washington Post columnist who's often credited with being the "Dean Of The Washington Press Corps," which sound super fancy and important? Why then, is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- a man not known for his zingers -- referring to his Excellency as "a man who has been retired for many years and writes a column once in a while?" Maybe because Reid's had it with Broder's walleyed Washington take and the way he never makes a lick of sense! In that regard, Broder's got a tidy two-week nonsensical streak going, even by his own shockingly low standards!
Back on November 15, Broder decided that he had had "Enough Afghan debate." He's just so sick of hearing about generals and lawmakers, pondering options, trying to figure out a sound strategy, so that a bunch of human beings wearing uniforms, representing this nation, don't get arbitrarily killed for no good reason! Nuts to that! And so what does Broder, who typically -- and endlessly -- calls for lawmakers to slowly and deliberately slog to the mushy middle of every single issue so as to maximize the yield of precious bipartisanship that Washington runs on, suggest? OH, HEY, MAKE A CRAZY, SNAP DECISION:
It is evident from the length of this deliberative process and from the flood of leaks that have emerged from Kabul and Washington that the perfect course of action does not exist. Given that reality, the urgent necessity is to make a decision -- whether or not it is right.
"Whether or not it is right?" As Matt Yglesias said: "Surely this would have been a good opportunity for someone to say 'David, you don't really mean that do you?'" Far away, men and women will live and die by the decisions made, either carefully or foolishly, but those lives are so abstract to David Broder, who has cocktail parties to attend, where everyone will gossip about who's up and who's down politically, and the only casualties are electoral ones.
This week, Broder has taken a look at the state of the Senate health care plan. His column, which is damn near inscrutable, seems to say the following:
1. The CBO has determined that the Senate health care bill will reduce the deficit.
2. BUT! Some obscure poll says that a majority of Americans don't believe that whatever health care bill we end up with will do what the CBO says it will!
3. There are people who David Broder knows whose stock in trade is concern trolling about deficits who say that the health care bill will not reduce the deficit.
4. OH NO!
I'm confused by the budget hawks who that take the line: "This bill needs to cut the deficit, and I don't believe Democrats will cut the deficit, but since the actual provisions of the bill unambiguously cut the deficit, then I guess Congress won't stick to it."
People who want to cut the deficit should support this bill, and support its implementation. The alternative is no bill that cuts the deficit, and thus no hope of cutting the deficit.
What baffles me is the stock Broder places in this poll. Surely he realizes that just because a majority of people think something is going to happen, doesn't mean that they are right? It could just be a measure of how badly misinformed the public is on the relevant facts of the discussion. It could also just be a measure of the public's overall cynicism that lawmakers will really do the right thing when they are given a chance. But what could be causing this misinformation and instilling this cynicism? Maybe people like David Broder!