Sunday, December 20, 2009

Civil war on left?

Howard Dean in this article absolutely takes apart the health care bill, from a leftist perspective. There seems to be a civil war on the left right now, primarily but not solely, over the health care debate.

While I am not a leftist and maybe should recuse myself from this debate, my sympathies are all with Howard Dean, Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone writer), and other left-liberals who are concerned primarily with advancing ideas. The Obama partisans (e.g. Lanny Davis) seem to be concerned primarily with the electoral success of the Democratic party.

Now to get a little philosophical, I will quote one of my favorite authors, Sam Harris:

There is a basic truth about us that no double standard can erase. Either a person is being intellectually honest, or he isn't. Either a person is looking dispassionately at the evidence, or he's trying to conform the evidence to his prior view of the world.

I don't know what Harris' position is on the health care bill, but I think his statement applies very well to the health care debate. I see little intellectual honesty from either right-wing opponents of this bill (there are no death panels, Sarah Palin) or from liberal supporters (it will not reduce costs). The only principled people in this debate seem to be leftists like Howard Dean and Matt Taibbi who have opposed a bill from a party and president they surely voted for.

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