Exploring the Eclipse of Equality

Posts Tagged ‘health summit’

Fair and Balanced: The Health Summit and the American Hang-up

In Uncategorized on February 26, 2010 at 7:02 am

I have a confession to make. I love to watch Fox News. Now, I won’t do it through the week, because I am one of those anti-TV people. I like to control the programming of my media, so I use the web. But on Sunday morning, I never miss Fox. I also grab it periodically to see how things are going in Peoria. If you hate Sarah Palin, my advice to you is watch more Fox (if love her, take note that Al Jazeera is now available on a channel near yours).

Fox news is great for its ability to reveal the balance of American society that I rarely encounter, the non-urban and little educated metaphorical middle of the country (also to be found up north). What annoys me most about the channel is its motto “Fair and Balanced” This annoys me because these two ideals are related, but they are only identical if taken abstractly. In our two party system we take them literally and this causes all sorts of problems.

Take the example of the health insurance regulation bill that Obama has proposed. Although the bill is a market heavy bill with little government administration and reminds me most of what Newt Gingrich once wanted, the Republicans despise it and are pushing for even less public control. Fine, that makes sense if you want to go that way. This makes the resulting legislation mono-partisan because the Republicans can march in lockstep. The fact that the bill is not bipartisan, and therefore not balanced between the parties, does not mean that it is not a fair representation of the electorate. Why? Because the Democrats control 59% of the Senate and roughly the same proportion in the House. This means that a fair bill under majority rule would appeal to the median voter, corresponding to representative number 51, and would pass as a Democratic bill. It appears that the public does not like the bill (for reasons that can be discussed elsewhere) and if this is true, they have an opportunity in just over eight months to change the structure of representation. Then a fair bill would appeal to the new 51st spot and so on.

Read the rest of this entry »