Monday, June 25, 2007

The Opinionator: A blog at the New York Times by Tobin Harshaw & Chris Suellenthorp

  • The coastal elites may all be talking about Michael Moore’s “Sicko,” but what do average folks think of America’s health care system? Joseph Paduda at Managed Care Matters has the scoop on the latest Kaiser Family Foundation poll, where health care is the top domestic concern, but ranks a distant second to the war on Iraq. “Among health care ’sub-topics,’ ” Paduda notes, “voters most wanted to hear candidates talk about covering the uninsured (36 percent) followed by health care costs (21 percent). Alas, quality barely registered, with only 2 percent of respondents naming quality as one of their top two interests.”

    And according to the poll, there doesn’t appear to be a health care savior among the 2008 presidential crowd. “The poll also asked respondents which candidate’s views on health care best reflected their’s; 59 percent of respondents could not name one,” Paduda writes. “Democrats preferred Clinton while Republicans liked Giuliani — BUT no candidate from either party has much traction, and the Mayor led with a mere 9 percent.”

  • For his part, Barack Obama seems to be seeking healing of a spiritual kind, telling an audience that faith got “hijacked” by the religious right. But Ann Althouse isn’t buying it:

    It’s entirely distracting to use the word ‘hijack,’ especially if the problem you’re talking about has nothing to do with what we saw on September 11th but is simply the way some Christians take the conservative side on various issues and, failing to content themselves with mere belief, participate in politics. According to Obama, Christianity should move a person to political action — Obama himself was speaking to a church congregation — but only on the progressive side. Yet he said that in traveling around the country he had sensed an “awakening” of an interfaith movement of “progressives.” … Obama’s famous rhetoric looks entirely self-contradictory. If he’s trying to stimulate liberal Christians to political action, he too is using faith to “drive us apart.”

  • It may not have any cute kitties or dancing dorks, but a video recently posted on YouTube is creating quite a fuss in the blogosphere. According to Walter Olson at Overlawyered, the clip shows “attorneys for Cohen & Grigsby, one of the largest law firms in Pittsburgh, explaining at a conference on immigration how to obey laws that require Americans be given top priority for jobs while still ensuring foreigners are hired.”