The Agony Of Jon Cohn

Cohn writes a letter to nervous and frustrated House Democrats. I want to look away. Those of us who want Obama to succeed in tackling this country's deepest problems are bummed enough. But healthcare reform was never my reason for supporting him. I was much more invested in getting past the cynicism and laziness of the red-blue divide, restoring the rule of law and the constitutional balance, ending the unwinnable wars in  Iraq and Afghanistan, stopping torture, and so on. But for those progressives who have fought for wider access to health insurance for their entire lives, this must be an excruciating, devastating moment.

It is, of course, heightened by the almost unimaginable irony of Ted Kennedy's seat being the death-knell for insurance reform, the end of the hopes of many that they might have a chance to buy some affordable insurance, that they could get insured despite a pre-existing condition, that the rest of their lives would not be filled with economic stagnation and profound personal insecurity. Well, the GOP has a clear message to them: "Tough shit. We needed a way to break a reform presidency and your lives were the mechanism."

The glee with which the GOP is greeting the end of any access too health insurance for millions of the working poor, even as they propose nothing in its stead to help them or to restrain soaring costs for everyone else, is instructive. This really is a game to them. But to the sincere progressives who backed this moderate bill as the best they could get, this is, simply, tragic. And to those of us who wanted politics to become something more than a game, given the accelerating decline of this country on all fronts, it's a body blow.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis. The only problem? He has to prove it works.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

Just In