For a while the world seemed crazy. But now it seems to be regaining equilibrium.
For example, all of the original talk about the Ryan Plan and the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) seemed crazy and upside down. Mr. Ryan said his plan was aimed at helping “society’s most vulnerable" and was based on Christian values. Of course it was exactly the opposite. It would have a devastating effect on seniors, the poor, etc. (i.e. “society’s most vulnerable”.) Yet at the start no one seemed to be challenging his assertions.
Similarly, with the Obamacare the original attacks were direct, savage, and strange. Obamacare is a program that was originated in a conservative think tank as a response to Hilary Clinton's 'liberal' health plans, it was proposed by Republican Senators, and it was implemented by a Republican Governor in Massachusetts. (In fact Romney most recently praised a similar system in Israel.) Yet Republicans, like Rep Chris Smith (NJ 4th District), viciously attacked it saying, for example, that it is "the most misguided, unfair and radical health care restructuring law ever"... and "a blatantly unconstitutional policy." Again the original response seemed weak.
But now the Ryan Plan, which is tightly bound to the Republicans' Norquist pledge to never approve any increase in revenues, has been identified for what it is - unchristian like and fiscally unsound. Even Nuns, our most mild manner citizens, have taken it on the road (or on the bus!) against this plan. Simpson Bowles and other studies point out the impossibility of solving the nation’s debt problem without, at some point, increasing revenues. And retiring Senator Coburn admitted that the Republican’s 'starve the beast' strategy was a 'disaster' and their so-called ‘tax cuts’ were actually a “tax increase on the next generation”- since they simply increased the national debt.
Prompted by the initial public reaction to attacks on Obamcare, Republicans rushed to the Supreme Court with full confidence that their appointed conservative majority would deliver the goods. They were shocked when the SCOTUS coalition didn't hold. Its conservative leader conservatively decided that the constitution and the other branches of government deserved respectful deference and that political disagreements should be solved at the ballot box. Almost as interesting was the coalition that rallied to support Obamacare. Virtually every healthcare, senior, and women's organization supported the act against, essentially, big business. Once the legal dust had settled people began to focus on the realities of the Act and have slowly come to understand and appreciate it.
Most recently prominent financial executives have spoken. The ‘father of megabanks’, Sanford (Sandy) Weill, and other financial industry executives admitted that banks had in fact become too big to fail. They grudgingly suggested that the legislation (e.g. The Gramm-Leach-Biley Act of 1999) unwinding the 1933 Glass Steagall Act was a mistake. My opponent, Rep Smith, was one who voted to repeal Glass Steagall.
I knew Sandy (and some other prominent financial industry executives) slightly from my days at American Express. At the time Amex owned Shearson Lehman which Sandy ran. He was a strong, smart, driven, and accomplished executive with a clear vision of growth for the business. Of course that didn't mean that vision was good public policy.
Sometimes the world still seems crazy. Over the years Rep Smith has voted for multiple wars, financial deregulation, and discredited fiscal plans. He has proudly voted against women's rights and healthcare reforms many times- and even against a resolution to free Nelson Mandela! So it does seem crazy that someone could have been so wrong, on so many big things, so many times, for so long, and still be re-elected. But there is another election coming and, as I said, the world seems to be regaining it equilibrium.
Candidate for Congress (NJ, 4th Dist.)