He notes that we are living in an amazing time marked by decentralization and increased individual choices. Yet, oddly, the Democrats are pushing centralization and decreased individual choice as the solution to a myriad of our nation's problems.
This approach, he argues, makes the Democrats (and President Obama despite his rhetoric) the party of the past, not the future.
...I think what we are seeing with this massive legislation is that the Democrats in Washington have a bigger problem: Their party is looking so yesterday.
In a world defined by nearly 100,000 iPhone apps, a world of seemingly limitless, self-defined choice, the Democrats are pushing the biggest, fattest, one-size-fits all legislation since 1965. And they brag this will complete the dream Franklin D. Roosevelt had in 1939.
The culture still believes the U.S. has a hipster for president. But the Obama health-care bill, and maybe this whole administration, is starting to look totally out of sync with the new zeitgeist, the spirit of the age.
Everything about the health-care exercise is looking very old hat, starting with the old guys working on it. Max Baucus, Patrick Leahy, Pete Stark—all were elected to Congress in the 1970s, and live on as the immortals in Washington's Forever Land. But it's more than the fact that Congress looks old. The health-care bill is big, complex, incomprehensible and coercive—all the things people hate nowadays.
It's easy to make jokes about how insubstantial the millions of people seem to be who are constantly using technologies like Twitter. But these new digital and Web-based technologies, which have decentralized virtually everything, now occupy most of the average person's waking hours at work or at home. Mass media is struggling to stay massive in a world whose people want to break up into many discrete markets.
The one lump that won't change is government. Government in our time is looking out of it. It'd be one thing if government were almost cool in an old-fashioned way, but it's not. When everyone else's job gets measured by performance, its hallmark is malperformance—whether in Congress, California or New York.
We define the past 25 years in terms of entrepreneurs and visionaries in places like Silicon Valley who took a small idea and ran with it. Congress does the opposite. It take something already big . . . and make it bigger.
We've got Medicare for the elderly, with spending claims out to Mars, so let's create Medicare for All! One of the least noticed parts of the health-care legislation is its intention to make Medicaid even bigger, when Medicaid's cost is arguably the main thing destroying California.
There was a time when contributing to the common good meant joining something relatively small like the Peace Corps or Teach for America. Now it means being willing to just fall into line behind some huge piece of legislation.
Read Mr. Obama's speech last week at MIT on climate change: "The folks who pretend that this is not an issue, they are being marginalized." This, ironically, sounds a lot like the 2007 antiHillary "Big Brother" TV commercial. Its message was that Hillary represented something big and ominously coercive. Boot up that ad now and put Obama's face where Hillary's is.
The larger point here isn't necessarily partisan. It's a description of the way people live their lives in a 21st century world, and how disconnected politics has become from that world.
If we were really living in the world of leading-edge politics that many people thought they were getting with Barack Obama, he would have proposed an iPhone for health care—a flexible system for which all sorts of users could create or choose health-care apps that suited their needs. Over time, with trial and error, a better system would emerge.
No chance of that. Our outdated political software can't recognize trial and error. What ObamaCare is doing with health care—the "public option"—may be fine with the activist left, but I suspect it's starting to strike many younger Americans as at odds with their lives, as not somewhere they want to go. Wait until EPA's ghost busters start enforcing cap-and-trade.People thought something small, agile and smart was coming to government, but so far it's turning out to be just big-box politics...Full article