Thursday, September 24, 2009

Liberals' Tin Ear

In the roar of Obama administration initiatives crashing to earth, let us just look at one little flap: the effort by the Obama administration to stop Humana from communicating to its customers.

You know the story. Humana sent a mailing to its Medicare Advantage customers warning them that under the administration's plans their benefits would be cut.

Can't have that! So Senator Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, asked the Department of Health and Human Services to take action. Here's Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) version of what happened:

Let's review: at the instigation of the Chairman of the Finance Committee, the author of the health care legislation now working its way through Congress, the Executive Branch, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has launched an investigation into Humana for explaining to seniors how this legislation might affect their coverage.

One more time: a private health care provider told its elderly clients how health care legislation might affect their lives. And now the federal government is putting its full weight into investigating that company at the request of the senator who wrote the legislation in question.

Of course, it turns out that Humana was right. The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that the administration plan would implement cuts to Medicare Advantage. So Sen. Baucus was wrong on the facts.

But the bigger thing is the hypocrisy. Liberals get up in the morning worrying about "chilling effects" to free speech. And woe betide anyone who even lowers an eyebrow at a liberal exercising their right to free speech.

But when it comes to other peoples' free speech, particularly the rights of corporate entities, liberals have a tin ear. They think nothing of gagging and regulating commercial speech. They think nothing of using government power to win policy arguments. They think nothing of persecuting conservatives and Christians in the university.

There's just a chance that non-liberal Americans are getting to the point where they are not going to take it any more. There are signs all over the place of rustling in the grass roots. I am thinking Free Enterprise Nation, Smart Girls Politics, Tea Parties, Town Halls, etc.

Maybe it won't amount to anything. Or maybe it will combine into a perfect storm.

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