“We are the Obama people,” said Camille Sweeney, a New York writer and member of the Authors Guild. Her insurance is being canceled, and she is dismayed that neither her pediatrician nor her general practitioner appears to be on the exchange plans. What to do has become a hot topic on Facebook and at dinner parties frequented by her fellow writers and artists.

“I’m for it,” she said. “But what is the reality of it?”

       –New York Times article on canceled health insurance policies among New York’s professional set

“One of the subjects of the piece goes so far as to say that if she had known what was in store for her, she would have voted for Mitt Romney,” observes Mollie Hemingway in today’s must-read article (published in the newly-launched The Federalist). That is a quote to be savored and pondered–which Hemingway does.

While Hemingway realizes that the reactions of these out-of-touch New Yorkers may drive us mad with rage or schadenfreude, she also suggests “that there be something in these lines that helps us bridge at least some of our divide.”

Hemingway writes:

In much of the media, the stereotype of liberals is that they have hearts that bleed with concern for the poor and oppressed. The stereotype of conservatives is that they don’t, to put it mildly. But another way to look at it is that Americans may share a great many goals but differ in how much emphasis they place on the feasibility of a plan.

  • Insurance for those without? Sounds nice. I’m for it.
  • More money for those with the least hourly compensation? Two thumbs up.
  • Doing something about the killing of innocent school children by crazed gunmen? Please!

For some people being “for” something is sufficient reason to support most government action proposed in its name. This works even better if the legislation expanding government has a good name, say “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” or “The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013,” or “The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act.”

Who could oppose affordability or fairness or the protection of the Bill of Rights? If the political powers that be assure us that a bill is good and must be passed, we might be inclined to trust them.

That’s the problem for all of us of course. Conservatism is just harder to explain. 

I frequently take taxis and I generally ask drivers if they support ObamaCare. If they say yes, it’s generally because they “want everybody to have health insurance.”

I’d rather people have actual health care than a useless insurance policy.

But I know what they mean—they’ve been told (erroneously, I believe) that ObamaCare represents fairness. Who can be against fairness?

That fewer people will have decent medical care (as opposed to a nice insurance card for your wallet that won't get you in to see your own doctor) wasn't part of the pitch.

But Mollie is right–maybe the fiasco that is ObamaCare will prove useful to the public discourse.