Last week I was amused listening to quotes by President Obama that said:
If Americans like their doctor, they will keep their doctor. And if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it.
The reason that I found these quotes amusing is that this a traditional conservative argument being made by a progressive President. If my notes are correct we find that in Professor Allitt’s first lecture in the Conservative Tradition course, conservatives believe that at the most fundamental level, there is a strong human propensity to keep things the way they are. Even President Obama realizes that he cannot ignore this aspect of human nature so it should not be surprising that he would use this argument to further his political cause. From this basic conservative idea we can also see why Conservatives have embraced slower, more predictable policies. Progressives are more impatient with change. They want change to happen a lot faster and are willing to trade hardships on “other people” for the greater good of society. Progressive plans generally run into problems when the “other people” is the forgotten, middle class voters. So on one hand the President would like to stick to his progressive health care reform with a “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” attitude. On the other hand he has this nagging fear that the signature accomplishment of his administration will not work and that his own people will unleash a rein of chaos on middle class voters if unchecked. He realizes now that what he once perceived as a loyal and competent administration is actually an insular group of people that is adamant that they can do stupid all by themselves without any help from an opposition party. This leaves the President and his administration in a quandary. They need an opposition party to check their excesses but from the opposition they have seen so far, they would prefer that this opposition is seen and not heard. Oh, how I yearn for the good old days when Republicans were the stupid party! At least they could lead.