Lots of people, myself included, have lamented the fact that for all America's dominance of the Internet, there are other countries, like South Korea, where they have better broadband service than we do. But when you look at the entire globe, it's obvious that the world is divided into Internet haves, and Internet have-nots. Play around with this interactive data visualization from Google:
Progressives surely understand by now that Barack Obama has no intention of making the rhetorical case for progressivism a theme of his presidency. This is a continuing disappointment; if he spent as much time attacking conservatism as, say, Ronald Reagan did attacking liberalism, we might actually be able to change our national conversation on the role of government. And unfortunately, what ought to be the most powerful tool in that effort -- strong policy -- may have only limited effect.
Now that it's looking like there's not much they can do to stop health-care reform (if it does go down, it will be because of recalcitrant centrist Democrats), Republicans have taken to warning their opponents that if HCR passes, it will mean electoral doom for Democrats. So here's a question some intrepid interviewer might ask as a follow-up when they repeat this:
What will Republicans say if health-care reform passes? This is a question I've begun to ponder, since the things conservatives have been saying up to this point -- "death panels," reform is a "government takeover of
one-sixth of the economy" -- have been totally unmoored from reality. But if reform actually passes, those arguments won't have much of an effect. It's easy to make people afraid about an uncertain future, but it's much harder to convince them that the present they are experiencing is something other than what it is. Once people find themselves going to the same doctors and dealing with the same insurance companies, it will be hard to tell them their medical decisions are now being made by jackbooted government bureaucrats.
Just in the past few years, we've seen the political pendulum swing wildly back and forth between the left and the right, from the post-9/11 conservative heyday, to the progressive revival in 2006-2008, and now, supposedly, to a new dawn for the GOP.