Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cognitive Fluency Meets Health Care Reform

Whether we call it cognitive fluency or high concept or Occam's razor a short, concise, pithy statement of an issue appeals to all of us.

This morning on Fox News Sunday Brit Hume brilliantly grasped what Obama's pursuit of health care reform by comparing it to Captain Ahab's obsessive pursuit of the great white whale, Moby Dick.

In case your memory, like mine, needs refreshing, at the end of the story Captain Ahab and his ship go down with the whale.

I will admit that I very much like the notion that the battle with health care reform is a mythic moment, a moment that risks drawing us all into a culture war that will last for decades. Our president has no real interest or understanding of reality; now he wants to force us all to live in his mythic universe.

A president who understood leadership would simply have taken the lesson of the Massachusetts senate election to heart, and either sat down with Republicans to craft a bipartisan compromise on health care reform, for which he would reasonably have been able to take credit, or else, he would have to set to work helping the economy to create jobs and getting the deficit under control.

He did not, and we are all going to be the poorer for it.

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