Netroots Nation is, naturally, full of talk about how President Obama isn’t as thoroughgoing a progressive as various people might like. At times this takes the form of very reasonable tactical or policy critique, though at times it reads to me more like a fairly baroque conspiracy theory. Under the circumstances, Michele Bachmann would fit right in with her explanation that the entire health reform drive is a secret plot to undermine Canadian-style single payer health insurance:
“This hasn’t been talked about very much – the president’s plan for senior citizens is Obamacare,” Ms. Bachmann told party activists here. She added, “I think very likely what the president intends is that Medicare will go broke and ultimately that answer will be Obamacare for senior citizens.”
Of course there’s no literal way to make this cohere with Bachmann’s nominal ideological commitments or her recent vote to privatize Medicare. But politics is mostly about identity, and older white people have developed a very conservative ideological self-identity as the rest of the country moves past them in attitudes toward race and LGBT equality. Under the circumstances, adopting a health care politics that’s oriented around relentless pursuit of the financial interests of the oldest couple of cohorts of Americans makes sense.