Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bad Political Shakespearean Theatre

I've largely ignored the whole health care summit thing. It struck me as likely to be bad political theatre, something I'm subjected to far more than my mental health can withstand already. The people who will be most affected by the decisions the government makes aren't there. What I didn't realize was that there was an additional dimension to that lack of inclusiveness, but Taylor Marsh pointed it out today:

I’m sick to death of seeing MEN, MEN, only MEN. Too many men pontificating about health care, way too few women. Women pay more for heathcare and get screwed more often than men. Epic fail. Optics suck. Both parties are pathetic in this regard. Tweeted here, after Twitter choked.

Liveblogging: Obama, Dems and Republicans, The Summit

So I guess you could say it's been bad political Shakespearean theatre.

UPDATE: That USA Today article included this quote, which pretty succinctly expresses my attitude about this thing:

"It's a Kabuki dance," Robert Schmuhl, a political scientist at Notre Dame and author of Statecraft and Stagecraft, says of the summit. "Throughout the day, participants talked past each other to such an extent that the 'summit' was closer to a molehill of familiar stump speeches."

At Summit, Parties Disagree On What's Next For Health Bill

This is what most political "discussions" and debates sound like these days. Anyone who tries to have a conversation is drowned in irrelevance.

UPDATE 2 (Feb. 27): Taylor has summarized the reactions of people on her mailing list to the summit. (My response is one of them.) It's amazing how often the phrase "political theatre" appears there.

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