This isn’t particularly vile, but it’s definitely more evidence that Jonah Goldberg is stupid. Responding to a reader who warns conservatives shouldn’t refer to health care reform as “Kennedycare”:
I agree with this entirely though I’d put it a bit more simply. It should be called Obamacare because Obama is the president and if anything gets passed it will ultimately be what he wants passed (I’m ruling out the possibility that there will be some massive bipartisan tide that will override Obama’s veto). Calling it Kennedycare is liberal messaging. I don’t think it will help all that much, but I see no reason why anyone not in the tank should accept the term, particularly when it is less accurate.
I understand why George W. Bush’s Presidency would make conservatives think this, but there is simply no reason to equate a non-veto with being “ultimately what [Obama] wants passed” (and thus, because Obama is unpopular (?) be enough to kill the effort). It’s also a testament to the level of conservative paranoia about Obama that they would refer to a piece of legislation driven entirely and consciously by Congress as necessarily conforming to the will of Mighty Barack Obama.
If Goldberg weren’t stupid, he would recognize the argument for calling reform “ObamaCare” stems from conservatives’ at least somewhat successful efforts at making health care reform less popular through constant lying. Thus, the logic goes that by mooring an unpopular effort directly to Obama, Republicans might succeed in creating negative spillover effect for the rest of Obama’s agenda and kill reform in the process. If Goldberg was not just not stupid but in fact an intelligent, he would recognize that the “ObamaCare strategy” is dangerous not only because President Obama continues to be more popular than Congressional Democrats and vastly more popular than Congressional Republicans, but also because if health care reform is passed and becomes popular (as virtually every other reform to the system has), people who benefit from the legislation will associate the change with Obama, thus making him even more popular.