When You Act As If You Have Something to Be Ashamed Of, People Will Think You Have Something to Be Ashamed Of.Posted: September 28, 2010
It seems all the congressional Democrats running for re-election this year are running away from health care.
You’d think they’d be proud of having achieved this reform to help hundreds of millions of Americans. But proud or not, they ought to act proud—because they did it, and pretty much everyone knows they did it.
The problem with acting ashamed of what you did is that, funny thing, even people who weren’t disposed to think you did anything wrong will start to conclude you did something wrong. So in running away from what they did, the Democrats are running right into a buzzsaw called human nature.
If I were a congressional Democrat running for office this year, I’d be confidently owning what I did, if only because it’s smarter to do so than to pretend I didn’t do it. Here’s what I’d say to the voters, in pretty much these words:
“Do you want to be denied health insurance because you have diabetes, or had cancer, or some other ‘pre-existing condition’? Maybe you do want to be denied insurance for those reasons—it’s your right to wish for a world in which you’d be denied it. If you do want that, by all means you should vote for my opponent.
“Do you want your insurance company to be able to cut off your benefits because you got a little too sick for their tastes, or because they don’t consider you a ‘good risk’ anymore? Maybe you do want your insurance company to be able to do that—it’s your right to wish for a world in which insurance companies can do that. If you do want that, by all means you should vote for my opponent.”
But the Democrats aren’t presenting the voters with that confident choice. They’re not talking about health care at all, and to the extent it comes up, they’re pretending they had nothing to do with it.
In essence, they’re showing the voters that they’re ashamed of what they did.
The Democrats have one month left to wake up and start acting as if they did something good, even if (for reasons I don’t understand) they don’t believe it in their own hearts. If they can’t manage for one month even to pretend that they’re proud of their achievements, it will be no wonder when they lose big.