Rebutting the Ideological Purity Argument

I strongly agree with both Bob Herbert and Glenn Greenwald, who successfully endeavor to rebut the sophistical argument against progressives who aren’t supportive of the current health care bill as arriving at that position solely or primarily out of a quest for ideological purity.

Herbert and Greenwald both focus their argument on the fact that the Senate’s excise tax, which is marketed as a tax on “Cadillac” plans, is in fact a tax which predominantly will hit lower-middle and middle class workers. Herbert cites the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation as predicting this will affect 20% of households with incomes of $50,000-75,000. As Marcy Wheeler frequently notes, it’s not a Cadillac tax — it’s a Chevy tax and it’s aimed at the backbone of the American middle class, particularly union members.

I believe there are many good arguments to be made in favor of passing a health care reform bill like the one that will likely come out of whatever process is used to merge the Senate and House bills. But pretending that there are no good faith, logical, substantive, or non-ideological reasons to oppose the bill is incredibly dishonest. Hopefully those who are publicly supporting whatever legislation comes forward will take Herbert and Greenwald’s pieces to heart and stop pushing the canard that parts of the Left, particularly the online progressive movement, is only opposing the Senate bill because they are pursuing ideological purity within the Democratic Party.

One thought on “Rebutting the Ideological Purity Argument

  1. Yes. Pointing out the bill’s flaws is not some foot stomping for purity – it’s keeping one’s head on straight.

    Herbert’s expose of the “Cadillac” tax is eye-opening, to say the least.


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