Morning Radio

Ken AshfordHealth CareLeave a Comment

I missed the beginning of the interview, but NPR's Morning Edition was interviewing somebody who was opposed to Obama's plan for health care reform.

The guy was exciteable and defensive, and really really contradictory.

For example, the guy said (I'm paraphrasing) that whenever government competes with private business, it always does a bad job.  He cited as examples, the post office and Amtrak.

Look, Amtrak may not be the best-run thing in the country, but it seems to be doing much better than its competition.  In fact, I don't know who Amtrak's competition is.  Do you?  In any event, to the extent that Amtrak has not fared well, it is because people don't use trains much.

And the post office?  Don't get me started.  What the hell is wrong with the post office?  As Jon Stewart recently said, a guy comes to your house, takes something that you wrote, puts it on a plane, and it gets delivered to the house of some guy in Montana, whose name and address I scrawled by hand on the front of the envelope – all for 44 cents.  No forms to fill out; no standing in line; and cheap.  How is the that the model for ineffecient government?

Anyway, then this guy in the interview, after attacking government businesses, started touting Medicare, and how it needs to be preserved because it's so great.  But then he also says he wants to cut Medicare.

The interviewer (Steve Inskeep, I think) picked up on this obvious contradiction, and put it to the guy.  That's when the fun began.

 I was really curious who the interviewee was.  It was in the NPR studio, so I figured it wasn't a random teabagger protester.

Turns out it was the head of the Republican Party:  Chairman Michael Steele.


The folks at Talking Points Memo apparently heard the same interview this morning:

On Morning Edition today, Michael Steele gets tied in knots trying to explain how the GOP (or maybe just Steele himself?) wants to preserve Medicare against cuts, while also cutting Medicare and opposing government-run health care programs in general. It's an impossible dance for anyone, but Steele is burdened with two left feet.

Hard to believe this guy really is the head of a major American political party.

Listen to the whole interview (link):

UPDATE:  Think Progress has more….