John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Katrina and the Waves

Posted on August 27, 2009

Katrina and the Waves



KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, the noted left-winger, writes a provocative piece in The Nation ( where she makes the case that Democrats should use any means necessary to pass a health care bill. 


            Why I find this article fascinating is because she talks about how her father was a close friend of the Kennedys, and he sailed with Ted Kennedy all the time. 


            I wish I could have sailed with Ted Kennedy.  I wish I could sail with anybody, but I don’t have the money.  And that is why I get a kick out of this article.


            Katrina Vanden Heuvel is the perfect embodiment of the term “limousine liberal.”  Her brand of activism smacks of a guilty conscience.  Perhaps Ms. Vanden Heuvel had too much money growing up, but I didn’t.  My father didn’t go sailing with the Kennedys.  He did fine, but we didn’t have an extra house on the Cape.  My grandfather didn’t make millions from bootlegging.  We don’t have a family fortune to live off of.


            Vanden Heuvel thinks she knows what will make America great.  And that is more government, taking care of all of the problems of the little people, the people who don’t have the opportunity to sail with the Kennedys.


            Ted Kennedy may have been a liberal lion, but he lost touch with the middle class.  He lost touch with the neighborhood folks who helped elect his grandfather the mayor of Boston.  There was probably no greater example of that then when he supported the forced busing of kids from one neighborhood to another.  Nothing destroyed public schools quicker than that little liberal mandate. 


            Kennedy also lost touch when he changed his position on abortion.  He used to be pro-life.  His brothers were pro-life, his father was pro-life, his mother was pro-life.  Like many liberal “lions”, Kennedy changed his position on abortion for political expediency.  And it was further evidence that he had lost touch with his “people”, the folks who first elected Honey Fitz two generations before.


            It is easy to lose touch with middle class concerns when you come from great wealth.   And it is easy to despise the life of leisure when that is what you are most accustomed to. 


            But for the rest of us, those who don’t have daddys who sail with the Kennedys, life ain’t that simple.  And we don’t see the government as the solution.  We often see it as the imperfect, corrupt, inefficient, maddening bureaucracy that it usually turns out to be. 


            We don’t want to be pushed into a government-run health system when we have worked so hard to get health care that we like.  We distrust those who have grand solutions that will end up screwing us and making the situation worse.  Especially if those solutions come from those refugees of the leisure class.


            Katrina Vanden Heuvel wants to foist socialized medicine on the rest of us, by any means necessary, because that is something her daddy wanted.  He seems to have dreamed up that scheme when he was sailing with the Kennedys.


            She thinks that this will help the little people.  But socialized medicine won’t help the little people.  Poor Americans already have Medicaid, and older Americans already have Medicare.  That is all the government run health care we need at the moment, thank you very much.


            Sure, we need some common-sense reforms.  We need to stop frivolous lawsuits that drive up medical malpractice insurance rates.  We need to stop the state-by-state monopolies that the insurance companies currently enjoy.  And there some other things we can do to get everybody who wants insurance access to it.


            But we don’t need a socialized medicine scheme that will force millions of Americans into a so-called public option.  And it would be criminal if Democrats use the death of Ted Kennedy as an excuse to use any means necessary to pass health care socialism.


            Katrina, I have a better idea for you.  Why don’t you go sailing among the waves and leave the American people’s health insurance alone?




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