Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Health Care Woodstock

Forty years ago, Baby Boomers were out rocking and rolling in the mud to, as one put it, "terrify our parents in a deeply satisfying way." Now, facing Medicare, they are acting out in public again, this time over death panels that might finally put those aged begetters out of their misery.

"It’s a vivid reminder," Frank Rich observes, "that what most endures from America, 1969, is not the peace-and-love flower-power bacchanal of Woodstock legend but a certain style of political rage. The angry white folk shouting down their congressmen might be--literally in some cases--those angry white students whose protests disrupted campuses before and after the Woodstock interlude of summer vacation ’69."

Politically the Baby Boomers never did get it right. For all their idealism about race, sex, gender, war and politics, they produced only two presidents, Clinton and W, both of whom managed to dodge serving in Vietnam and went on to exemplify selfishness that marred their tenures and helped wreck the economy.

Now the first president after them is struggling to overcome, in his words, "the psychodrama of the Baby Boom generation--a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago.”

But the Boomers have migrated from campuses to town halls, turning health care reform from an issue that deserves serious, rational debate into another me-first sandbox squabble, with a little help from Obama's post-Boomer polar opposite, Sarah Palin, with what Maureen Dowd calls "her visceral talent for aerial-shooting her favorite human prey: cerebral Ivy League Democrats."

At least back in Woodstock there was music to compensate for all the madness.


ConnectingTheDots said...

Interesting blog. Arguably, the biggest legacy of Woodstock is its huge impact on the real children of the sixties: Generation Jones (born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and Generation X). This USA TODAY op-ed speaks to the relevance today of the sixties counterculture impact on GenJones:

Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten a ton of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press' annual Trend Report forcast the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009.

Here's a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones:

Fuzzy Slippers said...

I can't believe you are holding up that petty, catty comment as some sort of toast to BO.

The more I watch him, the more I simply can't stand him. For all his talk about "openness" and "listening to all sides," he's just a close-minded little man with an incredibly narrow (if rabidly leftist) vision. When people don't agree with him, he calls them names and dismisses them as liars, fringe lunatics, people clinging to their guns and religion, or holding "old grudges and revenge plots." That's admirable? Open to other viewpoints? Hmph. The man makes me ill, and luckily, it looks like I'll still be able to get reliable healthcare that the government doesn't have its incompetent fingers in. Whew!

By the way, I read your blog because I like your writing, and I enjoy your views. My tone is unpleasant here, but it's certainly not you. I'm incredibly fed up with BO.