Weekend Reading: Eric Loomis: The Left and Venezuela

Must-Read: Fear of a Black President:

Paul Krugman: Obamacare Rage in Retrospect: "Why did Obamacare survive? The shocking answer: It’s still here because it does so much good... https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/04/opinion/obamacare-rage-in-retrospect.html

...Tens of millions have health coverage—imperfect, but far better than none at all—thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Millions more rest easier knowing that coverage will still be available if something goes wrong—if, for example, they lose their employer-sponsored plan or develop a chronic condition.

Which raises a big question: Why did the prospect of health reform produce so much popular rage in 2009 and 2010?... G.O.P. apparatchiks... hated and feared the A.C.A.... because they were afraid it would work.... Some wealthy people [were] furious that their taxes were going up to pay for lesser mortals’ care.... [But] I’m talking about the people who screamed at their congressional representatives.... For example, the man who pushed his wheelchair-bound son, who was suffering from cerebral palsy, in front of a congressman, yelling that President Obama’s health care plan would provide the boy with “no care whatsoever” and would be a “death sentence.” The reality, of course, is that people with pre-existing medical conditions are among the A.C.A.’s biggest beneficiaries, and would have had the most to lose if conservative Republicans had managed to repeal the law....

So once again: What was Obamacare rage about? Much... orchestrated by pressure groups like Freedom Works.... Some of the “ordinary citizens”... were actually right-wing activists.... Misinformation and outright lies from the usual suspects: Fox News, talk radio and so on... “death panels” depriving senior citizens of care.... [But] why [did] so many people believed these lies... identity politics and affinity fraud.... Conservatives have conditioned many Americans to believe that safety-net programs are all about taking things away from white people and giving stuff to minorities. And those who stoked Obamacare rage were believed because they seemed to some Americans like their kind of people—that is, white people defending them against you-know-who.

It’s certainly not encouraging to realize how easily many Americans were duped.... On the other hand, the truth did eventually prevail, and Republicans’ inability to handle that truth is turning into a real political liability. And in the meantime, Obamacare has made America a better place.