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Mar. 29 2010 - 11:11 pm | 339 views | 1 recommendation | 0 comments

‘Wheel of Fortune’ host Pat Sajak on Obamacare, Frank Rich, and Post-Racial America

Oh Pat. You’re so brave to write an editorial rebutting Frank Rich’s denunciation of Obamacare naysayers, whom Rich points out are predominantly white male bigots (not in so few words).

Pat Sajak has long been a poster boy for wholesome, conservative America, so in one sense it’s pleasing to see him get fired up about something consequential. And in another sense it’s good to see he can write and spell so well. Glad he’s earning that big salary.

But whatever Sajak’s intentions may be, his opinions are nearly absent from his editorial. He pokes fun at Rich’s views yet offers little more than this as an alternative:

Welcome to post-racial America, where those who oppose a piece of legislation must defend themselves against the scurrilous charges of a man who seems much better suited to reviewing “Cats”.  (He liked it, by the way.) This was a particularly shameful column, and the millions of Americans who oppose this legislation are owed an apology. Are they right? Are they wrong? Let’s discuss it. Let’s debate it. Let’s yell and scream if we want to. But would it be too much to ask that we approach the matter based on its merits and leave the psychobabble to Dr. Phil?       - Human Events.com, March 29, 2010

Poor Pat. He’s so put-upon by “post-racial America”.

Rich’s characterization of the situation is considerably more substantial:

To find a prototype for the overheated reaction to the health care bill, you have to look a year before Medicare, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both laws passed by similar majorities in Congress; the Civil Rights Act received even more votes in the Senate (73) than Medicare (70). But it was only the civil rights bill that made some Americans run off the rails. That’s because it was the one that signaled an inexorable and immutable change in the very identity of America, not just its governance. - New York Times, March 27, 2010

It seems that what ires Sajak most is Rich’s analytical skills: yes, they are his opinions, but they are also historically-informed and well-researched. Sajak’s simplistic appeal for an apology simply underscores a fundamental problem with the layman’s comprehension of politics and policy––that there should be a personal aspect to any of it. Indeed, policy makers must possess a heavy dose of objectivity to carry out their duties properly, yet their egos occupy so much space that matters of great public concern end up becoming personal screaming matches between camps. This, Pat Sajak, is how you’ve gotten it all wrong.


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    My bread and butter comes from booking and managing indie rock bands. Being a consummate music nerd, I enjoy this job more than any other I've had. The rest of my time I devote to the art gallery I operate out of my apartment in San Francisco. Check me out: partisangallery.com

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