Opinion

How ObamaCare discredits liberalism

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor

Republican tech guru Patrick Ruffini knows campaigns and technology.

And over on his blog, Ruffini is picking up on the contradictions facing tech-savvy folks on the left who “embrace an agile, entrepreneurial, bottom-up culture in their professional and voluntary pursuits, yet forcefully argue for the top-down paternalism of forcing people to buy health insurance, imposed by a bureaucracy that can’t build a website.”

This is an important read. Here’s an excerpt:

“Congress could design and federal IT regulators could enforce a new procurement law that was the epitome of agility and nimbleness, one that would allow for tiger teams of Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin’s best engineers to tackle things with ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ gusto. But such a law would be the antithesis of the modern administrative state that is a product of 20th century liberalism. (Emphasis his.)

“I get that progressive techies didn’t set things up that way, and left to their own devices, can produce pretty good results (see the 2012 Obama campaign). But the governing philosophy they support is at odds with the startup mentality they also embrace. For better or worse, the impulse for a bigger government that makes more health care decisions goes hand in hand with bad procurement laws administered by a unionized federal workforce bullish on routine and bearish on innovation.”

The utopian fantasy of liberalism is that governmental planning, not free markets, can win the 21st century. This is a fatal conceit. It is ironic that some of the most creative people — entrepreneurs living in places like Austin and San Francisco — embrace sterile, top-down liberalism.

So what accounts for this disconnect?

My guess is this is somewhat consistent with the elite liberal’s view of the world, which essentially says that freedom of choice is good for me but not for thee. In other words, we elites can manage our stock portfolios on our iPhones, but the masses can’t really be trusted with the responsibility of procuring and managing their own health care in similar fashion (at least, not without the glitchy HealthCare.gov).

Ruffini drills down on this worldview disconnect, and assessment is consistent with something I wrote yesterday, when I argued that “it must be explained that the glitches are a microcosm for what happens when a large governmental bureaucracy tries to unilaterally overhaul 18 percent of the U.S. economy.”

Read Ruffini’s entire post here.