Most of you probably heard the news earlier this week that the Department of Health and Human Services is reportedly in talks with the NFL about a partnership to promote Obamacare ("This concussion timeout brought to you by the Independent Payment Advisory Board"). This is nettlesome for a couple of reasons.
First, it's a further sign of the Obama Administration's deathless belief that every policy shortcoming is just one clever ad campaign away from resolution. This I can forgive, because all White Houses at all times think that the only problem they have is "messaging." If you can't traffic in self-serving denial, you're not long for a job in Washington.
Second, and much more importantly, it's culturally invasive. If all of the goo goo civility thumbsuckers out there actually gave a fig about political polarization, they'd realize these kind of efforts are counterproductive. Want me to feel less set upon by my ideological adversaries? Then don't make the two-point conversion an opportunity to relitigate the individual mandate. The culture wars get a lot hotter when we're unwilling to limit the scope of the battlefield.
As bad as the NFL campaign is, however, it pales in comparison to this, from the Heartland Institute's Loren Heal at Human Events:
The Los Angeles Unified School District will use a state grant to train teens to promote ObamaCare to family members. Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange, announced grants of $37 million on May 14 to promote the nationally unpopular law.
LAUSD will receive $990,000. The district listed as a primary outcome for its project, “Teens trained to be messengers to family members.”
Covered California spokeswoman Sarah Soto-Taylor said staff have not questioned this goal.
“We have confidence that the model LA Unified brought to the table will be successful in reaching our target population, which includes family members of students,” she said.
LAUSD will also use tax-paid staff to promote ObamaCare through phone calls to students’ homes, in-class presentations, and meetings with employees eligible for ObamaCare’s taxpayer-covered healthcare, the grant award says.
Invade my football game with a PSA that is (A) justification for discharging a firearm at my television and (B) underwritten by me, and I'll be annoyed. Start deputizing my (purely hypothetical, to the best of my knowledge) children to dispense your agitprop and the situation is about to go thermonuclear.
This brings up an interesting question. Over on the Member Feed (it's pretty cool in there, so you might as well pay the cover charge), member Scarlet Pimpernel wonders if the logic of yesterday's Supreme Court decision on gay marriage means that young children in public schools are going to start receiving more ... expansive, shall we say ... sex education. That doesn't strike me as a homophobic question. In fact, it strikes me as the kind of question a parent would avoid only if they were going out of their way to avoid seeming homophobic. You can probably be completely fine with gay marriage and still want to avoid your adolescent child being exposed to the sexual buffet theory of eros.
Is the day soon coming -- perhaps the question is 'has it already arrived' -- when conservatives will, as a matter of conscience, no longer be able to consider public education as a viable option for their children?