So the ad of the week seems to be The Chinese Professor by Citizens Against Government Waste. The ad is effective in exploiting fears national decline and humiliation, and personal downward mobility but...
Rewrite the text of the ad to talk about how the US fell because it failed to invest in green jobs, didn't work to stop climate change, and did not adopt a universal health care system to improve the public's health and control costs (and uh...free ice cream.) It would be about as well argued and as effective as the ad we actually have. And that is the problem. Fear of defeat, decline and humiliation are used to substitute for a defensible explanation of why policies are good or bad.
I don't mean to pick on Citizens Against Government Waste. The despicable Thomas Friedman has used these fears to push his agenda in a self-interested and misleading way. I'm old enough to remember the big "Japan Inc. is gonna get your momma" scare of the 1980s where statist politicians and policy analysts, as well as rent seeking business executives used fear of Japan to push a corporatist agenda. The right is just catching up.
Well forget that. Imposing an exceptionally complex lobbyist-friendly carbon tax and then using the proceeds to fund favored companies (basically what cap-and-trade is) will slow growth and make us less competitive and poorer. God knows there are many reasons to be against Obamacare, but fear of hobbling America in the global economy is way down on the list - if it is on the list at all. Canada has single-payer (the direction Obamacare will push us towards) and is competitive enough.
I don't hate the players (well, maybe Friedman a little), I hate the game.