1. Mackey doesn't like the current system and wants to reform it. He is, therefore, emphatically in favor of health-care reform -- just not in favor of Obama's proposals, which he believes will make things even worse than they are now, and which upsets him precisely because he thinks it's really, really important to make sure Americans have access to good health care. To say that Mackey "opposes health-care reform" is...well, the most charitable description would be "clumsily misleading," assuming that one believes it is more charitable to believe that an adult person cannot read than it is to believe that he would deliberately create a false impression.
2. The one absolutely certain consequence of the Obamessiah's proposals is that the power of politicians such as Reid and Pelosi and The One Himself, would be immensely enhanced -- which is to say, that they would personally be vastly enriched in the only currency that politicans care about, which is political power. The conflict of interest that exists whenever a politician proposes laws that increase the power of politicians and reduces the individual's right to tell the politician to bugger off, is the
John Mackey, however, is a business owner, and therefore presumptively evil. Sure, he has catered for years to a market sector consisting heavily of urban liberals who happen to have quite a bit more money than your average Joe, but there's always been something fishy about him that we can't quite put our finger on...oh, yeah, he's a business owner. And he's rich, like, he has more money than your average upper-middle-class urban liberal. Now, I mean, being rich can be forgiven if you're a Kennedy or a Kerry or an Edwards or you work in Hollywood and say the right sort of things about the wrong sort of people (namely Republicans), but you have to be suspicious of anybody who got money by identifying things other people need and figuring out how to meet those needs reliably and at low cost, rather than by inheriting it or being bribed by lobbyists to confiscate it on their behalf from taxpayers. I mean, these businessfolk are such bastards.
Now, Mackey's salary is $1 per year because he decided a while back that he didn't want to work for money any more. Furthermore, most of his arguments keep coming back to, "I've paid attention to what my employees say they need and want, and one thing they need is really good health care, and this is how we think we need to get there, because experience shows that going the direction Obama wants to go takes you to a place where people can't get the health care they need." Furthermore, by openly taking a position opposed to Obama while knowing perfectly well that most of his customer base will have a knee-jerk "boycott the bastard" reaction while spending precisely as much time on reading his actual op-ed as the average Democratic Congressman will spend reading the health-care bill he votes into law, Mackey knows perfectly well that the impact of his op-ed on Whole Foods revenues will be negative.
So what does Talking Points Memos tell its readers is going on here? Pretty simple:
1. John Mackey is opposed to reform and doesn't think Americans need health care.
2. He is doing this not because, like The One, he is genuinely concerned for the welfare of Americans, but because, unlike The One, he is out to expand his personal corporate empire.
But conveniently, [Mackey] also includes the following advice: "Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat."
Translation: Whole Foods is the solution to all of America's health care woes.
Translation: Mackey is merely trying to boost his corporation's profits. By, um, openly taking a position certain to infuriate well more than half his customer base. Oh, the cunning of it all!
I'll leave it to you, Gentle Reader, to decide whether my translation of TPM's point is more or less accurate than TPM's translation of Mackey's op-ed.
In a related item, can you believe the way those awful swastika-carrying Astroturf mobs are pretending that the President is saying things he isn't really saying at all? What kind of scumbag could sink so low as to misrepresent his opponents' views?
[chuckling] I swear, sometimes I think the Democratic Party has an initiation ritual in which the pledge is required to locate the part of his brain that provides self-awareness and a sense of irony, and lobotomize it. Thank God I actually know some reasonable Democrats in private life, because if the only Democrats I ever heard from were the ones who make all the noise and get all the air time, I'd be absolutely convinced that 50% of our electorate had gone clinically insane.