(I’m fully embracing my lefty impulses today.)
I do not believe that the bison in the story (above) would have been subject to such ire had they been any other species. Bison are what cattle ought to be, a source of food that is sustainable in North America. Bison are also a reminder of our burden as a culture, of the extent of our crimes. Bison, like wolves and bears and mountain lions, remind us humans that we are not at the top. Americans rightfully find these things scary.
In Montana, this denial/paranoia takes the form of concern over brucellosis, a disease begign in bison and elk that can cause miscarriages in cattle. As this excellent map of the conflict details, that link is speculative at best, and the real meat of the argument concerns ideology rather than science.
And that is where we come back to health care. It seems to me that the economics of health care reform in America are sufficiently speculative and open to interpretation as to render them largely specious as groups for argumentation. Ideology (to which the Krugman article, and Jason and Eric’s comments, below) is the more fruitful ground for analysis. I think that as the post-passage debate spins down, we’ll continue to learn a lot about our country.
I leave you with this video of the park service and/or state chasing bison back into the park in the spring, using helicopters.