Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Friday Friday

with 6 comments

* Orrin Hatch is today’s douchebag of liberty, with hypocrisy so brazen it offends even Mark Halprin.

* An interesting paper flagged at The Sexist reveals that young men hold shocking double standards in the way they imagine themselves rejecting sex and the way they imagine women must. There’s an almost total lack of self-reflexivity here, as characterized by one of the authors of the study:

“The gist of it is that these young men evidenced an understanding of and even a preference for nuances and diplomatic communication to refuse sex, but then when discussing rape, reversed course and began to argue that anything the least bit ambiguous was unintelligible,” Millar writes.

* Steve Benen and Kevin Drum spare a moment for student loan reform, the other Big Fucking Deal legislation passed this week. Ezra Klein, too, notes that behind the large-scale reform of health care includes a lot of medium-scale reforms that might have been big fights on their own, but which slipped by without comment—suggesting that perhaps Obama really has been playing 11-dimensional chess all this time.

* The New England Journal of Medicine warns that the war over health care has only just begun. While repeal does not seem to me to be an especially important concern—among other things I don’t think Republicans can win the presidency in 2012 or get 67 votes in the Senate when they don’t—the authors raise important points about some difficult areas of implementation that need to be handled carefully by the Administration.

* Nate Silver has your health-care post-mortem.

On balance, I think if you polled Republican strategists right now and they were being honest, they’d probably concede that Democrats are better off for having brought health care to completion after having invested so much energy in it before. The Democrats have a case they can make now — we’re making the tough decisions and getting things done — which may not be horribly persuasive to much of the electorate but is at least marginally better than the complete directionlessness they seemed to be exhibiting a few weeks ago.

On the other hand, I think if you polled Democratic strategists and they were being honest, they’d probably concede that — electorally-speaking — Democrats would have been better off if they’d found a different direction last year, focusing perhaps on financial reform and then only turning to health care if their numbers warranted it. One of the risks in undertaking health care in the first place, indeed, is that there was essentially no exit strategy: no matter how badly the electorate reacted to the policy — and they reacted quite badly — Democrats would probably have been even worse off if they’d abandoned it somewhere along the way.

* And prodigy, 13, claims age discrimination by UConn. I for one welcome our new adolescent overlords…

6 Responses

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  1. Hatch: “There’s no excuse for violence… And both sides have committed it. It’s disgusting.”


    March 26, 2010 at 9:05 am

  2. I think Hatch’s candor actually gets at something that we should consider when we talk about the health reform law being a basically moderate plan proposed by Republicans in the 90s: Republicans had no serious intention of working with Clinton to pass that plan. I can’t say that with certainty, but opposition parties have little accountability, and Republicans are always pretending to care about things like access to health care, though they by and large couldn’t give a damn.

    On the other hand, Mitt Romney really did sign this thing into law in Massachusetts, so maybe I’m wrong. But the politics and pressures in Massachusetts are very different from the ones in conservative America.

    (Also, that’s not say that the delivery mechanism in this bill isn’t genuinely “moderate,” but the point is that the effect of expanding health insurance access to almost the entire population has been, and is, a distinctly progressive goal.)

    Shankar D

    March 26, 2010 at 10:01 am

  3. Ideally, though, there should really be some political price to pay for switching registers from “Hey, here’s our good-faith alternative plan!” to “Oh, yeah, we were just completely lying back them.” It may be that the second was always true, but in that case the media (and this is really a media critique) should call them out not only for lying in the past but also in the future when they *continue* to offer bad-faith alternatives they don’t plan to actually support or enact. That Mark Halprin of all people is calling Hatch out suggests we might actually reach that point someday, but in the meantime mainstream media reluctance to evaluate claims is maybe the biggest factor in why brazen dishonesty of this sort is a successful political strategy…


    March 26, 2010 at 10:16 am

  4. See also deficit spending, in which the contrast between words and acts is perhaps even more stark.


    March 26, 2010 at 10:17 am

  5. Agreed. I think that even Halperin is calling a spade a spade says something about just how egregious this particular hypocrisy is.

    Shankar D

    March 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

  6. […] frame, a frame from which rape is often, as this article from The Sexist nicely illustrates (via), an organically precluded possibility: “The young men who participated in the study displayed […]

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