Compassion is a virtue but I don’t have the time

Do you bother arguing with people about politics, world affairs, and the like anymore? I used to, I used to believe that rational argument had value. Now I think that the best way to understand someone’s argument is to try to understand (or at least make a snap judgment about) their psychology and prejudices. I don’t mean this in any kind of a nice way, I don’t mean that once you know where they’re coming from you’ll empathize with them and develop respect for their point of view. I mean that the person’s ability to reason, if it exists at all, has been short-circuited by privilege or narcissism or some other disorder. Therefore, you shouldn’t bother pretending that the two of you can have a meaningful high-brow debate. If you have any curiosity about why they believe what they believe, think about what’s wrong with them as people, not what’s wrong with the details of their arguments.

An obvious example is: No one cares about federal spending, they oppose social programs because they think all the money goes to black people, so arguing about discretionary spending as a portion of GDP is obviously a waste of time.

I now feel that the best way to address disagreements about politics with other people is to make fun of what they’re saying in a way that can’t understand. That makes them feel stupid, which plants doubt in their minds.

Update. Obviously trolling slightly here, and there are issues like health care where people may be open to reason and information, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. And I don’t especially mean conservatives in any of this at all, I specifically had in mind people who believe in austerity or the power of the bully pulpit of that the terrorist threat is scarier than Hitler and Stalin put together or who don’t believe in global warming and marriage equality. Certainly lots of centrists and even some self-described liberals in the first three categories.






239 replies
  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    “I now feel that the best way to address disagreements about politics is with other people is to make fun of what they’re saying in a way that can’t understand. That makes them feel stupid, which plants doubt in their minds.”

    I have never ever wondered where the stereotype that liberals are arrogant and condescending comes from.

  2. 2

    There are some people who you can convince, for those who can’t or won’t listen to reason, your strategy seems like a good one.

  3. 3

    “…the best way to address disagreements about politics is with other people is to make fun of what they’re saying in a way that can’t understand. That makes them feel stupid, which plants doubt in their minds.”

    Bingo!

  4. 4

    Yeah, dialogue is for suckers! I prefer to just throw quotes at ’em:

    “The principal feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things…. It’s a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don’t have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.” – P.J. O’Rourke

  5. 5
    Bill Arnold says:

    …make fun of what they’re saying in a way that can’t understand.

    A related alternative is to coax them into saying stuff that’s so stupid that they realize it. (Your Socratic Trolling technique.)

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    P. J. is a good example of just making fun of people he disagrees with, in fact.

  7. 7
    cleek says:

    pick your team, cheer everything that team does, boo everything the other team does.

    such is life.

    if you want to gussy things up with intellectual arguments, you can find such arguments. if you want to justify things on the basis that the other team is a bunch of dim-witted sub-human scum, you can do that, too. it’s still just being a fan, in the end.

    as such, arguing politics in real life is a stupid thing to do. nobody is going to change their mind just because someone points out that their guys are corrupt jerks or that their policies don’t do exactly what they’re advertised to do. they’ll change their mind when they want to.

    it’s not religion, but it’s close enough.

  8. 8

    @Bill Arnold: Even if you don’t convince the person in question you may be able to convince the onlookers, for example at a family function when your father’s friend starts regurgitating the latest wingnut talking points, who usually no one bothers to correct because he is pompous and rude.

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    Has any FPer discussed this yet? I think it deserves its own thread. Living in the ugly-ass state of KS, I can tell you that this is blowing up on the news, social media, etc. Most reasonable, normal peeps (most of KS, at least the eastern half where a majority of the population lives) are completely stunned that the knuckledraggers are going to enshrine this into law.

    Legalized bigotry. In 2014.

  10. 10
    Belafon says:

    That makes them feel stupid, which plants doubt in their minds defensive, which means they’ll never be open to any form of persuasion.

    Fixed it for you.

    I think the best way to “argue” with them is to pretend you don’t know where they are coming from, and keep asking them for information. They will only doubt what they know when they can’t explain it.

  11. 11
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    That makes them feel stupid, which plants doubt in their minds.

    Doubt implies the capacity to self-reflect. They’re usually better at being ignorant than you are at being clever and sowing seeds of doubt.

  12. 12
    jl says:

    If some one brings up a topic and is willing to be reasonable, then I’ll engage. Though honesty requires me to report something I saw on the intertubes this morning.

    Research shows substantial causation from merely being wealthy (for whatever reason at all) to right wing political views. Results from longitudinal survey that included people who won lottery prizes.

    Looks like many people are susceptible to IGMFY.
    Link in the story to more complete report of the research.

    Give a point to the cynics.

    Money Makes People Right-Wing and Inegalitarian
    http://economistsview.typepad......arian.html

  13. 13
    Anoniminous says:

    Amping up the Emotive value of a discussion reduces the Cognitive content of the discussion, interdicting the exchange of Information – Also Sprach Logical Positivists.

    (Yeah, sometimes I’m Old Fashioned)

  14. 14
    Wag says:

    Here we go!

  15. 15

    I actually try to do both, make fun of the messenger if he is too far gone and try to convince the fence sitters. My latest attempt with Bobo’s column this week.

  16. 16
    Barry says:

    @Eric Lindholm: PJ was funny. A couple of decades ago.

  17. 17

    @jl: To paraphrase Arundhati Roy,

    we are kind to our kind

    .

  18. 18
    Mandalay says:

    Try using rational argument on Michael Dunn’s lawyer, Cory Strolla. Dunn is currently awaiting the verdict of the jury on Florida in the would-you-please-turn-down-your-radio murder, and Strolla gave a press conference this morning…

    Strolla took several questions about his client’s apparent racial bias, particularly letters Dunn wrote from jail, but argued his client’s views aren’t rooted in race. “This isn’t a black & white issue, it’s a subculture thug issue,” Strolla said. He later added that some of his client’s more vitriolic letters were written after a fellow inmate threatened to rape him.

    Let’s kill all the lawyers.

  19. 19
    gogol's wife says:

    @Mandalay:

    That story is so, so, so depressing. I can’t even bear to read about it.

  20. 20
    Chyron HR says:

    Newsmax Headline:

    “AR-15 Owners Ignore Connecticut Gun Law”

    This must be some of that rampant lawlessness the GOP keeps complaining about.

  21. 21
    Chyron HR says:

    Newsmax Headline:

    “AR-15 Owners Ignore Connecticut Gun Law”

    This must be some of that rampant lawlessness the GOP keeps complaining about.

  22. 22
    jl says:

    I do look forward to arguing about the significance of this earth shattering event with some of my reasonable totebagger friends.

    ‘Kick the Can’ debt scaremonger outreach to our precious youth is broke.

    Anti-Debt Group Is Pretty Much Broke
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....roup-broke

  23. 23
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    subculture thug issue

    They realize that we know they mean “nigger” when they say “thug,” right? Or do they really think it’s flying under the radar?

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    @Punchy: I’m sure Scalia will write the majority opinion, when that law is settled by the Supreme Court. Didn’t the bible support slavery also? Sometimes I really hate people who buy into the right’s bullshit.

  25. 25
    Cervantes says:

    Now I think that the best way to understand someone’s argument is to try to understand (or at least make a snap judgment about) their psychology and prejudices.

    Well, thanks for letting me know.

  26. 26
    Snarla says:

    Sounds like P.J. O’Rourke just admitted that only liberals oppose war, hunger, and date rape. Yet somehow a small portion of the countries still dislikes liberals. Wonder why.

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    @Mandalay: IMO, there is no way, Dunn is going to be found innocent. It was cold blooded murder.

  28. 28
    Comrade Mary says:

    Here in Toronto, we’re facing a fall election where Rob Ford may do a lot better than he has any right to. He may even win again. And before anyone starts with “WTF, Toronto?” or starts spouting reasons why a bunch of rich, suburban, white people are supporting a homophobic, substance abusing bully who imitates Jamaican accents and says that “Orientals work like dogs”, I’d suggest you try reading some articles like these:

    Rexdale isn’t perfect

    My Chinese immigrant parents will vote for Ford

    Toronto’s gilded age never made it to the ‘burbs

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Belafon:

    I think the best way to “argue” with them is to pretend you don’t know where they are coming from, and keep asking them for information. They will only doubt what they know when they can’t explain it.

    That’s essentially Mnemosyne’s “Thanksgiving Dinner” technique, isn’t it? I believe she’s found it useful.

  30. 30

    This post keeps getting better and better: “there are issues like health care where people may be open to reason and information.

    Really? I seem to remember one political persuasion warning Americans that, no, you couldn’t keep your health plan and, no, you couldn’t keep your doctor. I seem to remember something about the burdens of the employer mandate and how the risk corridors would necessitate huge bailouts to the insurance companies. There was something else about how community rating would require younger Americans to pay much, much more for insurance.

    I think the other side explained their position thusly: “Shut up, racist.”

  31. 31
    jrg says:

    DougJ, you are contemptible. Regrettably, you are also correct. How much modern advertising would not work if making people feel inadequate failed as a tactic?

    ETA – Eric Lindholm: I’m so tired of hearing this crap. When TPers were running around carrying signs depicting the president with a bone through his fucking nose, the right said nothing. Nothing. …And that’s not the only example (Kenya, hates America, Terrorist, etc, etc, etc).

    I’m not going to say I’ve never thought or written anything that could be interpreted as racist, but that’s way, way out of line, by any reasonable standard.

  32. 32
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Barry:

    PJ was funny. A couple of decades ago.

    He is now an incoherent alcoholic who routinely embarrasses himself on TV.

    Although that doesn’t make O’Rourke much different than the current Speaker of the House.

  33. 33
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Punchy: Tennessee is about to pass the exact same bill. What a coincidence.

  34. 34

    @Eric Lindholm: you just seem to remember things that way.

  35. 35
    JPL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Have you ventured out yet? My driveway is still a mess and the street still slushy, so I’ll wait until tomorrow before leaving. There are so many hourly workers in the metro area, they must be really hurting with the stores closed.

  36. 36
    SatanicPanic says:

    There’s no point in arguing with conservatives, it’s just aggravating. Arguing with other liberals is even MORE aggravating. Really, arguing is no fun so I don’t bother.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Barry:
    I’ve noticed that as P.J. O’Rourke gets older, he looks more and more like the Cigarette-Smoking Man. But I agree. His style has remained the same over the years, but the funny started going out of it a couple of decades ago, like air from a balloon with a slow leak, and it’s just a pitiful deflated thing now.

  39. 39
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Eric Lindholm: The wingnuts are free to present alternative healthcare legislation that does as much as the ACA but with less disruption at any time.

  40. 40
    Belafon says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Yep. There was also a study on this published sometime in the last two years.

  41. 41
    jl says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Here’s a start for you.

    http://thinkprogress.org/healt.....are-myths/

    http://theincidentaleconomist......in-charts/

    Note that second link explains how GW Bush’s Part D risk corridors more friendly to industry than ACA risk corridors.

  42. 42

    @Amir Khalid: Was he ever funny? Once or twice when I have seen him on TV he came across as a dyspeptic old man.

  43. 43
    Chyron HR says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Hey, if you guys really wanted to get rid of Obamacare, maybe you shouldn’t have thrown the 2012 election. Just sayin’.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Yeah, dialogue is for suckers! I prefer to just throw quotes at ‘em:

    Trying to have a dialogue with a rightwinger about politics, world affairs, et al, is a fool’s errand. It’s taken me most of my nearly 6 decades on this planet to come fully to that sad realization, but there it is (my youthful idealism hung around much longer than it should; though maybe I’m just slow).

    The worldview of a rightwinger is the worldview of a fascist asshole, period, exclamation point, nothing more needs to be said. P.J. O’Rourke being an extensively-published exemplar.

    Rush Limbaugh, in a different medium, of course, and far more well-known and important, also exemplifies.

    If your worldview lines up with those colossal assholes, then (no surprise) you, too, are a fascist asshole, and fuck trying to have any meaningful dialogue with you.

    Yeah, like you’re interested in engaging in some heartfelt and purposeful exchange of ideas with any non-fascists. The hell you are.

    Go fuck yourself hard. You’re my enemy, and we both know it.

    Make the move from fascist asshole to non-fascist non-asshole (as our esteemed blog host did, back in ’05 as I recall) then we’re no longer enemies, and dialogues may commence. Otherwise, my first sentence pertains.

  46. 46
    🎂 Martin says:

    I agree. I always start out with some sort of reasoning test for people. I ask them an open ended question and then gently challenge their viewpoint and within a minute you can determine if they’re worth conversing with.

    @Eric Lindholm:

    I seem to remember one political persuasion warning Americans that, no, you couldn’t keep your health plan and, no, you couldn’t keep your doctor. I seem to remember something about the burdens of the employer mandate and how the risk corridors would necessitate huge bailouts to the insurance companies. There was something else about how community rating would require younger Americans to pay much, much more for insurance.

    And what were those warnings based on? It’s not like there isn’t a metric ton of data collected on how insurance works. Whenever anyone asked for evidence of any of the things stated, all we got was ‘he’s shoving it down our throats’. When every request for evidence is backed by an ad-hominim, it’s hard to not conclude that the basis for the warnings were politics or personal prejudice – especially when it was pointed out that the policies that conservatives were railing against were the ones that the Heritage Foundation had advanced with evidence, but now oppose without evidence.

  47. 47
    Trollhattan says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    He wrote hilarious stuff for Lampoon and Car and Driver. In other venues and especially in person, not.

  48. 48
    Belafon says:

    @Eric Lindholm: Well, everyone I know got to keep their doctor. As for the insurance bailouts, considering they are going to make the government money, I don’t see how that’s actually a bad thing.

    You also left out death panels and that lazy moochers are now going to get health insurance.

  49. 49
    MomSense says:

    O/T?

    #sowhiteoutside is trending on twitter. Some are quite amusing like @sfpelosi “#sowhiteoutside it’s like a #GOP House leadership meeting

  50. 50
    Patrick says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Really? I seem to remember one political persuasion warning Americans that, no, you couldn’t keep your health plan

    You mean the same health plan, which is usually not worth the paper it is written on.

    and, no, you couldn’t keep your doctor.

    You do realize that before ACA (or Obamacare as you people derisively call it) insurers changed the doctors you could see all the time.

    I seem to remember something about the burdens of the employer mandate

    The very same employer mandate that conservatives themselves wanted before the black guy came in favor of it.

    and how the risk corridors would necessitate huge bailouts to the insurance companies.

    Those huge bailouts as you call them are a fraction of what the costs would be if ACA hadn’t been implemented. You do realize that if an insured person prior to ACA went to the emergency care, it had to be paid by somebody.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    I now feel that the best way to address disagreements about politics with other people is to make fun of what they’re saying in a way that can’t understand. That makes them feel stupid, which plants doubt in their minds.

    I don’t think that’s correct. I think that strategy is designed to make you feel better.

  52. 52
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mandalay:

    Let’s kill all the lawyers.

    I’m willing to give Kay a pass.

  53. 53
    Punchy says:

    @Suffern ACE: I suspect that the first few businesses (florist, restaurant, etc.) that attempt to invoke this travesty of the law will be burned by the social media backlash. Yes, a few Evangellies will rally to support them, but a vast majority of normal folk would be disgusted and would avoid that business. Death by a thousand Facebook postings.

    If/when this law passes, the wife and I plan on asking the manager of every establishment we frequent before purchasing a damn thing what their policy is. Living in Eastern KS, I’m guessing most will be at least gay-tolerant.

  54. 54
    DaddyJ says:

    I have never in my life changed someone’s mind by mocking them “in a way they can’t understand.” I have never in my life seen someone else change someone’s mind this way either. And of course if the penny finally does drop, it leads to resentment, which leads to doubling down. Because: eff you! We seem to have a lot of that going on now.

  55. 55
    Trollhattan says:

    Speaking of “compassionate conservatives,” hey everyone, it’s Colorado’s Bernie Herpes, uh, Herpin.

    A Republican state senator in Colorado on Wednesday suggested during a legislative hearing that it might have been a “good thing” that James Holmes had a 100-round magazine with him when he opened fire in an Aurora, Colo. theater in 2012.

    According to KDVR, state Sen. Bernie Herpin (R) made the comments during a hearing debating legislation he has proposed that would overturn the state’s new ban on magazines of more than 15 rounds. A measure similar to Herpin’s was voted down on Monday by Democrats in the state’s House.

    “My understanding is that James Holmes bought his 100-round capacity magazine legally,” state Sen. Irene Aguilar (D) said to Herpin during the hearing. “So in fact, this law would have stopped James Holmes from purchasing a 100-round magazine. … I just wondered if you agree with me.”

    “Perhaps, James Holmes would not have been able to purchase a 100-round magazine,” Herpin said in response. “As it turned out, that was maybe a good thing that he had a 100-round magazine, because it jammed. If he had instead had four, five, six 15-round magazines, no telling how much damage he could have done until a good guy with a gun showed up.”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....mes-holmes

    Remember: several people got together and elected this guy.

  56. 56
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Never seen him on TV myself (for the obvious reason) but O’Rourke had a mildly amusing snarky tone when he wrote for Rolling Stone in the 1980s and early 1990s. I have collections of his writings from that period which are not too bad. But as he ossified into conservatism, that faded away.

  57. 57
    Patrick says:

    I had a discussion with a tea bagger who derisively called me a socialist for supporting Obama. I then asked him if he supported the US military. When he said yes, I then informed him that the military is based on the very foundation of socialism. He never called me a socialist again. Ridicule in a friendly sometimes works.

  58. 58
    DougJ says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Eric, thanks for stopping by, I checked your blog, Vikingpundit.

    Could you tell me why conservative bloggers often like to call themselves “pundit” (Gatewaypundit. Allahpundit, Vodkapundit, Vikingpundit) whereas liberal bloggers don’t? I’ve always wondered about this.

    Thanks.

  59. 59
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Eric Lindholm: I just thought I’d give you a little validation. Makes people feel good to have their views confirmed and I’m all about making people feel good.

  60. 60
    cleek says:

    O’Rourke is consistently funny on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me

  61. 61
    cleek says:

    @DougJ:
    to honor InstaPundit, right?

  62. 62
    Mandalay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’m willing to give Kay a pass.

    I see where you are coming from, but if we kill them all we can be absolutely certain that all the bad ones are dead. I am sure it is a price that Kay would be willing to pay.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    There was something else about how community rating would require younger Americans to pay much, much more for insurance.

    Which, interestingly, hasn’t actually happened, unless said younger Americans are making $50,000 a year or more, are single, and don’t have children. And if you’re single with no kids and making $50K a year, you need to STFU about the horrible, horrible burden health insurance premiums are putting on you because how can you afford your BMW lease and health insurance?

  64. 64
    raven says:

    Understanding is a virtue, hard to come by
    You can teach me how to love
    If you’ll only try; So please!
    Don’t give up so soon.

    Last Wall Of The Castle

  65. 65

    @jl: OK, JL, because I’m “open to reason and information” I checked out your links.

    The first one is from August 2013 before the Obamacare exchanges opened (and flopped). Look again at the “myths”: the cost of insurance for young Americans is rising because “community rating” requires it: premiums are not allowed to be a certain multiple from the highest level. So young Americans have to pay much more – this is why they keep running those ridiculous “Brosurance” ads trying to trick kids into buying insurance. Obamacare IS more unpopular than ever. Finally, we already know that companies are adjusting hours (see: Darden Restaurants) to avoid health care costs. Obama keeps (illegally) delaying the employer mandate because he knows it will lead to mass displacement in the workforce.

    On the second point of risk corridors: yes, they were fashioned after the Medicare Part D system but the estimates of people joining that program were predictable and the Bush Administration did an excellent job of rolling out the program. Obamacare, on the other hand, is a train wreck and major insurers (Aetna) are already talking about pulling out of the system altogether due to the threat of huge losses.

    Facts facts facts. Oh, but do keep on your P.J. O’Rourke jag, everybody. He’s a smelly smoker!

  66. 66
    theMEitcong says:

    Spend a few minutes perusing a few of the seemingly endless number of “patriot” facebook groups. It will become clear that there are vast numbers of people who do not regard anyone outside of the John Birch Society as a fellow American citizen. They are not interested in debate, facts, different viewpoints….they willingly accept whatever lies and fantasies are peddled to them, and in fact, the more outlandish the claim, they more eager the embrace. They are not interested in your viewpoint, they do not care about your viewpoint, they don’t care about you.

    Why in the world would anyone one to actually try and engage with that?

  67. 67
    rikyrah says:

    if the political parties can’t find someone to oppose an obvious dopehead, then Toronto gets what Toronto deserves

  68. 68
    Heliopause says:

    Now I think that the best way to understand someone’s argument is to try to understand (or at least make a snap judgment about) their psychology and prejudices.

    Can you articulate how you arrived at your own viewpoints?

  69. 69
    Mandalay says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    That story is so, so, so depressing. I can’t even bear to read about it.

    I know exactly what you mean. The only good thing to come out of this is that it shines a light on some things that are fundamentally wrong and absolutely rotten in our society.

    Some of the reader comments on this story in North Florida newspapers will make you wince.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Sort of OT, but relevant, from Noisemax:

    Krauthammer: Obamacare Exists Only in Obama’s Head

    Projection, it’s what these vile sacks of shit do.

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    So young Americans have to pay much more – this is why they keep running those ridiculous “Brosurance” ads trying to trick kids into buying insurance.

    It’s too bad subsidies don’t exist in your world. Is the sky also a different color than in ours?

    Finally, we already know that companies are adjusting hours (see: Darden Restaurants) to avoid health care costs.

    Which means those healthcare costs get shifted to Medicaid. Why are you not pissed off at those companies for mooching off your tax dollars and making you pay for their employees’ healthcare? Why do you not mind paying for their employees’ ER visits with your tax dollars?

  72. 72
    Redshift says:

    @Eric Lindholm: So, did you honestly believe that “if you like your plan, you can keep it” meant “the new law will force your insurance company to keep offering your current plan at a comparable price forever,” or are you pretending to believe that spouting a stream of right-wing talking points is the same thing as “rational argument”?

  73. 73
    raven says:

    @Eric Lindholm: OK Mornin Joe, you can come out now. Oh, and fuck you and your :train wreck” bullshit.

  74. 74
    Trollhattan says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    You might take this up with Mr. Mayhew. He’ll be happy to oblige, I’m certain. Caution: he’s armed with facts and such.

  75. 75
    aimai says:

    @Eric Lindholm: Well, if that is what PJ Orourke thinks there’s literally no point in opening a dialogue. And if he doesn’t think that then he’s lying so, again, no point in opening a dialogue.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    yes, they were fashioned after the Medicare Part D system but the estimates of people joining that program were predictable and the Bush Administration did an excellent job of rolling out the program.

    Oh, sweetie, I can tell you don’t work in healthcare. I’ll have you chat with my husband, who’s worked for a home infusion company for over 20 years, and he can tell you what a “success” Medicare Part D has been.

  77. 77
    aimai says:

    @Eric Lindholm: Its not true that the Bush Administration did “an excellent job” of rolling out Medicare Part D. People just don’t remember but there was almost literal panic in the pharmacies, many people didn’t get signed up in time or signed up for the wrong thing, and the Government actually had to backstop payments for quite a time in order to make sure that people who thought they had coverage had the coverage they were promised. It was actually an enormous clusterfuck and, of course, famously not paid for at all. In fact it was one of the reasons Bush busted the budget because it wasn’t paid for at all.

  78. 78
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Punchy:
    I saw that too. I was astounded; how does such a law pass constitutional review?

  79. 79
    Cassidy says:

    I don’t bother. They aren’t worth my time.

  80. 80
    Belafon says:

    @Eric Lindholm: And here, you’re full of it:

    the Bush Administration did an excellent job of rolling out the program

    Actually, the Bush admin’s rollout was nearly a disaster until Democrats decided to save it, because it was the law of the land. A number of Democratic governors and state legislatures chose to spend state money to cover the spending costs associated with the rollout. Not only was it an unfunded government mandate, it was a negative cost government mandate.

  81. 81
    Patrick says:

    Obama keeps (illegally) delaying the employer mandate because he knows it will lead to mass displacement in the workforce.

    Maybe you should tell FoxNews that if our President is doing something illegal, he should be impeached. Why isn’t Boehner starting impeachment proceedings over Obama’s delay of the employer mandate???

    By any chance, could it be because a certain George W Bush had way more executive orders than Obama? Heck, even your hero Reagan had twice as many executive orders than Obama. Why is it that you people think it is illegal when the black guy does it, but perfectly fine when Reagan did it?

    By the way, above you complained about the employer mandate. Yet now you are complaining that Obama delayed it to please business. I can’t figure out what you want.

  82. 82
    Redshift says:

    @Eric Lindholm: Funny how you nitpick about the links provided by others, but you never seem to feel the need to provide any to support your supposed “facts.”

    Hint: Saying “facts” three times isn’t a mystical incantation that makes what you’re saying more true.

  83. 83
    Ash Can says:

    Slow news day, huh?

  84. 84
    JPL says:

    @Eric Lindholm: It would have been nice if Bush and company had paid for Medicare Part D.

  85. 85
    Fasteddie says:

    A few months ago, you ( DougJ ) said something to the effect that “modern politics is about racism. period.” And I agree 100%.

    Since we all agree that racism is loathsome, rightwingers have adopted all of these stand-ins for their obvious racism:

    1) Socialism!!! – helping the poor (brown) people is socialism!!
    2) “Thug” – I don’t hate brown people, I hate criminals and Thugs!!
    3) Austerity – the government should do nothing to help the poor ( brown people ) because we can’t afford it!! ( never mind that this was never an issue when the occupant of the white house was white)
    4) Conservatism – never mind that Obama’s policies are to the right of Nixon’s.

    This is made worse by the convention that calling someone out on their racism ( or sexism or other bigotry ) is the MOST UNCIVIL thing you can do! Certainly MUCH worse than actually being a racist, sexist or homophobe. ( Try it and see!! )

    So no, it is not worth arguing.

  86. 86
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @cleek:

    That was my first thought, as well.

    Homage of cretinous douchecanoes to the ur-douchecanoe.

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL:

    Not to mention tax cuts for the parasite overclass and the glorious Mesopotamian adventure.

  88. 88
    SatanicPanic says:

    I also don’t see any point in arguing about details if you can’t agree on the end goal. Conservatives don’t care if you get treatment or not. Everything they have to say comes from that fact.

  89. 89
    DougJ says:

    @Heliopause:

    Experience.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    It’s still pretty much a clusterfuck. At G’s company, they hate getting that call of, “It’s a Medicare Part D patient” because the whole thing is a giant pain in the ass, from getting the authorization through getting paid.

  91. 91
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    “This isn’t a black & white issue, it’s a subculture thug issue,”

    And Richard Sherman’s comment on the use of the word “thug” is again validated.

  92. 92
    Trollhattan says:

    Since we’re off and running to this topic and that (okay, I am) how about some energy news that’s not related to coal and its progress in poisoning us out of existence?

    Part the first, inching closer to harnessing fusion at NIF:

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscie.....r-not-yet/

    Part the second, 400 MW solar plant opens in the Mojave.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/i.....stry-grows

  93. 93
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    They realize that we know they mean “nigger” when they say “thug,” right? Or do they really think it’s flying under the radar?

    There are still people using the “Nigger refers to attitude rather than race. There are white niggers, too.” line, so I think they honestly believe they’re being subtle. I think a lot of the crap about thugs, white niggers, and black friends comes from them lying to themselves about their own racist attitudes, so it’s not really a matter of them trying to fool us; it’s a matter of them fooling themselves and then being angry when other people prick their bubble.

  94. 94

    All: there are two reasons why insurance premiums and deductibles are rising for young Americans. First, many young’uns had catastrophic policies which were very cheap. Obamacare did away with those since they had to meet a minimum standard, so those cheap policies are gone. Now you can say “good riddance” but the fact remains that the new policies are more expensive.

    Second, as I’ve noted, Obamacare caps the ratio between cheap policies (for the healthy young) and expensive policies (for the unhealthy old). Once again, you can argue this is a great thing to even things out but don’t tell me it won’t raise rates for kids. It has and it will.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ma.....the-young/

  95. 95
    West of the Cascades says:

    I snapped on this last October, when I saw a cousin of mine (in South Carolina) that I thought was open to “rational” argument post Facebook screeds about Obamacare and how her insurance plan was dropping her doctor and that the “reign of Obama can’t come soon enough.” I realized at that point — like DougJ points out — that the only driving force in her mental approach to the world was to hate on the black man in the White House.

    When I suggested she was not being Christian in opposing the expansion of health insurance to the uninsured, she told me that she didn’t want to perpetuate an “entitlement mentality,” to which I quoted back Matthew 25:35-46.

    I didn’t get a Christmas card from her this year.

  96. 96
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    On the second point of risk corridors: yes, they were fashioned after the Medicare Part D system but the estimates of people joining that program were predictable and the Bush Administration did an excellent job of rolling out the program.

    This is a perfect example of the bizzaro world wingnuts inhabit.

  97. 97
    Trollhattan says:

    @DougJ:

    They mistakenly think “punta” is spelled “pundit.”

  98. 98
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Depends on which Constitution you plan on operating under. The US Constitution, or the Confederate Constitution.

  99. 99
    becca says:

    Anyone read that troll study?

    Just popped into my head, no idea on earth why.

  100. 100

    @SatanicPanic: They are more worried about the financial health of corporations than the health of the people who live and work here. Corporations that btw are sitting on huge cash reserves.

  101. 101
    Heliopause says:

    @DougJ:

    Is that a synonym for “psychology and prejudices”?

  102. 102
    jl says:

    I’m no good at these lyrics in the post title puzzlers, but is that a line from Junior Brown’s You’re wanted by the police and my wife thinks your’re dead? It scans.

  103. 103
    Neutron Flux says:

    @Punchy: I heard that on NPR. (KANU). In the car, by myself, I said outloud… Fuck me.

  104. 104
    rikyrah says:

    The University of Chicago just doesn’t need it. I would love to see it at the Bronzeville site, because, for transportation purposes, as well as the site itself…
    crudely put..
    they’ve already taken the land for the Bronzeville site,(for the failed Olympic Bid) so there will be no displacing of residents.
    Whereas if it’s at UC, that means that some Black folk will be thrown out of their homes for it.

    …………………………………………………………………….
    Rival Chicago groups clash over Obama library bid

    by Jason Keyser, Associated Press | February 13, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    Barack Obama‘s journey from community organizer to lawmaker to president was also a journey through several different Chicagos, from the city’s isolated and neglected Far South Side to its elite centers of political and social power.

    So it’s perhaps no surprise that the contest to host his presidential library has set off some classic Chicago infighting between activists in depressed neighborhoods and wealthy universities.

    The library is “such a prize that nobody is going to yield power to anybody else,” veteran Chicago political analyst Don Rose said.

    The squabble also puts Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, in the difficult position of trying to present a single, unified bid, lest the feuding weaken the city’s odds against rival campaigns to put the library in New York or Hawaii.

    The main point of tension is between the University of Chicago, where Obama spent 12 years as a constitutional law professor until his 2004 election to the U.S. Senate, and a group advocating for Bronzeville, the city’s historic center of black culture, business and politics.

    “They think that they can get whatever they want,” Bronzeville organizer Harold Lucas said of the university. “If you compare the cranes in the sky and that opulent growth of this university to the surrounding, predominantly African-American community, it’s a travesty. It’s a clear tale of two cities.”

    Lucas and other critics of the university’s bid say the school has been secretly working its White House connections at the expense of a plan that would benefit more of the city and honor the black community’s role in electing the nation’s first black president.

    http://thegrio.com/2014/02/13/.....-library-2

  105. 105
  106. 106
    Chyron HR says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    expensive policies (for the unhealthy old)

    But you guys insisted that under Obamacare the “unhealthy old” would be killed by, and I quote, “death panels”. Why are you disagreeing with yourselves?

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    If you ignore the subsidies, then apples to apples, as best we can tell, it’s more expensive,” says Richard Evans, the lead analyst on the report.

    So, as long as we ignore reality, then you’re totally right! Good one!

  108. 108
    Fort Geek says:

    After lurking in the alt.atheism newsgroup back in 1999, I quickly figured out that the fundies and creationists who came there did so only to preach, not to learn or debate.

    I started viewing them as chew toys. More fun that way.

  109. 109
    boatboy_srq says:

    @jrg: The subtext to the O’Rourke quote is that liberals feel a need to belong, a drive conservatives somehow find amusing. Conservatists either already belong (1%) or think either they already belong or they may someday belong (Teahad). The only distinction is whether you have values – or value. The Left finds superiority in having ethics; the Right finds superiority in having wealth – and so far there seem to be a lot more truly ethical people with means than truly wealthy people with ethics.

  110. 110
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Someday Ewick here is going to be an “unhealthy old” and suddenly he’ll grok what the deal is. However, due to his foresightful efforts in his youth, his descendants will ship him off to the Soylent Green facility for “processing”.

  111. 111
    jl says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    ” estimates of people joining that program were predictable and the Bush Administration did an excellent job of rolling out the program. ”

    You are BSing.

    And the cheap plans available were not really adequate to cover costs of catastrophic care, even though they bore the name ‘catastrophic coverage’. So, they led to uncompensated care and medical bankruptcies.

    I don’t have time to do your research for you.

    You know, this blog has a series of posts devoted to the healthcare reform, run by an expert. Look for the name Richard Mayhew, and we can all discuss the issues with a grown up in charge.

  112. 112
    SatanicPanic says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I’ve always thought that corporations would be smart to offload the expense of healthcare onto the government. But I guess corporations are run by humans, some of whom have odd beliefs.

  113. 113
    Patrick says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    All: there are two reasons why insurance premiums and deductibles are rising for young Americans. First, many young’uns had catastrophic policies which were very cheap. Obamacare did away with those since they had to meet a minimum standard, so those cheap policies are gone. Now you can say “good riddance” but the fact remains that the new policies are more expensive. Second, as I’ve noted, Obamacare caps the ratio between cheap policies (for the healthy young) and expensive policies (for the unhealthy old). Once again, you can argue this is a great thing to even things out but don’t tell me it won’t raise rates for kids. It has and it will.

    So what would have been your solution to the rising health care costs in this country? As a % of GDP, we are paying 17% compared to 11% for the country people like you hate so much, France.

    Furthermore, what would have been your solution to all those poor folks with pre-existing conditions who were forbidden from buying health insurance in the wonderful private markets here in the US?

    And why didn’t Bush and the GOP do anything about it between 2000-2008???

    By the way, Bush did not have a wonderful roll-out of Medicare D. It is still not paid for. Isn’t it funny, people in your party could care less about whether a government program was paid for until the black guy took over. Then a single dollar in debt basically meant the end of America. Yup, no racism there.

  114. 114
    srv says:

    DougJ, all I can say is Bless Your Heart.

  115. 115
    Mnemosyne says:

    Just as an aside, it always amazes me that conservatives are constantly enraged that they might be indirectly paying for someone else’s healthcare costs. Apparently I’m supposed to be completely pissed off at my coworker whose gallbladder exploded and required emergency surgery because my health insurance money went to pay for her care.

  116. 116
    Cassidy says:

    There is no engaging these people. There is simply waiting for them and their anti-intellectual, treasonous, bigoted opinions to die out.

  117. 117
    Anna in PDX says:

    I think that arguing with people might work, in the long run. I am interested in cognitive bias and I know that people on my side are not immune to it though I do think that right wingers are more obviously subject to some of the cognitive biases (cough projection cough) than liberals are. One thing my partner (who loves Socratic argument and sometimes drives me crazy with his devil’s advocate tendencies) often says is that in the heat of the argument you won’t convince someone because they have to cycle through something similar to the grief cycle, and the first couple of stages are not productive of change (denial and anger). But sometimes that person might, just might, think about it later once they have gotten to a better place.

    This often happens with me in the heat of an argument. Later, I will agree that there was something I could have learned, and I will think about it and perhaps even modify my views or at least go out and do a little research. But at the time, I was mad, usually I got personal, upset, etc. and was not in a frame of mind to admit I was wrong.

  118. 118
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Really? I seem to remember one political persuasion warning Americans that, no, you couldn’t keep your health plan and, no, you couldn’t keep your doctor.

    Hey Lindholm, you fucking fascist, starting on Jan 1 this year I could no longer “keep” my doctor of 33 years (and no, we are not having a “dialogue”, I’m just yelling at you because you showed up in a place you don’t belong and haven’t left yet).

    Do you, simple-minded rightwinger that you are (but I repeat myself) imagine it’s because of some evil machinations of Obamacare that you and your fascist ilk “warned” all us God-fearing Americans about?

    Well, like most everything else, you’d be wrong about that.

    It’s because my doctor decided to link up with some other practice in preparation for his retirement in a few years, but for whatever reason that has fuck-all to do with Obamacare they don’t take my pretty-damn-good employer-provided health insurance (United Health, only about the biggest game in the country).

    Shit like this happens all the time in our stupid Rube Goldberg health care system, Obamacare or no. No big deal, really – I’ll just find another doctor (which I’d have to do eventually anyway). Even if it was somehow due to Obamacare I’d still trade that personal inconvenience for increased health coverage of those less fortunate than I am. Which is part of why I am not a fascist asshole, and you are.

    Oh, and “Shut up, racist” sounds like a great idea to me. Except you won’t.

    Done and out. Later, all.

  119. 119
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, we’re constantly paying for their business boondoggles and bed shitting. I don’t see why they can’t throw some scratch back into the system.

  120. 120
    Patrick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Well, most elderly people are conservatives. Maybe we should eliminate their Medicare if they are so concerned about paying for somebody else’s health care costs.

    On the other hand, I was enraged that I had to pay for their war in Iraq.

  121. 121
    Carl Nyberg says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    I remember the GOP getting the rubes to regurgitate a bunch of stuff that was untrue and failed to acknowledge the problems eoth US health care system.

  122. 122

    “One of the fundamental flaws of the Affordable Care Act is that, despite its name, it makes health insurance more expensive. Today, the Manhattan Institute released the most comprehensive analysis yet conducted of premiums under Obamacare for people who shop for coverage on their own. Here’s what we learned. In the average state, Obamacare will increase underlying premiums by 41 percent. As we have long expected, the steepest hikes will be imposed on the healthy, the young, and the male. And Obamacare’s taxpayer-funded subsidies will primarily benefit those nearing retirement—people who, unlike the young, have had their whole lives to save for their health-care needs.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/th.....o-elderly/

  123. 123

    @SatanicPanic:They in my comment were Republicans and their supporters. Corporate America by and large is on board where ACA is concerned.

  124. 124
  125. 125
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    The Manhattan Institute? What a fucking joke.

  126. 126
    Mike in NC says:

    @Fasteddie: Today the local paper printed a Letter to the Editor by some winger unhappy with the “Moral Monday” protesters in Raleigh, NC. He starts off by saying “Let’s get one thing straight right off, and that is this letter is not racial in nature”. Then of course he goes on to complain about welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc. and argues that people getting said entitlements need to be drug-tested.

  127. 127
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    how does such a law pass constitutional review?

    It probably doesn’t, which gives the authors an excuse to complain about activist judges overturning the will of the people. It’s a win either way.

  128. 128
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Oh, and Ewick is linking to Reason, which is a critical tell in and of itself.

  129. 129
    jl says:

    @Eric Lindholm: If you are serious about debating health care reform, show up at the Richard Mayhew posts. He does take questions from the peanut gallery.

    Yes the ACA policies are more expensive, because they deliver more services. The question is whether the private and social costs of requiring more expensive (and better) policies that cover more services outweighs the costs of a large group of people with no or inadequate coverage.

    The subsidies are income based, so not sure how the Forbes conclusion follows for an older adult who has a history of low income.

    See you at the series of posts on health care reform, if you are serious about discussing it.

  130. 130
    Baud says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: @Villago Delenda Est:

    It’s why you always make them show their work. Next up, we’ll see a link to Newsmax.

  131. 131
    SatanicPanic says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: True. One of the best things happening right now it seeing the fatcats get upset about the frankenstein monster they created. Although there are a few loonies among the fatcats too.

  132. 132
    Baud says:

    @jl:

    Why you do that? I usually enjoy Richard’s posts.

  133. 133
    jibeaux says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Sort of a “please proceed, Governor.”

    Mostly, unless there’s an obvious factual error I can’t help correcting people on (i.e. Abraham Lincoln didn’t say that), I don’t engage. You’re unlikely to change minds. But sometimes I just can’t help it!

  134. 134
    jl says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    This is the only firmly stated conclusion from your link.

    ” We won’t know how this will work out until it does. ”

    Thanks, dude.

  135. 135
    EthylEster says:

    DougJ wrote:

    Obviously trolling slightly here….

    Nah!

  136. 136
    Baud says:

    @jl:

    LOL.

  137. 137
    Trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Oh yeah, definitely bringing out the big guns. And let’s not overlook the Manhattan Institute cite. That would be these guys.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....y_Research

  138. 138
    jl says:

    @Baud: I’ll email you a case of beer if this BSer shows up at those posts.

    The results of Medicare Part D were predictable? And its rollout was excellent? Really?

  139. 139
    Roger Moore says:

    @Baud:
    He knows there isn’t a chance that Mr. Lindholm will actually show up, since there would be well informed people who would kick his delusions in the teeth.

  140. 140
    Trollhattan says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Oh, wait, you already said that.

  141. 141
    Chris says:

    @DFH no.6:

    Trying to have a dialogue with a rightwinger about politics, world affairs, et al, is a fool’s errand. It’s taken me most of my nearly 6 decades on this planet to come fully to that sad realization, but there it is (my youthful idealism hung around much longer than it should; though maybe I’m just slow).

    Ditto. And it’s not from lack of looking. After a while, you simply get exhausted of talking to willfully ignorant ass people who 99% of the time aren’t arguing in good faith anyway.

    Mushy moderate centrists, that’s not pointless. But be prepared to spent a few hours on the basic facts of how well over half of everything you absorb as “conventional wisdom” is wrong. No, high taxes on the rich do not destroy economies. No, high rates of unionization do not destroy economies. And so forth.

  142. 142
    dubo says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    I remember those arguments, too. They were all coming from leftists and firebaggers, while the right wing wailed about death panels and secret illuminati gun control provisions written in invisible ink

  143. 143

    The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB):

    “The board has drawn heavy criticism since it became part of the health-care law, with detractors drawing fire from the Obama administration and the health-care act’s other supporters for referring to the board as a “death panel” that would “ration” seniors’ care. Even Democrats who staunchly support the Affordable Care Act have blasted the IPAB as an unjustified power grab.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....are-panel/

    This is the extra-legal panel who have the (alleged) capability to lower reimbursement rates to hospitals and doctors. And here’s the laugher: lower payment will not ration care or restrict access to healthcare because….magic!

  144. 144

    @SatanicPanic: Not many among the publicly traded companies, most of the lunatic fat cats like the Brothers Koch are not answerable to shareholders.

  145. 145
    Baud says:

    @jl: @Roger Moore:

    Ok. Fair enough.

  146. 146
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Roger Moore: Hey, wait a minute, what are saying about the currently assembled commenters? ;)

  147. 147

    “A new study finds that Obamacare’s redistribution will be stunningly lopsided. Scholars at the liberal Brookings Institution have discovered that Obamacare will increase the income of Americans in the lowest 20 percent of the income scale, and especially in the lowest ten percent. But all other income groups — even people who make very modest incomes in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, as well as all income brackets above that — will experience a decline in income because of Obamacare.”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/.....le/2543390

    Whoops.

  148. 148
    Cassidy says:

    @Eric Lindholm: Are you still bleating? Looks to me like you’re being ignored and mocked.

  149. 149

    I get the conservative mentality, for them everything in life is a zero sum game. If the person down the street with preexisting conditions has access to health insurance now that somehow means that the quality of their health care has to go down.

  150. 150
    SatanicPanic says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Good point. And probably most of them inherited their money like the Koch’s did.

  151. 151
    jl says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    ” And here’s the laugher: lower payment will not ration care or restrict access to healthcare because….magic! ”

    Exactly how ignorant are you of helath care market and pricing structure are you?

    And exactly how are GOP proposals to limit health care expenditure by forcing consumers to have more skin in the game supposed to work?

    Now you are just making a fool of yourself. I’m done with this.

    Edit: Wash Times story serious misrepresents the Brookings findings. You might want to read the link first.

  152. 152

    @SatanicPanic: The hyenas and jackals are doing a good job so far.

  153. 153
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Eric Lindholm: Are you suggesting the government didn’t determine reimbursement rates for doctors/hospitals that participated in programs like medicare/medicaid before Obamacare?

  154. 154
    Baud says:

    @Baud:

    I was close. Not Newsmax, but the Washington Examiner.

  155. 155
    Chris says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    The substance to the quote was ” By loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things….”

    I don’t know if he was ever funny, but the mindset that thinking (and horror or horrors, saying) that war, hunger and date rape are bad things constitutes “self selecting” into an “elite” says a lot more about the conservative mindset than anyone they’re trying to diss.

    It can’t possibly be that people simply, y’know, honestly think that war, hunger and date rape are bad things. Nope, it’s all just a big conspiracy for them to feel good and elitist about themselves. Because as you know, everything we do is to spite True American Heartlanders.

  156. 156
    Cacti says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Oh yeah, definitely bringing out the big guns. And let’s not overlook the Manhattan Institute cite. That would be these guys.

    Manhattan Institute’s funding sources: Koch, Olin, Scaife, Bradley, Big Oil, Big Finance, Big Tobacco.

    Now who would question the integrity of an organization with such noble benefactors? lol

  157. 157
    raven says:

    @jl: Now???

  158. 158
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    You’re talking about writing people off without bothering to dig deeper into what makes them so mind-bogglingly stupid.

    Works for me – I’ve been doing it all my life.

  159. 159
    dubo says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Obviously one of the benefits of DougJ’s “debate strategy” is how extremely likely it is that a conservative will look at reality, laid out plainly, and not understand

  160. 160
    Roger Moore says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Hey, wait a minute, what are saying about the currently assembled commenters?

    They aren’t Richard Mayhew.

  161. 161
    Cacti says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I get the conservative mentality, for them everything in life is a zero sum game. If the person down the street with preexisting conditions has access to health insurance now that somehow means that the quality of their health care has to go down.

    The conservative can only enjoy his $40 steak, secure in the knowledge that somewhere, an unworthy person is starving.

  162. 162
    Patrick says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    This is the extra-legal panel who have the (alleged) capability to lower reimbursement rates to hospitals and doctors. And here’s the laugher: lower payment will not ration care or restrict access to healthcare because….magic!

    It is outright laughable to hear right-wingers complain about the ACA and how they claim it will ration care.

    What the hell do you think happened before the ACA? If you had pre-existing conditions, your health care in the US was rationed! We basically had death panels for anybody with a pre-existing condition. And right-wingers like Eric NEVER complained about that.

    And in none of his postings he is offering solutions. Just whine over the fact that millions of new people finally were allowed to get health insurance.

  163. 163
    Cassidy says:

    Speaking of compassion, Michael Morones’s condition has improved significantly.

  164. 164
    jl says:

    @raven: I try to be civil. Click through to the Brookings study linked in the Washington Times story and compare, for some good laughs about what slop the guy is posting.

  165. 165
    catclub says:

    @Trollhattan: NIF: ““In terms of making energy to power the grid, it’s still light-years away,”

    so instead of only 25 years to commercial fusion power, it is farther away ( plus space rather than time, but anyway.)

  166. 166
    karen says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    They realize that we know they mean “nigger” when they say “thug,” right? Or do they really think it’s flying under the radar?

    They don’t care. They know as long as they use code it’ll reach their target audience without breaking racial discrimination laws. Kind of how Creationism became “Intelligent Design.”

  167. 167
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    So, just to be clear, you think doctors should have been allowed to continue to prescribe Avastin to breast cancer patients despite multiple studies showing it didn’t work.

    ETA: Did I mention that Avastin is a very expensive drug that’s still under patent? But Eric thinks doctors should have been allowed to prescribe a useless and expensive treatment to patients because FREEDOM!

  168. 168
    Patrick says:

    deleted

  169. 169
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Patrick:

    What the hell do you think happened before the ACA? If you had pre-existing conditions, your health care in the US was rationed!

    Yes, but that was private enterprise rationing care on the basis of how much profit they could make off you. Government rationing is, like, totally different because no one will make a dime from it, and that’s downright unAmerican. Why do you hate America?

  170. 170
    MomSense says:

    @jl:

    The thing is, the “youngs” are not only getting better plans now but they are also paying into an insurance pool so that when they need it, it will cover the costs of their medical care. This is how insurance pools work.

  171. 171
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Cacti: Even if it wasn’t a study from the Manhattan Institute, the inveterate liar Avik Roy wrote the article. He was a Romney surrogate/expert during the campaign, but after getting repeatedly embarrassed, dramatically tapered his TV appearances.

    Now his articles at Forbes are comedic fodder for credible health care wonks.

  172. 172
    Cervantes says:

    @aimai:

    Well, if that is what PJ Orourke thinks there’s literally no point in opening a dialogue. And if he doesn’t think that then he’s lying so, again, no point in opening a dialogue.

    Actually, look again at how O’Rourke is quoted:

    The principal feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things…. It’s a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don’t have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.

    Nowhere here does he argue that liberals’ denunciations are insincere or hypocritical. Without that element, the word “sanctimoniousness” does not apply. And without that element, I’m not sure I need to disagree with the rest of what he says.

    Yes, if he wants me to say it, I will: it is “terrifically good” that I, for example, denounce date rape. What sort of amoral or immoral protozoan would not? (Denouncing it is not sufficient, of course — but that’s another story.)

  173. 173
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @jibeaux:

    Sort of a “please proceed, Governor.”

    Exactly! POTUS had the technique nailed!

  174. 174
    karen says:

    @Patrick:

    What the hell do you think happened before the ACA? If you had pre-existing conditions, your health care in the US was rationed!

    The difference was that it was the FREE MARKET rationing the health care to insure less. People dying is a GOOD thing.

    The ACA is killing their fun.

  175. 175
    ruemara says:

    I was talking to some Daily Caller fembot on the twitters and after a few back and forths, I just dropped it. What was the point?

  176. 176
    ruemara says:

    I was talking to some Daily Caller fembot on the twitters and after a few back and forths, I just dropped it. What was the point?

  177. 177
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Patrick: I’ve thought about this and I’ve come to the conclusion that the right has a problem distinguishing between natural and unnatural things. People not having money to see a doctor is just “how it is” i.e. no more remarkable than the sun rising in the east or water flowing downhill. No human created a system whereby paying money to see a doctor was expected. This is also why they ask stupid questions like “how did the climate change before man got here, were dinosaurs driving SUVs?”

  178. 178
    Anna in PDX says:

    @karen: I was reading a thread at Lawyers, Guns and Money yesteday that included one of these brain dead racists and he was really big on weird, non-standard acronyms (SWPL for white liberals, we guessed it stood for “stuff white people like” referring to that blog which used to sort of mock hipsters, but who knows – and YT for “whitey” which again had to be translated by another commenter). Wow, what the hell is the point of this. It makes them look even more like a caricature if they insist on using really super duper in-group terminology even when supposedly trying to engage people not in thier in-group.

  179. 179

    @jl: Who is Richard Mayhew? And why should I debate him instead of all of you guys?

    The only reason I’ve stayed on this thread as long as I have is because DougJ averred that conservatives are impervious to reason and information. Why they’re so dim, they can be impugned without knowing it, or “saying it in a way they can’t understand.” Now you want me to stop and pick on someone else. How brave.

    You might want to take a cue from the National Journal’s Ron Fournier who said it’s “slinking towards impossible” to defend Obamacare.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com.....e-20140211

    Eventually, reality sets in.

  180. 180
    the Conster says:

    @Patrick:

    Before Obamacare no one ever had to wait for a doctor, insurance premiums never went up, everyone with insurance who made a claim had their claim paid on time with no questions asked, every recommended procedure and drug prescribed was totally necessary, no doctor ever sent you to an imaging facility they owned, insurance companies loved you. fought over you, and wanted you and your children to be their customer even though you or your children had a “history”, and would never ever ever deny you life saving treatment or procedure or had caps on how much they were willing to pay for your health and well-being. There were sparkle ponies and candy in every waiting area and every doctor was first in their class at Harvard Medical School.

  181. 181
    Trollhattan says:

    @catclub:

    I think the real challenge here is converting that to Friedman-units.

  182. 182

    Whoever said “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts” clearly wasn’t a Neo-Conservative.

  183. 183
    catclub says:

    actually, it is not on the short list:
    the seven holy virtues are humility, charity, kindness, patience, chastity, temperance, and diligence.

    compassion? meh.

  184. 184
    Roger Moore says:

    @Anna in PDX:

    It makes them look even more like a caricature if they insist on using really super duper in-group terminology even when supposedly trying to engage people not in thier in-group.

    Maybe they’re using mystifying in-group terminology because they really are only used to talking to members of their group and genuinely don’t realize that the rest of the country doesn’t talk in their code. It’s very similar to the way that they talk about Obama’s supposed scandals by bringing up the name without bothering to go into details. We’re all supposed to know and agree how terrible it is just from hearing the name without requiring any explanation.

  185. 185
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    The only reason I’ve stayed on this thread as long as I have is because DougJ averred that conservatives are impervious to reason and information.

    You’ve done nothing to prove otherwise on this thread. Avik Roy? Ron Fournier? The Washington Examiner? Are you even trying?

  186. 186
    catclub says:

    @Eric Lindholm: DougJ Wrote this: “And I don’t especially mean conservatives in any of this at all,…”

    while you wrote this: “The only reason I’ve stayed on this thread as long as I have is because DougJ averred that conservatives are impervious to reason and information.”

    I don’t think they are well aligned, in the ‘rational, high-brow discussion’ space.

  187. 187
    Mike in NC says:

    @Eric Lindholm: Quoting articles from Forbes and Reason is about as helpful as quoting FOX News and Newsmax.

  188. 188
    Patrick says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Ron Fournier??? Seriously? You might as well quote FoxNews…

    BTW – It is almost comical to hear people like you and him whine about the ACA when it has only been in effect for six weeks.

    You do realize that Medicare wasn’t exactly perfect six weeks into its existence either. But do really think we will EVER eliminate Medicare. Fat chance!

  189. 189
    Anna in PDX says:

    @catclub: Hm. That’s interesting! In Islam, compassion, along with mercy, is are the most-invoked Godly attributes (out of the 99). Both of them are recognized as difficult for mere mortals, much like we say in English “to err is human, to forgive divine”. Another interesting note about this in Islam is the saying of the Prophet’s cousin Ali that (paraphrasing) justice is greater than mercy in the world of humankind because justice should be the general rule and mercy should be the exception.

  190. 190
    Anna in PDX says:

    @Roger Moore: If that’s the case, the person really has an audience issue. It’s a nudge nudge wink wink thing that only applies to their in-group, and they can’t recognize that it does not apply to everyone?

  191. 191

    @Patrick: When he starts his argument with, even the liberal Ron Fournier, all I can do is headdesk.

  192. 192
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Who is Richard Mayhew? And why should I debate him instead of all of you guys?

    Richard Mayhew is a front-pager on this blog. He knows quite a bit about healthcare insurance.

  193. 193
    Gravenstone says:

    @Hill Dweller: Hey, give Vikingboy a break. This is much more “engagement” than his norm, which is to hit and run with one post of bullshit and disappear into the aether.

  194. 194
    karen says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Okay…let me ask you this Mr. Conservative Saint.

    The ACA is overturned somehow, maybe one of your buddies manages to get Obama on a day he’s not wearing his bullet proof vest. Maybe Obama decides, “Fuck this!” and resigns. Who knows, but the ACA is overturned. All of the people who suddenly had insurance for the first time since they lost their job are uninsured again. What happens to them?

    None of your ilk ever answer that question. What should the people with pre-existing illnesses do when the insurance companies can go back to refusing them? I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I know that no insurance company would touch me. What do we do Mr. Eric? Kill ourselves instead of your sadistic way of gutting the safety net until we die by benevolent neglect?

    Why can’t you just admit that you’re saying “Fuck you sick people. You’re a drag on the country so why don’t you do the patriotic thing and kill yourselves or we’ll let you die painfully and slowly.” I’m sure you’d be the first person popping the champagne cork. After all, it’s a good thing for the country it’s not like they’re fetuses.

    Or you can be diplomatic and say, “True, there are uninsured and we’re sorry but it’s not our job to keep people from dying.”

    Or you can use the Dominionist Christian approach of “G-d hates them or they’d be blessed with insurance. G-d wants them to die and we won’t dare challenge G-d’s will.”

    No matter how you put it, the real reason why you won’t say what everyone already knows is that as long as people know it logically but don’t think about it, you can demonize the disgusting, unwashed OTHER. But once you remind people that the only other option is that people die, either they’re like the Tea Party who cheered at a GOP debate when that consequence was spoken outloud. Or people suddenly rediscover their humanity and vote your inhumane, sadistic judgmental asses out of power.

  195. 195
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Chris: I didn’t want to state it quite so starkly, but that’s definitely part of it. Modern Conservatist thought seems to spring from the conviction that the only Good is Wealth, and that Evil (poverty, war, illness, etc) is Righteously Visited upon The Deserving simply because they don’t possess it. I haven’t heard any Conservatist refute that convincingly, whether the response is couched in PWE terms of the Elect or in the mercenary terms of the Industrious and Hardworking (the latter being particularly odious since it’s clearly not the Industry or Hard Work that’s revered but merely the financial rewards).

  196. 196
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    That’s the funniest part of all. I’m not impervious to reason and facts! Now let me only present articles from inside my echo chamber!

    ETA: I’m still waiting for my answer as to why we’re supposed to ignore reality and pretend health insurance subsidies don’t exist. I suspect I’ll have a long wait.

  197. 197

    Like Daniel Davies said over at Crooked Timber (he was writing about discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, but the observation has much wider applicability) many people debate politics because you can always get a game.

    Makes it hard on the minority who actually cares about policy and knows something about it.

  198. 198
    Tim I says:

    Doug, I think you’re feeling bitter because the entire country is getting thrown in the deep freeze and yet no one is talking about the great tundra of Western New York.

    Rochester and Buffalo are either going through a totlal news blackout, or your neighbors keep dropping by to borrow a cup of tanning lotion

  199. 199
    chopper says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    the Bush Administration did an excellent job of rolling out (Medicare Part D)

    lolwut?

  200. 200
    Cervantes says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Who is Richard Mayhew? And why should I debate him instead of all of you guys?

    “Instead” isn’t necessary, but you might enjoy sparring with Richard.

    (You won’t enjoy losing, of course.)

  201. 201
    Cervantes says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    the Bush Administration did an excellent job of rolling out the [Medicare Part D] program.

    Wait — are you actually claiming the above or do I misunderstand?

    Also: please define your use of “excellent” (just in case we think of excellence differently).

  202. 202
    Jeffery Bahr says:

    @Hill Dweller: He also laughs WAY too loudly and often on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

  203. 203
    Steeplejack says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Whoops, indeed!

    The first red flag is that you cite the Washington Examiner, a self-avowed right-wing publication of doubtful impartiality.

    The Examiner article makes the by now ritual reference to “the liberal Brookings Institution.” Really?

    An academic analysis of Congressional records from 1993 to 2002 found that Brookings was referenced by conservative politicians almost as frequently as liberal politicians, earning a score of 53 on a 1–100 scale with 100 representing the most liberal score.

    So maybe “centrist” would be more accurate than “liberal”? In any case, the use of the “even the liberal x says y” trope raises another red flag. Why not simply state: “the Brookings Institution says . . .”?

    Okay, let’s drill down to what the liberal Brookings Institution actually does say. (All quotes below taken from the Brookings link in the Examiner story.) Oddly enough, their study did not find “that Obamacare’s redistribution will be stunningly lopsided,” as your Examiner snippet said.

    As even the Examiner article notes farther down: “In an interview, [Brookings scholar Gary] Burtless stressed that most people above the lowest bracket will not see their income affected by Obamacare.”

    What the Brookings study does say is that, under certain definitions of “income,” the upper brackets are projected to have a slight decrease in income—all less than 1.0%, except for one decile at 1.1%.

    And their definition of “income”?

    Brookings scholars Henry Aaron and Gary Burtless sought to determine the law’s impact on income in 2016, when almost all of Obamacare will be in effect. To do so, they adopted a broad definition of income—not just a person’s wages, but also pension income, employer health coverage, government cash transfers, food stamps, other benefits and, now, subsidies from Obamacare.

    And the study says:

    Under more comprehensive income definitions—ones that include the value of health insurance—most workers’ money wage gains and losses are exactly offset by corresponding losses or gains in the value of their employer health protection. However, those workers who substitute subsidized government insurance for an employer health plan typically see a net gain in income under comprehensive income definitions.

    To take all this and baldly state—as the Examiner does, and you approvingly quote—that “all other income groups—even people who make very modest incomes in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, as well as all income brackets above that—will experience a decline in income because of Obamacare”—is misleading, bordering on mendacious, relying as it does on the reader’s interpretation of “income” to mean net cash received rather than the wider definition(s) actually used in the Brookings study.

    ETA: Please delete this dupe, which dropped through the moderation trap door because of too many links. FYWP.

  204. 204
    Steeplejack says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Whoops, indeed!

    The first red flag is that you cite the Washington Examiner, a self-avowed right-wing publication of doubtful impartiality.

    The Examiner article makes the by now ritual reference to “the liberal Brookings Institution.” Really?

    An academic analysis of Congressional records from 1993 to 2002 found that Brookings was referenced by conservative politicians almost as frequently as liberal politicians, earning a score of 53 on a 1–100 scale with 100 representing the most liberal score.

    So maybe “centrist” would be more accurate than “liberal”? In any case, the use of the “even the liberal x says y” trope raises another red flag. Why not simply state: “the Brookings Institution says . . .”?

    Okay, let’s drill down to what the liberal Brookings Institution actually does say. (All quotes below taken from the Brookings link in the Examiner story.) Oddly enough, their study did not find “that Obamacare’s redistribution will be stunningly lopsided,” as your Examiner snippet said.

    As even the Examiner article notes farther down: “In an interview, [Brookings scholar Gary] Burtless stressed that most people above the lowest bracket will not see their income affected by Obamacare.”

    What the Brookings study does say is that, under certain definitions of “income,” the upper brackets are projected to have a slight decrease in income—all less than 1.0%, except for one decile at 1.1%.

    And their definition of “income”?

    Brookings scholars Henry Aaron and Gary Burtless sought to determine the law’s impact on income in 2016, when almost all of Obamacare will be in effect. To do so, they adopted a broad definition of income—not just a person’s wages, but also pension income, employer health coverage, government cash transfers, food stamps, other benefits and, now, subsidies from Obamacare.

    And the study says:

    Under more comprehensive income definitions—ones that include the value of health insurance—most workers’ money wage gains and losses are exactly offset by corresponding losses or gains in the value of their employer health protection. However, those workers who substitute subsidized government insurance for an employer health plan typically see a net gain in income under comprehensive income definitions.

    To take all this and baldly state—as the Examiner does, and you approvingly quote—that “all other income groups—even people who make very modest incomes in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, as well as all income brackets above that—will experience a decline in income because of Obamacare”—is misleading, bordering on mendacious, relying as it does on the reader’s interpretation of “income” to mean net cash received rather than the wider definition(s) actually used in the Brookings study.

  205. 205

    @Eric Lindholm: “Who is Richard Mayhew? And why should I debate him instead of all of you guys?”

    Richard Mayhew is a front-pager here who works in the health insurance industry. He knows more about the policy issues of health insurance than all the rest of us put together. I don’t always agree with him on policy goals, but I have never had cause to doubt his knowledge of his business.

  206. 206
    catclub says:

    @Anna in PDX: I was kind of kidding, although I do like to remind myself of the seven sins and virtues. They are not really exhaustive.

  207. 207
    Keith G says:

    I now feel that the best way to address disagreements about politics with other people is to make fun of what they’re saying in a way that can’t understand. That makes them feel stupid, which plants doubt in their minds.

    I suppose the above was written in jest, since it is a fairly entitled, arrogant, and even ignorant type of behavior.

    Why don’t you just just go all Viking, club them over the head, and rape and pillage their family? That also would plant doubt in their minds.

  208. 208
    Heliopause says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    DougJ averred that conservatives are impervious to reason and information.

    In fairness to Doug, he averred that certain topics are impervious to reason and information. Which raises the obvious question of where Doug got his own positions on these topics. To which I got a non sequitur response.

  209. 209
    Cervantes says:

    @Heliopause:

    To which I got a non sequitur response.

    Saw that. Wondered if perhaps he did not get the question the way you intended it.

    On the other hand, perhaps you should just make fun of him and sow seeds of doubt.

  210. 210
    PIGL says:

    @raven: Yup. To return to the theme of the posting, it is not worth arguing with conservatives, libertarians, teatards or their ilk because they are either lying themselves to make political mischief, or else are repeating lies concocted by their smarter and more villainous cotribalists because said lies appeal to their racism, misogynie, resentment, spite or some such unseemly, shamefull motivation

    Shorter: you can’t argue someone out of a position they weren’t argued into. Plus, also, it annoys the pig.

  211. 211
    Heliopause says:

    @Cervantes:

    Wondered if perhaps he did not get the question the way you intended it.

    Perhaps. I didn’t intend it as a tricky or obscure question.

  212. 212
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    I’ve always thought that corporations would be smart to offload the expense of healthcare onto the government. But I guess corporations are run by humans, some of whom have odd beliefs.

    Somebody in a recent thread suggested that for employers it is more valuable to have employees locked in to their jobs. Employees who are terrified of losing their insurance can be treated way worse.

  213. 213
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Jeffery Bahr: That’s because it is the only time he’s allowed out amongst other human beings.

  214. 214
    StringOnAStick says:

    @PIGL: @PIGL:

    Shorter: you can’t argue someone out of a position they weren’t argued into. Plus, also, it annoys the pig.

    QFT

  215. 215
    McJulie says:

    @Belafon: Bingo. You can be polite and respectful and still get ’em in a corner. Not guaranteed to change anyone’s mind, but if anything is going to work, I think that’s the approach that will.

  216. 216
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Jebediah, RBG: oh, like a domestic H1B. That makes sense.

  217. 217
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Chris:

    the mindset that thinking (and horror or horrors, saying) that war, hunger and date rape are bad things constitutes “self selecting” into an “elite” says a lot more about the conservative mindset than anyone they’re trying to diss.

    The thing they don’t want to admit out loud is, they really are OK with war, hunger and date rape.

    The existence of these things doesn’t bother them because these things happen to other people. They don’t care about that. What they hate is the exposure of their indifference toward others, that their moral shortcomings are made manifest by others who take action to denounce these things.

    This is why they think the exposure of their bigotry deserves opprobrium but the bigotry itself does not.

    They are mean little assholes, and they’re OK with that. They just insist society be OK with it and they hate it when they don’t get that.

  218. 218
    DFH no.6 says:

    @johnny aquitard: “They are mean little assholes, and they’re OK with that. They just insist society be OK with it and they hate it when they don’t get that.”

  219. 219
    Jeffro says:

    Just lived this particular discussion last week: my mom blamed insurance increases on Obamacare. No amount of recognizing that health care/insurance costs have been going up since the first Neanderthal set another one’s broken arm in a splint penetrated – to her, any increase now (or in the future, probably) is all going to be Dear Leader’s fault.

    She also wanted to talk about how at least she was going to get ‘her’ Social Security – you know, the account she’s been paying into her whole life and will soon be able to draw down when she retires?? Yeah right. Trying to point her to a gazillion sources that clarified SS – that each generation is paying for current retirees, not saving for its own retirement – was equally unsuccessful.

    In the end I just had to tell her that since no matter what I say, she knows what she knows, and we’re done arguing politics (especially via e-mail).

  220. 220
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Punchy: It was passed by one house with the knowledge that the other house won’t pass it. The sole reason for the bill was to out the moderate Republicans (who voted against it) so that they can be primaried.

  221. 221
    dopey-o says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    “….It’s a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don’t have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.” – P.J. O’Rourke

    or PJ could just make up his mind to join the reality-based community.

  222. 222
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    You might want to take a cue from the National Journal’s Ron Fournier who said it’s “slinking towards impossible” to defend Obamacare.

    Why would we take cues from a right wing asshole who never had any interest in defending Obamacare in the first place?

  223. 223

    @johnny aquitard: “they really are OK with war, hunger and date rape.”

    Fixed.

  224. 224
    dopey-o says:

    @Trollhattan: @Cacti: Manhattan Institute’s funding sources: Koch, Olin, Scaife, Bradley, Big Oil, Big Finance, Big Tobacco

    but the Heritage Foundation is in favor of the PPACA. or were, back in the days of a white presidency.

  225. 225
    DougJ says:

    @Heliopause:

    Oh, I see what you’re asking:in some cases, thought and research went into it, but in many others, it’s combination of stuff from the New Testament and Clash lyrics. (Just being completely honest.)

  226. 226
    Scamp Dog says:

    @jl: Turns out it’s from a Talking Heads song (link points to the lyrics).

  227. 227
    Heliopause says:

    @DougJ:

    The New Testament informed your thoughts on fiscal policy and the limits of executive power?

  228. 228
    Cervantes says:

    @Heliopause:

    The New Testament informed your thoughts on fiscal policy and the limits of executive power?

    Maybe:

    Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

    Matthew 22:17-22

  229. 229
    mclaren says:

    Do you bother arguing with people about politics, world affairs, and the like anymore? I used to, I used to believe that rational argument had value. Now I think that the best way to understand someone’s argument is to try to understand (or at least make a snap judgment about) their psychology and prejudices. I don’t mean this in any kind of a nice way…

    You’re in Lakoff territory now. Also Kahneman-Tversky territory. Alas, for many people, too true. Many people develop their political opinions from deep psychological traumas: children beaten by their parents grow up to become authoritarian far-right Republican bully-worshipers.

    I now feel that the best way to address disagreements about politics with other people is to make fun of what they’re saying in a way that can’t understand. That makes them feel stupid, which plants doubt in their minds.

    That’s going too far because it depends what kind of person you’re having a political disagreement with. For example: if a hardcore Reaganaut disagrees with you that Obama was born in the United States and that the 2003 Iraq invasion was a disastrous blunder and that the Drunk-Driving C Student was one of the worst presidents in American history, then, obviously…there’s not much alternative than to ridicule that person. Someone who seriously claims that Obama was born in Kenya or that the 2003 Iraq invasion was a great military triumph is such a fool that to argue with someone like that makes you a fool as well.

    But then there are progressives who disagree on reasonable issues. Which should be our highest priority — reducing inequality, or cutting carbon emissions? Reasonable people can disagree on these kinds of issues.

    When someone is a fringe lunatic posing as progressive — someone like, say, burnspbesq, who always finds a way to legally justify any war crime or grotesque violation of the constitution committed by Barack Obama — disagrees with you, this is a special case. Because here you’re dealing with a fringe lunatic trying to disguise hi/rself as a reasonable person. Fringe lunatics like Martin, who asserts with apparently seriousness that Ed Snowden is “a paid Chinese agent” because he reveals crimes against the constitution and gross violations of existing laws committed by the U.S. intelligence community, must not be allowed to disguise themselves as reasonable people. These are not progressives. These are not sane average individuals. They’re cranks gibbering obvious drivel, the political equivalent of the guy on the streetcorners muttering that Martians are beaming mind-control rays into his brain.

  230. 230
    Chris says:

    @Steeplejack:

    This is… exactly what Doug meant.

    Someone shows up and dumps “address my points, libs!” bovine excrement all over the thread. Someone a lot more pagient and charitable than me follows the link. And… whaddaya know… the link’s not what we’re told it is, and ddoesn’t say what we’re told it does.

    I mean, what’s the point, really? Why should it be on us to Very Seriously address every rag that claims that Iraq totally DID have WMDs, tax cuts totally DO increase revenue, Obama totally WAS born in Kenya, when long experience teaches that 1) it’s almost certainly bullshit and 2) no matter how meticulously you debunk it, it won’t make a bit of difference: they’ll simply slink away to PJMedia or wherever, share stories about what big meanies the libs are, and be back in a few days spewing the same shit?

    Don’t get me wrong, power to you if you’re up to it. It’s just, to me, a reminder of why I don’t do it anymore, and one that makes Doug’s original point for him, quite nicely.

  231. 231
    AnonPhenom says:

    @Belafon:

    I think the best way to “argue” with them is to pretend you don’t know where they are coming from, and keep asking them for information. They will only doubt what they know when they can’t explain it

    Agreed, but the 2 tactics are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I suggest they can be used synergistically. First use your approach, then when you see the doubt and confusion in their eyes hammer them with their factual errors and top it all off with a helping of scorn, ridicule and laughter.

    They won’t change their views but they’ll be less likely to open their stupid fat mouths when you’re around.

  232. 232
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Anonymous: And conservatives are NEVER arrogant. Never have I EVER met a snotty “conservative” who wore their sorry tribal label on their sleeve and thought that made them a sexy rebel against the strawman cocktail party liberals who shunned them for their “conservative” beliefs.
    Stereotypical how? In your mind? Did a liberal make you feel stupid? Did you stop to wonder why?
    I’ve had conservatives pull that trick of saying something that confused me and made me think, so it goes both ways. Usually I figure out what they are getting at, and can think about it.

  233. 233
    Heliopause says:

    @Cervantes:

    I don’t think that story helps us much with the issue of deficit spending and balanced budgets. This was just another case of Doug flying by the seat of his pants, as he so often does.

  234. 234
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Eric Lindholm: Naw, Eric, that’s just your butthurt talking to you. Butthurt causes a lot of strawmen to appear, which you are heroically flaying with your sharp informally fallacious sword of righteousness.
    The issues you raise have been discussed in a factual, rational manner a long time ago. If all you heard was “shut up racist”, I suggest you either check your reading comprehension skills or get a hearing test.

    More likely, it’s that curious trait of people who cling to the “conservative” tribe (which is a curse peculiar to adherents of that ideology): no refutations of the talking points are valid, no matter how much logic and factual information is contained in the refutation.

    If you want dialog, try sticking to reality, not tribal myths.

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    Paul in KY says:

    @jl: If you are richer than sin, there are perfectly legitimate reasons to vote Republican.

    If you are not, IMO there is no rational reason to vote Republican.

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    Paul in KY says:

    @Eric Lindholm: You certainly have shown yourself to be a dipshit. Kudos!

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    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Eric Lindholm: Washington Examiner . . . whoops!

  238. 238
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Baud: The Institute for Confirmation Bias puts out a lot of rags.

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    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Steeplejack: 2 good posts, though!

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