Media Boot Camp for Liberal "softie policy wonks"!

Today's must-read tilt up the kilt of Washington, D.C., comes care of the Washington Post, which attended a liberal pundit talking-head "boot camp" organized by the leftoid partisans at Media Matters for America. Keep those barf bags handy, and let's take a peek:

Over four grueling days, Harvard-honed instructors drilled a dozen softie policy wonks, molding them into an elite unit of smiling, succinct and well-coiffed talking heads.

Since its inception in August 2009, the Progressive Talent Initiative, or PTI, has trained nearly 100 pundits who have appeared 800 times on television and radio. Media Matters uses that metric to pitch donors for more contributions, but its leadership believes that the surge of camera-ready liberals has recaptured lost ground in the media wars against conservatives.

"There was a chronic imbalance," said David Brock, the founder of Media Matters, which picks up the entire cost of the course. [...]

To observe the training, The Post agreed to withhold the names of participants who asked not to be identified, which many of them did when instructors warned that a public alliance with Media Matters could jeopardize their chances of getting booked on Fox. [...]

The problem for the soldiers of the left, according to Media Matters instructors, is that they are just too smart for their own good. The traditional dependence on facts and figures, on being right, is no longer germane. Too often these wonks disappear into the policy weeds or fall through the cracks of nuance. [...]

The morning was dominated by a PowerPoint presentation by Drew Westen, the Democratic message guru and author of "The Political Brain." Westen, wearing a boxy jacket, glasses and suspenders, showed examples of the right's genius for branding (from "government takeover" to "death taxes") and the left's relative ineptitude. Westen said that the tea party's "populist message, tinged with racism" was effective [...]

After another hour of practice, the class recessed into the drizzle. Some stuck around to "brainstorm on structural racism."

Full disclosure: I haven't taken any media training (as it probably shows!), but I don't see anything wrong with the concept (aside from the lack-of-disclosure bit). Cable punditizing is pretty weird, and takes getting used to. I'm mostly interested in how liberal, D.C.-based pundits in the Year of Our Lord 2011 can still be nursing the creation mythology that the cable television deck (to say nothing of the power that runs the country) is stacked against them, and that they are just too dang factual, dang it!

Whole barfapalooza worth a read. Link via Jim Treacher.

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  • ||

    The problem for the soldiers of the left, according to Media Matters instructors, is that they are just too smart for their own good.

    Yes. That's the problem.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Sounds like a perfect description of Tony and MNG if you ask me.

  • ∞∞∞™||

    Nothing has ever summed up the tragic stupidity of the left quite as succinctly as that quote.

  • ||

    Just making that statement immediately refutes it. These people are morons of the highest caliber. The highest. They're making the TEAM RED idiots look normal in comparison.

  • alan||

    They have succeeded in accomplishing the impossible. It is on the order of building all seven of the ancient wonders of the world. That is some boot camp.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The problem for the soldiers of the left, according to Media Matters instructors, is that they are just too smart for their own good."

    That brings to mind the old saying about if you could buy them for what they're worth and sell them for what they think they're worth, you'd be a billionare.

  • Matrix||

    no, you'd be broke, because nobody would be dumb enough to buy them for what you think they're worth.

  • ||

    The problem for the soldiers of the left, according to Media Matters instructors, is that they are just too smart for their own good.

    Why not just have Stuart Smalley teach the classes then?

    Oh right, people would have to like you.

  • Warty||

    That guy looks exactly like John Stagliano, doesn't he?

  • fish||

    With exactly the same S-Eating grin. Stagliano because he's recently had his C up somebodies ass..that guy because he's a smug state loving prick!

  • waffles||

    Holy hell! Institutional racism!? Does not require intent!?

    Okay, so I know that's just one slide. But they really are training people to argue for overt racism to fight imaginary racism? That's just so messed up.

  • ||

    You are racist because they say so. Why is that so hard to understand? How can you argue with such facts and logic?

  • Spoonman.||

    I think this is in the context that the War on Drugs is racist even if nobody at the DEA is racist.

  • waffles||

    Right, but the media matters way to fix this is to arrest more white people. So it's replacing informal (perceived) racism with a tangible racist policy.

  • ||

    Exactly. If they are arresting more white people, how could it possible be wrong?

    They also are trying to do this with school dicipline. They assume that any school that doesn't dicipline white kids at the same rate as minorities must be racist. The idea that the minorities might, because of cultural or socioeconomic reasons, be more deserving of dicipline can never be considered.

  • MJ||

    Equality of results for groups matters more than justice for individuals. That's the leftist stance on most issues.

  • WTF||

    ^^This^^

  • Spoonman.||

    Not defending media matters, just saying that institutional racism isn't a worthless concept.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    Ok, if I buy your argument than the obvious solution should be to scale back the organization or agency that exhibits this "institutional racism". But what do liberals push for? More funding and authority for them. DEA, public schools, court system, prisons, etc etc etc. They claim these are dysfunctional groups and then try to make them more powerful. If they do believe their own propaganda it is simply to help them sleep better at night while they push for more state-run control of our lives

  • Spoonman.||

    Ok, if I buy your argument than the obvious solution should be to scale back the organization or agency that exhibits this "institutional racism".

    Agreed, but that would require admitting there are things government shouldn't do, which is difficult for liberals.

  • Bradley||

    Exactly. When faced with (real) systemic racism, most progressives barely question the system itself. Instead they'll talk about "reforming" it, while keeping the core incentives that made it so fucked up in the first place.

  • ||

    To me, the inherent problem with "institutional racism" is that it relies on the often-bogus "evidence" of "disparate impact." As John says, there may be other factors. Not only that, but the constant bleating about "the legacy of slavery" and "different cultures" and so on shows that they know there are reasons other than "institutional racism" that might explain a given disparity.

  • ||

    Not defending media matters, just saying that institutional racism isn't a worthless concept.

    Of course it isn't. Our gummint demonstrates institutional racism daily through class dependency and racial politics, to name a couple.

    Oh, that isn't what they meant?

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I'm giong to go ahead and say it is a useless term. The term "Racism" means something. Adding "institutional" takes the idividual out the picture in a way to rob the term of any specific meaning, but they still get to use the term Racism for the emotional punch.

    Kind of like "Social Justice" doesn't really have an exact meaning, but whatever it means, it sure as hell isn't the same as "Justice".

  • ||

    The War on Drugs is many bad things, but it is not racist. Obviously it disproportionately affects minorities but that is not the intent, just the result.

  • crossofcrimson||

    Apparently, sir, you did not see the colorful chart!

  • ||

    Oh, I see what you mean. In that case, "structural racism" is a misnomer, since "racism" is a pattern of conscious decisions. Sort of like centrifugal "force".

  • Pro Liberace||

    In a legal context, companies can get sued for policies that have "adverse impact" against protected groups.
    In that case, the plaintiffs do not need to prove intent.

    I'm assuming that they're talking about a similar sort of thing here.

  • ||

    But isn't that more of a case of lowering the burden of proof because proving intent is usually impossible even when there is intent?

  • WTF||

    How do you 'know' there really is intent if it can't be proved?

  • ||

    Godel's Incompleteness Theorem.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I love how that waste-of-time power point slide doesn't actually provide an actual concrete definition. Soft headed leftists indeed.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Hey, if someone could just teach them to debate their ideas without falling back on identity politics, or using feelings over logic, or playing various victim cards, the liberal pundits might actually get some air time, and perhaps even expand their audience beyond the reliable moonbats.

    It also wouldn't hurt if they got some hot women.

  • ||

    If they relied on facts and logic and thing beyond identity politics, they wouldn't believe the things that they do.

  • kc||

    +1

  • TANSTAAFL||

    JACKPOT!!!

  • ||

    I'm obviously late, but what John says is the crux of the matter.

  • ||

    Also: hot women.

  • pancakes||

    Fox is really good at the hot women angle. Except Greta, what's wrong with her face? Oh, she's a respected journalist, meh.

  • ||

    She used to look even worse. Greta had multiple surgeries in the 90s. It actually improved her looks. I am not kidding.

  • Ice Nine||

    What's wrong with her face is that it doesn't move since she had all that plastic surgery about ten years ago. After she did the OJ trial and got famous and got her own show someone decided having a horse face would not advance her new career. Trouble is, she didn't bother to tell her plastic surgeon that looking like a mackerel wouldn't really help.

  • pancakes||

    Oh, I always thought she had some horrible accident involving a truck full of chainsaws such that it's grossly insensitive too mention it. But she's just ugly, I'm okay with this.

  • ||

    She's better than Maggie Gyllenhall.

  • ||

    Since it's open season on Greta, I wish she'd get with the Fox dress code (i.e. low cut, tight sweaters) and ditch those lez-power suits from the 80's. She's 20 fashion cycles behind.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    The word “Liberal” then appeared on the screen, surrounded by “elite,” “big government,” “sushi-eating” and “latte-drinking.” Westen explained that the “right has spent 40 years and tens of billions of dollars” tarnishing the once-proud label.

    Someone needs to give this broke dick asshole a history lesson. They're the mother fuckers who tarnished the label. Liberal used to mean someone who believed in limited government and positive rights. Now we have to call ourselves libertarians.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Negative rights, rather.

  • ||

    It would never occur to them that they tarnished it themselves. Maybe if they hadn't spent the last forty years living up to every one of the worst slanders from the right, their lable wouldn't be so tarnished.

  • fish||

    It would never occur to them that they tarnished it themselves....

    Yeah a false sense of superiority will do that to you.

  • Tony||

    How would you know? You think every single slander made against liberals by right-wing talking heads is god's truth.

    The Republicans had a calculated strategy to destroy the word "liberal." It has a lot to do with the way the world reverberates off Limbaugh's ample jowls. Now Glenn Beck is on the mission to destroy the word "progressive" with his bullshit. All in the service of distracting people from the fact that liberals, progressives, call them what you will, actually have good ideas, and the Republicans have none.

  • fish||

    Is someone typing....ah yes, the idiot who can't possibly exist if he doesn't associate himself with the "state"!

    Away with you Jacob Marley go rattle your chains at someone who cares.

  • waffles||

    I think the main problem with liberal/progressive/whatevers twofold. They love their labels too much and they actually believe the world reverberates off Limbaugh's jowls. The far left will never win swing voters, but left-of-center certainly can.

  • ||

    Thanks for proving my point Tony. You don't understand that the reason why people like Limbaugh are effective is because what they say resonates with people. It wouldn't resonate so well if it didn't have a grain of truth to it.

    People try harder than Limbaugh to convince the world that 9-11 was in an inside job or that the Holocaust didn't happen. But they are not as effective as Limbaugh not because they are not smart people or are not trying. They fail because the case they are making is so far removed from the truth that no amount of rethorical genius will get people to believe it.

    You might want to ask yourself, "why do people hate liberals"?

  • sarcasmic||

    You might want to ask yourself, "why do people hate liberals"?

    Why do people hate thieves and liars?

  • Tony||

    If people hate liberals it's because some corporate puppet GOP shill like Limbaugh told them to, in an "us vs. them" sort of way that appeals to frightened people. But what people don't hate are the policies liberals champion. The GOP has managed to get a lot of very unpopular policies by distracting people with culture war bullshit. But if you take away the distractions and poll Americans, they don't, in fact, want more tax cuts for the rich. They don't want fewer regulations on business. They don't want unions destroyed. The wish list of the Chamber of Commerce doesn't, in fact, represent the wish list of the American people, and eventually, I hope, the GOP will not be able to sell it as well by wrapping it in a package of racial and cultural resentment.

  • sarcasmic||

    If people hate liberals it's because some corporate puppet GOP shill like Limbaugh told them to

    That's the part you just refuse to understand.

    Limbaugh is successful because he says things that people already think on their own. They don't listen to him to get their daily download, they listen because he confirms what they already believe.

    in an "us vs. them" sort of way that appeals to frightened people.

    No Tony. That is how the liberal "thought" process works. Emote first, "think" later.
    That is what animals like you do.

    We humans are better than that.

  • Tony||

    You seem to be stuck on this idea that to be humans means to be coldly logical. Yet you defend a worthless demagogue like Limbaugh?

  • sarcasmic||

    You seem to be stuck on this idea that to be humans means to be coldly logical.

    I am stuck on this idea that what separates human beings from human animals is that human beings think while human animals emote.

    Human beings think things through while human animals have an emotional reaction.

    That is not to say that human beings are immune from emotion. Far from it. But we do not base our decision making solely on what we feel.

    We use our mind. Something that animals do not have.

    That is what makes us better than you.

  • Tony||

    sarcasmic I hate to break it to you, but humans are the most emotional animals on the planet, in addition to being the most intelligent. In some ways emotions make us flawed--we don't live in prehistoric tribal situation anymore where some of them were more useful. But emotions are not themselves flawed things--they are what enable us to guide our intelligence to ends that are important to us. Having a sociopathic lack of concern for other people is not more intelligent than having empathy for them.

  • sarcasmic||

    Having a sociopathic lack of concern for other people is not more intelligent than having empathy for them.

    My wanting people to have liberty and keep their own property is sociopathic, while your wanting to use force of government to make choices for people and distribute their property around shows empathy?

    I think you've got it backwards.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    I have a quandary for you. Is it better to help a little or even hurt the cause and feel good about your "helping" OR is it better to allow or pursue the best possible outcome for the cause?

    I'm guessing you're a "feel good about yourself" kind of guy.

    Capitalism is the milieu that has allowed the greatest elevation in the quality of life for the most people. The poorest people in capitalist societies are orders of magnitude better off than the wealthy in socialist or state-controlled economies. Human history has shown this repeatedly. If you really cared about the poor, you would champion this. Instead, you like to feel better about yourself.

    Some people like to take money from business to give out to "poor" people and facilitate their dependence and some people build businesses that employ thousands. These employment opportunities allow workers to trade labor for wages that will feed them and their families, send their children to college, visit Disneyland, buy houses and cars etc etc. Plus, these businesses do it by providing a product or service that is desired by customers...well, unless the government intervenes.

    Who is the emotional animal? The man that pursues the path that does the most good OR the person that prefers to feel good about himself?

  • Tony||

    TANSTAAFL,

    The countries on this planet with the highest standard of living are ones with more socialist economies than the US, so that proves you wrong.

    Capitalism (provisionally) and government are both necessary for prosperity. It's a balance, and we're still working on finding the right one. What's certain is that your all-or-nothing blanket assumptions are inadequate to the task.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "The countries on this planet with the highest standard of living are ones with more socialist economies than the US, so that proves you wrong."

    ROTFL

    Yes, and red is green and up is down and the Cubs are greatest baseball franchise ever.

    Thanks for that, Tony, I needed a light-hearted moment for my day.

  • sarcasmic||

    TANSTAAFL - I believe that by "highest standard of living" he means "the most free stuff handed out by gubermint."

  • ||

    humans are the most emotional animals on the planet, in addition to being the most intelligent.

    I thought armadillos had the strongest emotions of all animals on the planet. Or maybe that was penis size, it's kind of foggy.

  • Justin Cases||

    I agree, I get very emotional about some scum sucking liberal wanting to spend my hard earned money and taking it away from my kids which is why I often find myself in agreement with conservatives , libertarians and even Limbaugh.

    Really Tony, why do liberals hate my kids? Have they no decency?

  • fish||

    But what people don't hate are the policies liberals champion.

    Such as? All of the top down Hoyer/Pelosi/Obama driven promises that can't possibly be kept?

    Limbaugh? Hah! He's a piker compared to the damage your "leaders" do every time they inflict your statist nonsense upon the citizenry!

  • TANSTAAFL||

    Oh OK, you are one of the few "gifted" individuals who is immune to the overwhelming mind-washing powers of Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and the overflowing coffers of stolen treasure of the Chamber of Commerce and we and every other person who doesn't agree with you are just to dumb to see through it.

    Glad you explained that.

    I thought it was because when people actually examine how your ideas would need to be implemented and then see the gap between what is promised and what actually results they aren't interested.

  • Tony||

    the gap between what is promised and what actually results

    Unlike all those corporate tax cuts that resulted in jobs and prosperity for all?

  • fish||

    Your merry band of idiots was in charge of all three branches for an interval long enough to undo that.

    Why didn't they?

    (This is so cool....it's like talking to the dead.)

  • TANSTAAFL||

    Is a corporation not a collection of people? Are those people not already paying taxes? If you tax a company does it not have less money to expand and increase workforce and production? Did you have an au pair that shook you a little too often?

    Which of these questions is giving you trouble?

  • Tony||

    That's not the excuse those tax cuts were sold to us with!

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "That's not the excuse those tax cuts were sold to us with!"

    Remind me again, what excuse did Progressive President Obama and the Democrat controlled Senate use to pass those?

  • Tony||

    Remind me again, what excuse did Progressive President Obama and the Democrat controlled Senate use to pass those?

    The fact that Republicans were going to continue stomping their feet and throwing a tantrum if they didn't get them--while sacrificing jobless benefits.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    So the Progressives caved in to evil for political reasons? Sounds like you need a new progressive champion.

  • fish||

    I repeat.

    When the Republicans were not in a position to stop anything why weren't those tax cuts repealed?

    (Stamping feet doesn't count tough guy)

  • Tony||

    They were set by law to expire. There was no great necessity to sacrifice political capital trying to repeal them early. Unfortunately, Republicans held the jobless hostage with the ransom being extending the Bush welfare program for the rich.

  • fish||

    So again the liberals were more moved by politics than by principle. Again the country is the worse for it.

    You lose Tony.

  • Tony||

    What good is principle if you don't get anything accomplished? The calculation was that jobless benefits were worth appeasing the Republicans on rich welfare. Agree or disagree, the political reality dictated the outcome.

  • fish||

    But if you accomplish that which makes your enemy stronger (corporate tax cuts strengthen corporations) and weakens you (idiot democrats slaughtered in mid term elections) HOW HAVE YOU STRENGTHENED "LIBERALISM" or improved matters for the country as a whole?

    Your like the guy who loses money on every sale....how do you stay in business? It's okay...I'm making it up on volume.

  • sarcasmic||

    I thought it was because when people actually examine how your ideas would need to be implemented and then see the gap between what is promised and what actually results they aren't interested.

    But, but, but intentions are all that matters!
    Your criticism of the results of liberal policy means you oppose their intentions!
    If you point out that the War on Poverty has done little to alleviate poverty, then you obviously hate the poor!
    If you point out that increased spending on education has not improved education then you hate children, you hate teachers, you hate education... hater!

    Hater!

    See? The only possible motivation for opposing liberal policy is evil intentions, or being so stupid that you can be duped by people with evil intentions.

    It's all about intentions.

    /snark

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    This hilarious--watching Tony make an argument is like a free course in "Special Pleading 101."

  • Stoddard||

    "Liberals" are not even liberal anymore, just control freaks.

  • MJ||

    The left appropriated the "liberal" label when they themselves destroyed the "progressive" label. The left cannot accept that what's destroying their terms for themselves is that their beliefs are anti-thetical to the principles of just government that the US was built on.

  • Tony||

    Liberals see themselves as the torch-bearers for the project of liberty and justice handed down from the founders and liberal political philosophers whose ideas were applied to the creation of this country. Libertarians may claim they are the true defenders of liberty, but in practice libertarians seem to me just as a secular variant on the reactionary Old Confederacy anti-liberal tradition. The gist of what you're saying is really just Red Scare talk repackaged, and those commie hunters were not in the small-l liberal tradition.

    Liberalism (meaning the struggle for individual liberty and social justice) has evolved. It long ago discovered that a truly free people require some amount of redistributive justice, and the entire civilized world seems to agree with them. Libertarianism doesn't think it needs to evolve, because it has all the answers. Yeah I think it has much more in common with the illiberal traditions in this country.

  • Scruffy Nerd Herder||

    "Liberalism (meaning the struggle for individual liberty and social justice) has evolved. It long ago discovered that a truly free people require some amount of redistributive justice"

    Individual liberty and redistributive justice don't get along real well.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "Libertarianism doesn't think it needs to evolve, because it has all the answers."

    Correction, we just think nobody can have all the answers and therefore we want some decisions to be up to us.

    You are falsely equating an atheist with an agnostic. I would expect an elite and educated liberal to know the difference.

    After all, if I make a mistake the consequences will be a fraction of the size of the consequences that will occur if the government makes one... for instance if The President decides to bombs a North African country in the middle of a civil war, just to name a hypothetical.

  • fish||

    Liberals see themselves as the torch-bearers for the project of liberty and justice handed down from the founders and liberal political philosophers whose ideas were applied to the creation of this country.

    Were you able to keep a straight face when you typed this?

  • sarcasmic||

    "redistributive justice"

    oxymoron

    Justice is an absence of injustice.

    Theft is an injustice.

    Redistribution requires theft.

    Therefor redistributive justice is an oxymoron.

    And you, sir, are just a moron without the oxy.

  • Tony||

    sarcasmic I am truly blown away by your intelligence. There's hardly even a need for you to constantly boast about it.

    Unfortunately your little syllogism has a flawed premise. Redistribution does not require theft. It requires taxes.

  • fish||

    10% is taxes. 40+ percent is theft. You do know that even at these levels....hell at 100% the state is still running up debt. Both camps come to similar conclusions about the "sustainability" of a government of this size.....and yet you proud " torch-bearers for the project of liberty" let the "stamping feet" of your opposition cow you into not doing the right thing.

    Tony, I was wrong. In another thread I accused you of being of the mindset to march people into gas chambers. My mistake...while you certainly have the inclination you most assuredly don't have the stones.

  • sarcasmic||

    Redistribution does not require theft. It requires taxes.

    Taking property by force or threat of force by any other name is still the same, no matter how noble you think your intentions are.

  • Zeb||

    Taxes are theft. They may in some cases be necessary or preferable to the alternative, but that doesn't change the fact that taxes are property taken from people by force or the threat of force, which is more than just theft, it is robbery.

  • sarcasmic||

    sarcasmic I am truly blown away by your intelligence.

    I wish I could say the same of you.

  • MJ||

    Tony, the idea that you, who has stated time and again the he effectively believes there can be no limitations on government authority sees yourself and the left as the inheritors of the priciples of liberty and constrained government of the American Founding? How delusional are you?

    Liberty and social justice are incompatible concepts. Hell, social justice and justice are incompatible concepts. Social justice in entirely illiberal in form and substance.

  • Tony||

    I strongly believe there should be limitations on government authority. But the American founding was all about giving more power to the federal government than it had before, and it was a more successful outcome. A lot of people like to rewrite history so that it seems to confirm their modern deeply-held political beliefs. I would never say that the founders believed in, say, universal healthcare. Nor do I care. The world has changed since then, and now that modern medicine as well as a more egalitarian understanding of humanity exist, liberals have moved the cause of liberty forward by granting it to the largest number of people possible. Libertarian freedom in practice goes only to an elite few. That's why it's not useful.

  • fish||

    I strongly believe there should be limitations on government authority.

    No you don't.

    On any particular thread you will make this statement to falsely bolster your "reasonable" credentials but scratch your thin skin and there is no problem in existence that doesn't merit a fully funded federal program with attendant staff.

    You're a liar as well as a fool.

  • sarcasmic||

    liberals have moved the cause of liberty forward by granting it to the largest number of people possible

    Liberty is not something that is granted.
    It is something that can be taken away, but not granted.

    Liberty means being free to do what you want with your life and property as long as you do not harm the life and property of someone else.

    Liberty does not mean having the right to force someone else to pay your way, because that requires first taking away that other person's liberty.

  • Zeb||

    "Libertarian freedom in practice goes only to an elite few. That's why it's not useful."

    How the fuck could anyone possibly know that? Are you still confusing corporatist republicans with libertarians?

    One counterexample to your claim: allowing people to start a business without having to navigate the Byzantine bureaucracy of licensing, permits and taxes would do an enormous amount to help the poor and downtrodden in society improve their lives. And no one needs to have anything taxed or stolen from them.

  • MJ||

    "I strongly believe there should be limitations on government authority."

    Such as? Whenever a discussion of what limits on government there should be, you come up blank. You are effectively a totalitarian in mindset.

    "The world has changed since then, and now that modern medicine as well as a more egalitarian understanding of humanity exist, liberals have moved the cause of liberty forward by granting it to the largest number of people possible."

    It was not theirs to grant, medicine is the creation of individuals with the training and know-how. And how much of a boon is it, if you have to force people to accept it under penealty of law?

  • ||

    But the American founding was all about giving more power to the federal government than it had before

    Funny, I thought it was about transferring the sovereignty of that authority away from the King and to the people who actually lived under said authority.

    A lot of people like to rewrite history so that it seems to confirm their modern deeply-held political beliefs.

    You don't say. Shocking.

  • kleptain||

    Tony:
    But the American founding was all about giving more power to the federal government than it had before

    wylie:
    Funny, I thought it was about transferring the sovereignty of that authority away from the King and to the people who actually lived under said authority.

    Clearly Tony was confusing the replacement of the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution. You, wylie, are referring to the war for independence.

    Communication is more satisfying if everyone is talking about the same thing.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    It long ago discovered that a truly free people require some amount of redistributive justice...

    Your name isn't Bertram Scudder, by chance, is it?

  • Zeb||

    "Liberalism (meaning the struggle for individual liberty and social justice)"

    See, that's exactly the problem. You are defining liberalism by two goals that are mutually exclusive. You can't be a free individual if your property can be arbitrarily confiscated and given to someone else. Pick one, social justice or individual freedom, and stop pretending that liberals can do the impossible. If I am misunderstanding what you mean by "social justice", please straighten me out.

  • Tony||

    You can't be a free individual if your property can be arbitrarily confiscated and given to someone else.

    The logical conclusion of this line of thinking is that the choice is between individual freedom or anarchy. Otherwise, we can't even sanction armed forces, because that requires confiscating taxes to pay for services to other people.

    I'm sorry if realizing this contradiction might force you to accept that there are certain legitimate things society can do that you don't like, but you don't get to rest your superiority on the absurd proposition that anarchy=freedom. We just have policy differences.

  • ||

    Please, please, please stop feeding the troll. Carrot and stick it all out want, but it is not here to change it's mind, just to annoy.

  • fish||

    But I really get off on his constant and clearly unintentional self embarrassment.

  • fish||

    I'm sorry if realizing this contradiction might force you to accept that there are certain legitimate things society can do that you don't like, but you don't get to rest your superiority on the absurd proposition that anarchy=freedom. We just have policy differences.

    Again in your view society=government a false equivalence on its face.

    might force you to accept that there are certain legitimate things society can do that you don't like....

    What are these things?

  • Tony||

    What are these things?

    Well, anything. I don't like a lot of policies of this country, but I don't think they are illegitimate for this reason alone. All I'm trying to say is that, unless you're an anarchist, in which case the conversation is stopped, we just differ on the amount of taxation and which programs it should pay for, not on anything fundamental.

  • fish||

    No! You made the statement. Give me a list of 7 or 8 things that are legitimate that I won't like that you think the government can do.

  • sarcasmic||

    No! You made the statement. Give me a list of 7 or 8 things that are legitimate that I won't like that you think the government can do.

    I second this!

  • sarcasmic||

    The logical conclusion of this line of thinking is that the choice is between individual freedom or anarchy.

    The logical conclusion of using legislation backed by threat of violence to solve every problem, real or perceived, is totalitarianism.

    We will never be free from the State, so keeping that in mind I would rather lean more towards anarchy (which does not mean no rules, it means no rules imposed by threat of force) than towards totalitarianism.

  • Zeb||

    Well, Tony, in principle I am an anarchist. I do accept that some form of minimal government is inevitable, and perhaps even a necessary evil. But there is a real difference between taxes funding things that are for the common good, like courts, some sort of militia, maybe even some roads, and taxes which are direct transfers to other individuals.

  • #||

    "there is a real difference between taxes funding things that are for the common good, like courts, some sort of militia, maybe even some roads, and taxes which are direct transfers to other individuals."

    The share of the current tax burden that goes to the prior list is a small, small fraction of what is currently going on.

    A tax used to mean something used for some common purpose, hence federal taxes had to be apportioned evenly. Now the primary purpose of taxesd is just to take from one group of people and give it to another.

    Once you accept this concept as legitimate, then it means you only have rights to your property, your talents and your labor because your government told you you have them - this is very much French style authoritative posativism.

  • sarcasmic||

    We just have policy differences.

    The major difference being that you want all policy to be imposed from the top down by government, while we would rather let society order its affairs and only appeal to government to react to injustice.

  • ||

    let's all gather 'round the campfire and sing-along.

    of course in Tony's world, we will be mandated to gather and sing. At the point of a gun if need be.

  • Grummun||

    Liberals see themselves as the torch-bearers for the project of liberty and justice handed down from the founders and liberal political philosophers whose ideas were applied to the creation of this country.

    Then they're delusional or developmentally disabled (we can't use "retarded" anymore).

    Liberalism (meaning the struggle for individual liberty and social justice) has evolved is morally and intellectually bankrupt.

  • ||

    With regard to the 'commie hunters', they were recently proved right about communist infiltration.
    Recent releases of FBI decrypts of Soviet radio traffic, and of KGB archives, prove that there was infiltration all the way to the White House. In fact, Rosenberg, Alger Hiss and Oppenheimer were all proved to be spying for the Soviets.
    Your choice of phrase - Red Scare - is a little unfortunate!

  • NeoCon||

    Go suck a diseased cock, Tony

  • pancakes ||

    stfu neocon, you made us invade Libya!

  • Scruffy Nerd Herder||

    Mostly I think of it as the pot calling the kettle black.

  • ||

    I prefer to think of it as the kettle calling the pot a racist.

  • ||

    Bullshit. Liberals destroyed the word "liberal." And, incidentally, that's our word, so I'd prefer you use some other label, like "progressive", "socialist", or "state-lover."

  • Tony||

    Sorry, it's not your word. Using the same rhetoric of right-wing commie hunters contradicts your claim. The world has moved on. Freedom is more than just the freedom to be left alone. That is only useful for people who already have the means to enjoy their freedom, and that is increasingly fewer people.

  • ||

    That is only useful for people who already have the means to enjoy their freedom

    So you're tacitly admitting that people who don't have those means still do have freedom...which makes the rest of your position poppycock.

  • ||

    Sorry Tony, it is our word. It has been for a long time; only in the 20th century was it hijacked from us.

  • Matrix||

    In Tony's dictionary:
    Freedom. noun -- (a) to forcefully take something belonging to one individual, who worked hard to earn it, and giving it to another individual who did not work to earn it, (b) to obey your progressive rulers, because they know so much better than you, (c) being forced to cooperate with society instead of being left alone

  • sarcasmic||

    Freedom. noun -- The state of being free from choice (government does that for you), from responsibility (as long as you obey), and from consequence (as long as you obey).

    Freedom = Slavery

  • crossofcrimson||

    "Freedom is more than just the freedom to be left alone. That is only useful for people who already have the means to enjoy their freedom, and that is increasingly fewer people."

    Ahh...the confusion of liberty and freedom for capacity and power. I can't run five miles in a minute therefore I'm not "free" to do so. The misunderstanding would almost be funny if, in application, it didn't lead to obstructing "freedom" in the name of it.

  • Zeb||

    "Freedom is more than just the freedom to be left alone."

    Even if that is true, freedom must include the freedom to be left alone.

  • ||

    You're pretty young, I gather, if you think that how people view leftists is solely attributable to Limbaugh and Beck. They're Johnny-come-latelies to this argument. There's much more to it than that.

  • crossofcrimson||

    Tony,

    If we help you re-brand the "progressive" label will you let us have liberal back? Most people out of the know assume libertarian is another way of saying liberal anyways. Plus we'd probably do the term more justice...at least enough to lift it out of the realm of pejorative anyways.

  • All we are saying...||

    Who won this particular circle jerk?

  • crossofcrimson||

    You, I think. I mean, do you want to be in the middle?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Yeah. Because the progressives, you know,the guys who supported forced sterilization because "we don't think you should reproduce anymore", had Nothing to do with it. Absolutely nothing.

  • sarcasmic||

    First they were socialists, but once people understood what that meant they started calling themselves progressives. People figured out that progressives were just the socialists of old so they started calling themselves liberals, then progressives again.

    What are they going to call themselves next?

  • Ice Nine||

    Next? Election losers?

  • ||

    The vanguard of the proletariat?

    Unemployed?

  • ||

    I prefer Whiny Little Bitches.

  • ||

    They should call themselves conservatives since they essentially support the status quo (but moreso).

  • Tim||

    I'd like to see Media Matters flow chart this Libya mess for us.

  • ||

    Alt text

    "Shut up so I can explain to you how horrible you are"

  • WTF||

    Alt tex

    backpfeiffengesicht

  • ||

    barfapalooza

    I went to a couple of those in college.

    And Matt, you read these things so we don't have to...right?

  • Tony||

    IMO, it would do this country a lot of good for liberals to turn their lizard brains up a notch or two. Republican base voters can be mobilized easily. There's always a minority to fear (muslims, latinos, gays) and with Obama in office the GOP's fearmongering playbook basically writes itself.

    But liberals have something real, and not made up, to fear: Republicans in charge again. I hesitate to even call it too much nuance or intelligence. If they're so much smarter than conservatives, why do conservatives understand so much better that getting what you want means holding sway over a major political party and forcing it to do your bidding? One piddly little war and the liberals are ready to go full Nader in 2012. To me, not seeing a dime's worth of difference between the parties because you're so completely enamored with your own ideological purity isn't the same thing as nuance or intelligence.

  • Warty||

    not seeing a dime's worth of difference between the parties because you're so completely enamored with your own ideological purity

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • pancakes (libtarded)||

    You never go full Nader.

  • kc||

    "One piddly little war"
    betcha didn't call the Afghanistan or Iraq invasions "piddly little wars" when they started.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    *fart noise*

  • Tim||

    It is getting hard to tell them apart.

  • ||

    Who, Tony and a fart noise?

  • #||

    So Tony, how much do democrats benifit from class resentment, business bashing, wealth jealosy and xenophobic anti trade fears? The tool of the left has always been to make the masses hate and resent those who have more material wealth then them as if seeing your neighbor get rich means you have been wronged. If theres ever been a consistant us v them mentality over the past 100 plus years of politics its been "the rich" vs blank.

  • Tony||

    I don't think they've been terribly successful if that's the case. Americans still have an unhealthy "lottery" mentality where they don't see punishing the rich as in their interest, because they might someday be rich. This is mostly a fantasy, of course.

    In my opinion "class warfare" is one of the most admirable traditions of liberalism and is completely different from the regrettable tradition of conservatism, race warfare. We need more hatred of the rich in this country. Because what's actually true is that all of the things poor minorities are accused of doing--soaking the country's wealth for their own selfish purposes--is what the wealthy have been doing all along. If it's class warfare, the rich have been winning handily, and I for one wish more people on the other side would fight back.

  • ||

    Americans still have an unhealthy "lottery" mentality where they don't see punishing the rich as in their interest, because they might someday be rich.

    Are you from the Goatee Universe or something?

  • waffles||

    What the flying fuck did you just type? Now you're straight trollin'

    The marxist anarcho-collectivist crust punks I've met in Pittsburgh espouse this kind ofclass warfare. They do it because it will incite the violence they crave. They want to smash shit and damn the outcome. Tony, this is the shit that makes liberal a dirty word, not Limbaugh/Beck/Palin. If everywhere you go you are looking for class discrimination and unfairness you will find it. But encouraging this classist mindset only leads to more injustice.

    People like you, suck. You're the kind of person who would slash the tires of a mercedes because they think owner is a rich fucker who deserves it. Fuck you.

  • #||

    at least the truth came out with tony there. But thats how most leftists think.

    I'm still waiting for the day wheh hatred of people with more welath than you is looked down upon in a similar way as hating someone because of their race.

  • Tony||

    Because, while the rich are a minority, they are not one in danger of harm BY DEFINITION.

  • ||

    The wealthy citizens of Cuba, Russia, China, North Korea, Vietnam, and anywhere else the Marxists took over would like a word with you.

    Oh, Rhodesia is a particularly odious case. It took less then a decade to turn it from a prosperous, stable, food exporting country to an utter basket case of famine and hyperinflation.

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Tony||

    That would most likely be counterproductive, but it's still better than what the rich have been doing to the middle class.

    Why the fuck does class warfare only go one way with you guys?

  • Kleptain||

    Tony, please define what "rich" means and who "the rich" are. Please include rigorous definitions of property and ownership in your response.

    TIA

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Kleptain, Tony can't even do basic math--don't bother trying to get him to actually define "rich" and the methodology he used.

    He's a thief that needs the government to rob from people because he's too chickenshit to do it himself.

  • #||

    so really what your saying tony is that society needs more hate, more violence, and more us vs them mentality. ahh got ya.

  • crossofcrimson||

    "where they don't see punishing the rich as in their interest"

    Oh, dear lord. For a second I thought what was driving class warfare was the intention of lifting people out of poverty. Now that I know it's about punishing the productive, it all makes more sense (news to me).

  • ||

    for god's sake - my father came from a poor family with 6 brothers and 1 sister. He got married, dropped out of college, started selling shoes and then started working for a major retailer. He worked up the "corporate" ladder and ended up really well off - richer than your average person. He was able to pay for my college, along with my brothers - one who is a doctor.

    He should be punished? His money - that he earned - should be taken away? Maybe his car is too new or his house too nice - he doesn't deserve it!

    Tony - you are a sick person.

  • #||

    liberals have always been driven at least in part by anger resentment. Many of them are more interested in punishing the successful in the name of fairness then helping the poor.

  • Tony||

    No, he shouldn't be "punished." We should simply have tax policy that pays for the things we buy and doesn't burden anyone.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    We should simply have tax policy that pays for the things we buy and doesn't burden anyone

    LOL and you accuse libertarians of having Utopian fantasies. You're a classic example of why modern academia is a cancer on society.

  • ||

    So if I'm reading the Structural Racism slide correctly, then NPR is structurally racist. As is the New York Times Board of Directors.

  • Pro Liberace||

    You are, in fact, reading it correctly.

  • ||

    Well, it's possible that the "Policy Driven" bullet point is code for "whatever conservatives or libertarians do is inherently racist, but if it is to further Progressive goals and policies, it's above suspicion even if we're all white."

  • The Gobbler||

  • sevo||

    Tony|3.23.11 @ 11:10AM|#
    "IMO,..."

    Stop right there. Too many lies too early in the morning.

  • ||

    Over four grueling days, Harvard-honed instructors drilled a dozen softie policy wonks, molding them into an elite unit of smiling, succinct and well-coiffed talking heads.

    Dizzy now.

    Must lie down.

  • Tim||

    Grueling? You can tell these guys have never done actual labor.

  • pancakes ||

    Maybe it's just a criticism of the food served during the programme. Anywho, I find unbearable smug to be incredibly grueling.

  • ||

    I'd bet money that the food at this program was superb, e.g., organic, from female-managed fair-trade farms, nutritionally balanced, etc.

  • ||

    Grueling = "They ran out of arugula! Break out the potassium iodide!!!!"

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Did you even read the article? One guy got a cramp in his leg from sitting too long in an awkward position. Slaves didn't work as hard as these guys do.

  • Brett L||

    "I sprained a muscle in my face by fake smiling!"

  • Anthony Peterson||

    No shit!

  • ||

    Dude, I would have washed out within an hour. My leftibabble tolerance is not what it once was.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I would totally be a liberal if it weren't for all those facts and figures and smart guy things you have to know. Facts like; The Poor! And Institutional Racisms!!!

  • alan||

    The problem for the soldiers of the left, according to Media Matters instructors, is that they are just too smart for their own good. The traditional dependence on facts and figures, on being right, is no longer germane. Too often these wonks disappear into the policy weeds or fall through the cracks of nuance.

    Need they be reminded that this is their guy, so therefore everything they have to say needs to be taking with an extra heap helping of salt?

  • alan||

    to be taking to be taken

    So short, I can't even blame it on the crap margins in the form window. It's all on me this time.

  • ||

    I'm mostly interested in how liberal, D.C.-based pundits in the Year of Our Lord 2011 can still be nursing the creation mythology that the cable television deck (to say nothing of the power that runs the country) is stacked against them

    MSNBC doesn't count. The handful of people who watch already "know" how evil the Republicans are.

  • ||

    What about CNN and the Big Three?

    PBS is relatively fair IMHO.

  • The Gobbler||

    I used to think that, until I heard Gwen Ifel say Teabagger with a knowing smirk and Ray Suarez falsely claim that James O'Keefe had been found guilty of bugging Senator Landreau's office.

    It used to be objective, but not anymore.

  • Kleptain||

    Tulpa:
    PBS is relatively fair IMHO.

    You have obviously never watched "Washington Week in Review" which is a good show to watch if you want a Cliff's Notes presentation of the week's leftist talking points.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Matt Welch, trapped in a crack of nuance. I guess there are worse fates. Trying wearing a black leather jacket, Matt!

  • ||

    eventually, I hope, the GOP will not be able to sell it as well by wrapping it in a package of racial and cultural resentment.

    Heaven knows, the Democratic Party would never stoop to wrapping their agenda in a package of racial and cultural resentment.

  • Tony||

    Oh please. When was the last democrat to run on a platform of "the white man is keeping you down!"

    Barack Obama, the first black president, tried as hard as he could never to talk about race.

    No, the people with their panties in the biggest bunch over perceived racial injustice these days are white conservatives. It's quite remarkable. The Republicans, who are mostly responsible for white conservatives' poor economic state, have convinced them the real culprit is liberals who are racist against white people. Absolute genius.

  • liberal guy||

    Wrong again, Tony.

    We're the ones who are racist against the blacks, because we expect very little from them, while demanding their obedience to our political agenda.

    And most of us voted for Obama over Hillary because we desperately wanted a hip black friend in high school, but never had one.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    And most of us voted for Obama over Hillary because we desperately wanted a hip black friend in high school, but never had one.

    Kind of explains why the new thing for straight females is to gossip about their "gay friend." It's not really because they actually respect the person, it's that they need a social fashion accessory to pump their status amongst their fellow SWPLs.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    Obama tries as hard as he can to never talk about anything substantive and controversial. Continuing with this theme he has also tried very hard to avoid DOING anything substantive and controversial - well except taking over healthcare and bombing African countries.

  • sevo||

    Tony|3.23.11 @ 11:55AM|#
    "Hints, innuendo, outright lies"

    Good as gold, Tony.

  • Knutsack||

  • #||

    Oh please. When was the last democrat to run on a platform of "the white man is keeping you down!"

    No instead they have just spent the last 100 plus years saying "rich people are keeping you down" which of course means white old men on wall street, hint hint.

  • ||

    Yeah, 'cause it isn't racist to nominate a guy for President based solely on the fact that his daddy was black and that he can read a teleprompter.

    GTFO here with that bullshit. If Obama was white, he'd be John Edwards.

  • ||

    If Obama was white, he'd be John Edwards.

    Now that is going too far! I know Obama and Obama is no John Edwards.

    Not being John Edwards is a complement.

  • harpingHarold||

    If Obama was [sic] white,

    his lazy ass would never have gotten into Harvard Law school and he never would have been recruited as a politician.

  • ||

    Obama is not black, he is of mixed race.

  • Zeb||

    A good point that I try to make whenever possible. I don't go in for the old racist "one drop" crap. Obama is just as much white as he is black.

  • Rachel Maddow||

    The problem for the soldiers of the left...is that they are just too smart

    Still here, bitches!
    Still reallyreallyreallyreally here!

  • ||

    "how liberal, D.C.-based pundits in the Year of Our Lord 2011 can still be nursing the creation mythology that the cable television deck (to say nothing of the power that runs the country) is stacked against them...

    The "how" is because it is. All you have to do is go to a fact-based site like Fair.org and you will see that conservative commentary across all tv channels on major issues is about 3 or 4 to 1 conservative to liberal, and most of the liberals are center/center-left, while the right are much farther right; so spectrum-wise it's more like 8 to 1.

    They simply watch programs when a new topic comes up and count the pundits. They also add up their air-time, so it's not just a head count. Presumably their simple arithmetic based on publicly-available knowledge is factual and accurate. I've never seen anyone claim their math was wrong.

    I don't like either the red team or the blue team, and I'm very disappointed that a senior editor at Reason (who should feel the same way) can't see the shift on cable news in the past 10 years. Is Matt Welch saying that cable news is fair and balanced? Is he saying we should watch it because it's trustworthy and he doesn't get why anyone would think otherwise? I mean, what's the point of Reason if when the media finally shift heavily from left to right, we all just throw our hands up and say Hallelujah?

    Guess I'll go watch some cable news and read mainstream news magazines.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "Guess I'll go watch some cable news and read mainstream news magazines."

    It sounds like that is what you do anyway. That is how you ended up at this intellectual dead end you call an opinion.

  • harpingHarold||

    go to a fact-based site like Fair.org

    Why don't you go to this page and study some of its links? At the very least, you may realize that there are different perspectives and databases on the topic of media bias.

  • Spartacus||

    I had a conversation with one of my colleagues yesterday who is a self-proclaimed progressive. We were talking about health insurance, and whether our employer should just give us the cash and let us buy insurance, rather than providing it as a benefit. Her opinion was that it should stay as a benefit, because if we had the money some people would spend it on other things and go without health insurance.

    My response was that the people here are all adults (I work at a university) and the choice should be theirs to make.

    Her response to that was "Not if they make bad choices."

    I think that pretty much sums up the mindset right there.

  • ||

    If only everyone in the world would be like me: make the same choices I would make in all respects.

    vs

    If only everyone in the world would be like me: let other people alone to make their own choices and live with the consequences.

    So aren't both "sides" saying, if only everyone were just like me ?

  • waffles||

    No. That is stupid. Period.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Ya. But one side wants to shoot, or lock in cages the people that aren't like them. The other side says "oh well, that's wierd, have a nice day".

    So one side is fucking evil. And it ain't us.

  • Tony||

    Presumably the tendency would be for unhealthy people to choose insurance and healthy people to play the odds and buy something else instead. That would drive premiums up. This is the entire reason non-mandated coverage drives up costs. If you aren't covered and you have a health emergency, you're going to be taken to the hospital and treated. Someone has to pay for that. You probably don't realize it but you're arguing for the least efficient form of socialism.

  • Spartacus||

    Sorry, I missed the part where I said that hospitals should be forced to provide care regardless of ability to pay. Can you point that part out to me?

  • #||

    i also missed the part where insurance companies arent allowed to price for risk either

  • Tony||

    Pardon me for assuming you had a shred of ethical maturity. What a wonderful free society you are in favor of!

  • Spartacus||

    So...

    Using the power of the state to force people to provide services to others for free = ethical maturity.

    Got it.

  • Tony||

    Not for free. Someone always has to pay. Slavery means you don't get paid. That's why you guys flub this comparison.

    But modern medical ethics require us not to leave people to die for their lack of ability to pay for healthcare services. I think this is a good thing, so the only question is how to pay for it in the fairest and most efficient way. If you think access to healthcare should be wealth-dependent, then your claims to being a lover of freedom are laughable.

  • Jim||

    "But modern medical ethics require us not to leave people to die for their lack of ability to pay for healthcare services. I think this is a good thing, so the only question is how to pay for it in the fairest and most efficient way."

    So because you "think this is a good thing", it's OK to tax others to pay for it. What about those who don't think it's a good thing? Do your decisions now dictate what is good, or bad, with the weight of law behind them? Of course I do care about people, but what if, just for the sake of argument, I didn't care whether people died or not (if they couldn't afford care)? Why is it your right to impose your beliefs on my pocketbook?

  • Tony||

    Why is it your right to impose your beliefs on my pocketbook?

    It's not *my* right, but it is the right of a democratic people to choose their own policies. I could ask you the same question. What gives you the right to impose your policy of wealth-dependent access to healthcare on everyone else?

    Besides, the whole point of my policy is to save you money on healthcare costs, which are the highest in the industrialized world because our system is so inefficient.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Besides, the whole point of my policy is to save you money on healthcare costs, which are the highest in the industrialized world because our system is so inefficient.

    Show us the math or STFU.

  • ||

    But modern medical ethics require us not to leave people to die for their lack of ability to pay for healthcare services.

    Depends on what services you're talking about. If they need antibiotics or to have a bullet removed or a wound sutured, those services are actually pretty cheap for hospitals to provide (and were generally provided for free to poor patients even before the ER laws).

    If you're talking about neurosurgery or something of similar expense, sorry, I don't agree. Those services weren't even available 50 years ago, so to claim a right to them is totally impausible, even if one believes in positive rights.

  • Progressive||

    If it is not available to everybody than nobody should have it. What have the rich done to deserve their lives extended that the poor have not done?

  • ||

    I think this is a good thing

    I don't, because you're not talking about an ETHICAL requirement. You're talking about a legal one.

    I do not subscribe to your religion.

  • ||

    I think this is a good thing

    I don't, because you're not talking about an ETHICAL requirement. You're talking about a legal one.

    I do not subscribe to your religion.

  • Zeb||

    Then create publicly funded charity hospitals. Don't force everyone into a system they don't want or need.

  • fish||

    Pardon me for assuming you had a shred of ethical maturity.

    Pot meet Kettle.

  • ||

    Pardon me for assuming you had a shred of ethical maturity. What a wonderful free society you are in favor of!

    It's a good thing Tony has never worked in or managed an emergency department at a hospital, otherwise he would be responsible for not knowing what the fuck he's talking about.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "If you aren't covered and you have a health emergency, you're going to be taken to the hospital and treated. Someone has to pay for that."

    Tony, look up: MORAL HAZARD.

    To Sum up Tony's argument:

    The state and federal governments prevent competition between insurance companies and mandates that all people be treated even if they have no intention to pay and then use the high premiums that result as justification of increased government intervention in health care.

  • crossofcrimson||

    Premiums still get driven up with a mandate - particularly when the insurance companies in question aren't able to deny subscribers or appropriately price their risk. The main idea behind the individual mandate is that, without one, people would essentially just wait until they got sick to purchase insurance...which would effectively make insurance unworkable.

  • ||

    Not if you allow risk based pricing.

    If you make insurance a bad bet for healthy people and a good bet for unhealthy people, of course they won't buy it. If you allow insurance companies to make it an even bet for BOTH groups, they both will.

  • ||

    I wonder if she considers her parents' decision to take her to term a bad choice.

    Others might.

    Better be careful where we go with this logic, eh.

  • ||

    3 generations of progressive imbeciles are enough.

  • ||

    Her response to that was "Not if they make bad choices."

    I think that pretty much sums up the mindset right there.

    Yep. I encounter that sentiment regularly, when I'm weak and stupidly discuss politics with a regressive.

    "Not my problem" doesn't sit too well with them.

  • ||

    Her response to that was "Not if they make bad choices."

    I think that pretty much sums up the mindset right there.

    Yep. Quoth the Iron Law:

    You aren't free unless you are free to be wrong.

  • ||

    Her opinion was that it should stay as a benefit, because if we had the money some people would spend it on other things and go without health insurance.

    This logic has already proved itself idiotic when it comes to pension benefits. The company isn't any better at saving your money than you are.

    When ti comes to health insurance ... you'll not that they buy insurance that expires a soon as you quit, or get fired, or get laid off.

    So agaiun, letting your company choose your health insurance ... not exactly the smartest shopping strategy.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    They want to save us from every bad choice except the ones they make for us!

  • Nobel WarPig Obama||

    All of my defenders are elite, oily bobble-heads who find no fault with my policies.

  • neil||

  • Canman||

    "nursing the creation mythology that the cable television deck (to say nothing of the power that runs the country) is stacked against them"

    Love the creationism comparison. Their views on the budget and spending should be compared to homeopathy.

  • ||

    Over four grueling days, Harvard-honed instructors drilled a dozen softie policy wonks, molding them into an elite unit of smiling, succinct and well-coiffed talking heads.

    They were then loaded onto Arc B and launched to another planet. Because the sun is going to explode, or something.

  • Trespassers W||

    I caught your reference, which means I am also cool.

  • Facepalm||

    'Too focused on facts and logic to impress Matt Welch' and 'too focused on facts and logic to win on cable' are two very different things.

    Emotion rules on cable. And Fox and conservatives are MUCH better at creating a compelling emotional narrative than MSNBC and liberals. And, sit down for this, Fox doesn't do it with facts and logic.

    If I were training liberal shouters to win on cable, I certainly wouldn't encourage them to marshall more facts and shore up the logic in their arguments. I'd encourage them instead to be more reductive and repetitive -- figure out one value at stake in the argument, and focus like a laser on that value, portraying the opposition as hostile to that value and the liberal position as supportive of it.

    That process comes easily to the right, as conservatives tend to see things in black and white anyway. Liberals get distracted by nuance and details, and that doesn't win in a cable knife-fight.

  • ||

    There's no problem with delivering your message in an engaging way by not getting lost in a jungle of nuance, but rather focusing on a few key points and simple arguments. That's basic rhetoric (in the old neutral sense of the word).

    The problem is that these liberals are being trained to lie and distort. Yes, Fox does that too. That doesn't make it right.

  • ||

    The problem for the soldiers of the left, according to Media Matters instructors, is that they are just too smart for their own good.

    So basically they're saying that ignorance is strength.

    We've already seen them argue that war is peace on the Libya issue, and freedom being slavery is the basis of Tony's attempts at arguments in favor of positive rights above.

  • waffles||

    No! 1984 was like 27 years ago! Stopitstopitstopit!

  • ||

    Technically, Winston wasn't sure what year it was. 1984 was just a guess.

  • ||

    Isn't Media Matters supposed to be a watchdog group?

  • last laugh||

    hah!

  • ||

    Pardon me for assuming you had a shred of ethical maturity. What a wonderful free society you are in favor of

    I am beginning to think that Tony is not truly a liberal. Christ, MNG’s positions on some subjects, even when I may not agree with him, are reasonable sometimes. However, Tony is pretty much wrong on everything. I believe our Tony is either a role player or an astro-turfing PR guy like Nick Naylor in Thank You for Smoking. No person could ever be as consistently F’d-up as Tony; he’s having us on.

  • The Reason Editors Collective||

    Tony is one of our sock puppets. Which of us he represents is an exercise left to the reader.

  • ||

    The reason we have can force people to buy healthcare insurance is because if they don't then everyone else foots the bill when they go to the emergency room. And the reason everyone has to foot the bill when they go to the emergency room is because we can't force people to pay for their own healthcare.

    HERP DERP.

  • ||

    Basically, Tony does not understand that forcing people to buy health insurance is the same wrong as forcing hospitals to service people who can't pay. They are just the two extremes of the same problem.

  • ||

    He also doesn't understand that a system where access to healthcare is dependent on politics is not superior to a system where access to healthcare is based on wealth.

  • ||

    "Harvard-honed instructors drilled a dozen softie policy wonks"

    Oh man... Too. Many. Possibilities...

    Drilled... Softies...

    Mind... Crashing... GRRRAAAAKK!!!!

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