Was Obama’s SCOTUS Attack Good Politics? (Special Dumbth Edition)

President Obama’s puzzling-at-best dismissal of the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review got rotten reviews all last week. 

One of the president’s former law students questioned his understanding of constitutional history.

The Fifth Circuit Court demanded a less-than-fully-intelligible clarification from Attorney General Eric Holder.

Americans have begun to doubt the bright, clean, articulate president’s previously unquestioned ability to elevate the intellectual state of our nation just by pronouncing common words almost as well as George W. Bush.

But was Obama being stupid like a fox with his misstatements? In the Washington Times, Wesley Pruden thinks so

Even a community organizer knows that the authority of the Supreme Court to determine whether acts of Congress conflict with the Constitution is well and truly established...

Republican politicians, pundits, lawyers and academics who leaped to lecture the president on the finer points of the Constitution missed by a mile the point of his rant. Mr. Obama’s rant was not meant for Republican politicians, pundits, lawyers and academics. He was talking to his congregation and his choir, building a fire under them and giving them an advance look at talking points for the campaign to come if the Supremes kill or wound Obamacare. He’s more than willing to sound dumb and ignorant in the greater cause of his re-election.

He actually appropriated battle-tested language of assaults on earlier Supreme Courts, berating “judicial activism” of “an unelected group of people” trying to “somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.” The president had clearly been reading about the campaign to “Impeach Earl Warren” on billboards and bus-stop benches in the wake of the desegregation rulings a generation (and more) ago. These billboards flourished like azaleas in April along highways and byways across the South.

No one actually expected to see the chief justice dispatched in shame and ignominy, but the vision of such a spectacle, cultivated by segregationist politicians in Richmond and Birmingham and Little Rock to keep hope alive, propelled white voters to the ballot box to preserve the politicians. Maybe this court’s conservative majority could be demonized, too.

As always with Obama, you can’t find the answers just by going back to the fifties. From his recession-deepening “recovery” act to his increasingly apocalyptic class-warfare rhetoric to his fondness for war, Obama models himself on Franklin Roosevelt. The rhetorical war on the Supreme Court has to be viewed in this context.

While FDR’s court-packing scheme gets all the attention, the relevant issue here is his verbal attack on the court following the Schechter decision in 1935. That war of words helped propel FDR to the first of his three re-election wins. 

In this sense Pruden is right. A fight against the Supreme Court, however vacuous, is enough to rally the base. As I argued a while back, that’s really all Obama needs to do in what will almost certainly be a low-turnout, low-enthusiasm election

So far, in fact, the president’s demagoguery did agitate the constituencies that matter most: the pro-Obama media, the even more pro-Obama media, and Europeans (who, let’s face it, are just more soignée than we are). Judging by my Facebook feed, he’s doing a pretty good job of getting his rank and file followers to mouth the appropriate slogans as well. 

But I think Pruden is missing a piece of good news in all this. Obama has also demonstrated the limits of propaganda that was perfected in the era of totalitarianism. It was easy for FDR to make a crude campaign against the court stick because (sorry, Greatest Generation) Americans back then were across the board less educated and less skeptical,  and they had access to a universe of information so small that, by the standards of 2012, it can barely be said to have existed. 

Last month, an ABC News/Washington Post poll indicated nearly 70 percent of Americans believed the Court should strike down the individual mandate or the entire PPACA. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll also showed majority belief that the mandate was unconstitutional. I don’t read too much into that. (Among the many ways we’re smarter than our ancestors is that we’re more skeptical of opinion polling.) But if you had taken a similar poll taken in 1935, the majority of responses to a question about judicial review and constitutionality under either the commerce clause or the necessary and proper doctrine would have been “Huh?” That Obama is out of his depth just shows again that he’s everything Bill Clinton wasn’t: inflexible, intellectually lazy, and tied to a vision of America the rest of the country stopped caring about decades ago. 

Title explanation: Hi Ho, Steverino, now and forever. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • A Serious Man||

    Last month, an ABC News/Washington Post poll indicated nearly 70 percent of Americans believed the Court should strike down the individual mandate or the entire PPACA. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll also showed majority belief that the mandate was unconstitutional.

    Well, you see, this unelected court of judges should totally bow to democracy except when doing so would not be liberal results-oriented. Or at least that's what I get based on liberal complaints at how the judicial branch subverts democracy.

  • nancy||

    Looking for some bisexual to share your fantasies with?
    Welcome to---datebi.c/0/m---the best place to seek bisexual fun and short-term or long-term relationship. Hundreds of thousands of members with verified photos and detailed profiles are active there. Come in and meet the perfect person, e.x.a.c.t.l.y. what you want for yourself
    BEST OF LUCK!

  • JT||

    Yes! Finally!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Acting stupid preaching to a choir that was going to vote for him anyway is stupid.

  • ||

    Constitutional scholar? Adjuct law professor? Edited the Harvard Law Review? And then pulls this nonsense? I can understand being miffed if the decision doesn't go my way after a decision is rendered...but this?

    I seriously want to see this man's transcripts.

  • The vermin in the media||

    Forget it buster; that's not going to happen. The Obamessiah is a genius because we say he is, and you're just going to accept, like it, and shut up.

  • Xiver||

    He's either lying or too stupid to understand the case history of the supreme court.

  • PapayaSF||

    The guy can't have actually forgotten Marbury v. Madison, and he's almost always totally scripted, and thus it's just a lie.

  • R C Dean||

    I seriously want to see this man's transcripts.

    I can assure you his Harvard Law transcripts will be stellar. Grading is anonymous, and he graduated with highest honors.

  • Jerryskids||

    I think you missed the part about rallying the base. As it stands, the choir ain't voting at all. Somebody mentioned a poll somewhere that said voter turnout this year might be in the low fifties, but they couldn't determine if that was by percentage or headcount.

    My guess was headcount.

  • sloopyinca||

    Maybe where you actually have to show ID to vote. Where people can vote with no ID and use a park bench or cemetery as their address, the turnout will be dramatically higher.

  • Brutus||

    It just does my heart good to see people so devoted to the idea of democracy that they're willing to vote multiple times every election.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I think the people who are dumb enough to listen to Obama's incorrect rehtoric about Supreme Court rulings (i.e. his base) are going to be running to the polls to vote for him again, without needing to be rallied. It's the independents who voted for him last time who he needs to rally, but with actions not words. And his ideology won't let him do any of the things that would motivate fence-sitters.

  • OC in DC||

    The healthcare act is a moral abomination along the levels of the new deal and the civil rights act. We should punish failure in life and not tolerate the fools who drag us all down. Not force winners and our betters to be part of the same system. It's a good thing we have a conservative majority on the court.

    Constitutional or not, I don't want to pay for some other fucks healthcare. And if you failed to make enough money to pay for your own health, you should die. We should stop hospitals from being forced to take people in. Some gang banger gets shot in the street, let him die.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Is this a spoof?

  • OC in DC||

    No, just a proud, white, conservative American that likes Ron Paul and see's the horror of what has happened to this nation. The Republicans lack balls to peel back the laws that help the losers and the cheaters in our society, and the liberals promote gun laws that prevent us from privately dealing with them. The libertarian party is our only hope for restoring white America.

  • OC in DC||

    No, just a proud, white, conservative American that likes Ron Paul and see's the horror of what has happened to this nation. The Republicans lack balls to peel back the laws that help the losers and the cheaters in our society, and the liberals promote gun laws that prevent us from privately dealing with them. The libertarian party is our only hope for restoring white America.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Definitely a spoof. He actually had me fooled early on Friday, but then he started talking about how human life isn't worth that much etc etc.

    That's the problem with kids today is that they don't research their ideological opponents enough to spoof them effectively.

  • OC in DC||

    It isn't worth shit. How much is a life worth to you, a real American life, not some fucker living on welfare.

  • ||

    a real American life, not some fucker living on welfare.

    Sure it's an obvious spoof, but that's a great line. Sometimes ya gotta slow down and enjoy the cheesy over-the-top guilty pleasure, like rocking out to Bon Jovi when nobody's looking.

  • ||

    That's one advantage I have having gone to college in the 60's and 70's.

    You learned to mimic them or else.

  • Sevo||

    "That's the problem with kids today is that they don't research their ideological opponents enough to spoof them effectively."

    Doubt there's any real opposition here; just seems to be stirring the pot.
    Sometimes amusing, but overplays the hand.

  • Xenocles||

    Spoof or not, I don't really feel like engaging with a person who volunteers an identification as white for no apparent reason. There's just something unsavory there.

  • ||

    Yes, his flavor is more akin to that of a marshmallow peep... sickening.

  • Sevo||

    Xeno,
    OC has tossed out all sorts of flash words so far.
    Again, stirring the pot, tossing out crap until someone laughs or goes ballistic.
    I'm going with a laugh.

  • Sevo||

    Hey, Xeno, check this out:
    OC in DC|4.8.12 @ 8:06PM|#
    "yeah and being 100% serious here, I want people to make less here than people do in China. I want a compliant labor force. We had that with slaves, we had it more when we could discriminate against people..."
    (from the Warren thread)

    Obvious enough?

  • Xenocles||

    Yeah. I still kind of feel like we need to denounce these views at least once for each new troll/spoof, or else we can look like we endorse it. On the other hand, they're going to try and smear us anyway, so who cares?

  • Sevo||

    Xenocles|4.8.12 @ 9:09PM|#
    "Yeah. I still kind of feel like we need to denounce these views at least once for each new troll/spoof, or else we can look like we endorse it..."

    Not a bad approach, but those who bleeve libertarians back such shit will continue to do so anyhow.
    Just a guess on my part, but this is shithead or someone who is close to shithead's ignorance hoping someone will take the bait.
    Again, laughter is probably appropriate.

  • Xenocles||

    Sure, I'll go with that. I usually hit the ignore button shortly afterward. By the way, the new Reasonable filer isn't fooling around. Impressive.

  • Xenocles||

    *filter

  • JT||

    Racist+Ron Paul+LP=Doesn't exist.

  • ||

    Is this a spoof?

    In a sane and just world...(grins)

  • Killazontherun||

    The other possibility is SPLC has a guy trying to integrate himself amongst us to find out if we are planning to blow shit up. The posts reflect their paranoia about those who don't suck centrist cock quite well.

    Nah, it's just a Maddowite.

  • OC in DC||

    SPLC is an anti white and anti militia hate group. They are what's wrong with America and from the left. They also help constrict gun rights so we can't deal with them.

    Do not associate me with them.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It's Rectal Stack, who just can't stop coming back.

  • Brutus||

    A 'splody Moby?

  • ||

    It's Rather.

  • Jerryskids||

    Could be - it's someone who is "proud" for no apparent reason. You can be proud of your skills and accomplishments, you cannot be proud of anything that is a simple accident of birth. I automatically dismiss people who say they are proud of their heritage - as if they had any say in the matter.

  • Zeb||

    It's one of these dicks who thinks he or she has a really clever parody of conservatives or libertarians going. Because, you know, all they care about is money and white people.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The main problem is that is actually what a good chunk of liberals do think about conservatives/libertarians.

    They see us as people specifically out to eviscerate any semblance of progress and preserve a world that is only kind towards monied white people. They can't even imagine the ACTUAL thoughts we have about specific policy matters because if they admit that we actually have defensible intellectual stances on things, that they will have to converse with us without simply demonizing and dismissing us, and they know they can't do that.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Obviously a troll.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • PantsFan||

    I love this video. I also like the "George Ought to Help"

  • ||

    Edgar needs a monocle.

  • Killazontherun||

    HM, the His Eminence declared just last weekthat wealth comes from the strength of a unionized working class lead by the Vanguard of the Proletariat, not trickled down from above. These videos are now verboten.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Thank goodness I'm posting from behind SEVEN proxies from my data haven using my semi-intelligence AI agent.

    [Cue: post-apocalyptic cyberpunk-y Electronic Music]

  • Killazontherun||

    Shame I'm married and so not gay; that totally went to my heart and grabbed it like a poleaxe with a back pitch.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The most unrealistic thing about that video was the 2 people possessing pistols in the UK.

  • ||

    Guns? In the UK? Someone didn't do their research. Now if they were depicted with shivs...

  • Xenocles||

    UK's full of civilian guns; they just reserve them for criminals.

  • ||

    When I was last in the UK, the Chavs were packing knives and anything that could be used to bludgeon.

    Wait, I forgot about the coppers. Never mind.

  • Lowdog||

    Thanks for the good music linky.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    OK, Moby. Whatever you say.

  • ||

    If you feel so strongly about other people's healthcare, you are (first of all) free to pay for it yourself, and second of all, free to lobby for an increase in Medicaid funding.

    One thing I've never quite understood is why liberals pretend like Medicaid doesn't even exist.

  • Name Nomad||

    *Watches video*

    Meh. Presidents are filmed 24/7, so all their mistakes are recorded. After saying "corpse man" he just continued on to avoid awkwardly going back. If I were filmed that often people would constantly notice... oh, he said it again a second time. Carry on!

  • Killazontherun||

    Ford hired Dennis Leary to voice over truck commercials and he can't enunciate the 'r' there properly.

    Twuck.

  • OC in DC||

    It's not that level of fuck up. It's spelled corpsman for the rating designation. Though NOBODY in the Navy or Marines actually would say that. You're either "rank title/last name" or "doc" or "needle bitch" or "pill pusher" depending on how formal it is and who's talking to you. The technical title is Hospital Corpsman or HM, it's Navy/Marine medic. So formally if he was a grunt, he'd just be "HM xxxx" or if he was an NCO he'd be "petty officer/chief xxx" nobody would fucking say corpsman. If they did want to designate his rating (job) they'd say HM or HM1 or whatever.

    So corpsman get's mangled all the time even in the military. It's also an inside joke pulled on medics that serve the USMC because so many people die.

  • Killazontherun||

    don't care

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Could have been worse. He could have talked about a brave "Boatswaine".

  • OC in DC||

    Funniest I've seen was a politico who kept saying Rear Admiral over and over again. Classic, and was an Admiral I worked for. I was trying to hold back my beer at that dinner.

  • ||

    It could have been "cockswaincoxswain."

  • OC in DC||

    Yeah that's the formal title, the military speciality is Botswaines Mate. Coxwain is only used if you're piloting a ship (more like speed yatch in most cases, but can be up to an aircraft carrier) and is over the top formal.

    Tossing formal titles at Navy people is picking a fight. Unless it's a heated argument, disciplanary action, it's just not fucking done and taken as a huge insult. I left as an E5 and even with officers as high as a three star Admiral we always just used last names. Rank and last name when people out of the command were there out of respect, but formal titles, fucking NEVER. It's beyond being an asshole. Between SERE training and my leaving the service, probably got called by a formal title maybe 10 times, if that.

  • OC in DC||

    Yeah that's the formal title, the military speciality is Botswaines Mate. Coxwain is only used if you're piloting a ship (more like speed yatch in most cases, but can be up to an aircraft carrier) and is over the top formal.

    Tossing formal titles at Navy people is picking a fight. Unless it's a heated argument, disciplanary action, it's just not fucking done and taken as a huge insult. I left as an E5 and even with officers as high as a three star Admiral we always just used last names. Rank and last name when people out of the command were there out of respect, but formal titles, fucking NEVER. It's beyond being an asshole. Between SERE training and my leaving the service, probably got called by a formal title maybe 10 times, if that.

  • Truculent Resistor||

    You know enough that I do believe you were a sailor, but I don't agree that corpsman are never called corpsman. We'd refer to a single corpsman as HM1 Door and write it HM1 W.T. Door, just as with any other rate. However, I'd tell some one to go see the corpsman if they were sick.

    A coxswain drives and is in charge of a small boat ("small boats" can be pretty effing big i.e. an 80ft LCM is still a small boat). A helmsman follows orders and steers a ship.

    I call BS on you as an E5 calling any officer just by there last name during normal business conversation. Now I was on first name basis with all E7-E9s. What confused me was all of them had the same first name - Chief.

    You are correct about the complete title, I was called Missile Technician First Class Resistor only during awards ceremonies.

  • OC in DC||

    I worked on an Admirals staff, so small group, just under 100, the vast majority were officers of the 0-5 and up level. As an E-5 I was the most junior guy there. So for shop talk, ranks flew out the the window. When you work in a shop with 2 0-6, 3 0-5, 1 0-4, and 2 e-5 that rank shit goes out the window fast.

    We'd say "go to medical" if someone was sick.

    I was technically an OS2, but I was only called that when people outside of the command were there. Granted, strike warfare operators and SAR operators might work under different rules, but it was last name basis, we didn't deal in ranks.

  • Xenocles||

    Indeed, on a submarine in a medical emergency the proper announcement includes the phrase "Corpsman lay [to location]."

  • Ted S.||

    So corpsman get's mangled

    "get's"??

  • ||

    Fair enough. Also, Bill Clinton said "nucular."

    I never thought I'd use the old "if Bush did this" argument, but what the hell, everything else in the country is getting more ridiculous by the day: People made fun of Bush if he pronounced the t in often. Obama tours 57 states, mangles names from Pakeestan to Eye-ran and recycles one-liners like Milton Berle, yet he's the cleanest, brightest, most articulate genius whose school records we've never seen.

    I don't hold slips made in the rough and tumble against him. But where's Jacob Weisberg's big book of Obamaisms?

  • Mickey Rat||

    It's almost as if you expect the media to be impartial and fair. How cutely naive.

  • OC in DC||

    To be fair, I was in the Navy, and most Navy people mangle that one off and on. We also usually use the slang "doc" or "needle bitch" when talking to them. But I've seen tons of people mangle that when reading it, people with 10 years or so in the service. So I can't hold that against him.

  • plu1959||

    "As always with Obama, you can’t find the answers just by going back to the fifies."

    "Fifies"?

  • Xenocles||

    Yeah, you know. The plural of "FIFY."

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What the what?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress

    Of course Barry knows more than I, being a Hah-vud man and all, but I find myself baffled at the necessity of saying that the US Congress is "democratically elected." Instances of election fraud and pre-17th Amendment notwithstanding, when has the Congress NOT been democratically elected?

  • OC in DC||

    It's bought out for the most part. Money talks and bullshit walks. I'm fine with that though. Democracy sucks, it impinges on personal and economic liberty. See the civil rights act, new deal, regulations.

    We'd do better with a dictatorship dedicated to economic liberty first, personal liberty second, and property rights third. The rest is all kinda "blah" issues.

  • Sevo||

    Dance, clown. You're amusing.

  • PantsFan||

    So the trolls are still with us?

  • A Serious Man||

    The Reason trolls were created by a madwoman. They rebelled. They evolved. Too look and feel human. There are many copies and they have a plan to ruin this forum.

    I'm curious as to what standard the people who run this site use to decide when to bust out the banhammer on a troll. I'm guessing we will find out soon enough.

  • ||

    Probably when they start spoofing regulars, calling them child molesters, sending the emails about how scared you are, etc.

  • Sevo||

    "I'm curious as to what standard the people who run this site use to decide when to bust out the banhammer on a troll. I'm guessing we will find out soon enough."

    Hardly worth banning such obvious strawmen. Leave it there as a target of derision.

  • PapayaSF||

    I don't mind the occasional troll comment, but I do object when they take over threads with endless posts. When it gets to that point (and OC in DC may be there already), I say bring the banhammer down.

  • Sevo||

    PapayaSF|4.8.12 @ 9:52PM|#
    "I don't mind the occasional troll comment, but I do object when they take over threads with endless posts."

    I'll take a 'depends' position.
    Vermin shit kept posting the same crap over and over. OC is posting obvious bait, but then posting 'aren't we friendly' crap to establish some sort of bona-fides.
    Amusing rather than maddening; sorry, OC you're still a twit regardless of your E5 rating.

  • tarran||

    His being military kind of explains his focus on punishing people by having the government stop paying them money.

    Unless he was a nuke who got E4 for going to Nuke school and then bumped up to E5 for reenlisting at prototype*, he probably spent years in the warm socialist arms of the Navy, where it's from each according to his ability to each according to his need all day.

    On the bizarre overpromotion of nukes, my LPO developed a medical condition that required immediately transferring him off the ship. No prob, we had a Nuke MM1 who was reporting aboard, I was told he would work for me once he got out of Reactor Training...

    The guy had never been on a ship... he had been kept at prototype to be an instructor after he completed his training, had been promoted to E5 for reenlisting early, then at the end of his time as an instructor got promoted to E6. And then they sent him out to sea.

    Nice guy, but totally inexperienced. And boy did he struggle.

    Contrast this to the time I had Boatswain's Mates working for me. I think my CPO had been in the Navy longer than I'd been alive...

  • A Serious Man||

    I agree that concern trolls are pretty low on the totem poll and when done as tone deaf and incompetently as OC can be somewhat amusing.

    I think surviving the infestation of rectal and White Indian has raised the H&R commentariat's troll tolerance level significantly. Keep calm and carry on.

  • tarran||

    This one might settle down, like Dan T did, before he went deranged a second time.

  • ||

    I remember the DanT infestations. I seem to remember one day where everyone was DanT for the day, if you get my drift.

  • SIV||

    DanT was harmless because there wasn't comment-threading.

  • deified||

    I wish they'd eliminate comment-threading and move to "numbered comments." Are you listening, Reason Magazine Internet Weblog??!?!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I know Tim's got his little theory, but all I see Obama doing is further alienating his swing voters. He's toast.

  • ||

    Alienating swing voters? Swing voters lap this shit up.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    ??? Not even Tim is making that argument. As Wesley Pruden said, "He was talking to his congregation and his choir".

  • PapayaSF||

    I don't think so. Swing voters went for Obama largely because he seemed smart and nice and blathered about "bipartisanship." Not many remain who believe all that. Plus, his base is dispirited because the economy sucks and Obama didn't go far enough to the left. How the guy polls as well as he does is beyond me.

  • Sevo||

    PapayaSF|4.8.12 @ 9:56PM|#
    "I don't think so. Swing voters went for Obama largely because he seemed smart and nice and blathered about "bipartisanship.""
    I kinda figured they went with Obama for the simple reason that he isn't Bush.
    Turns out he's worse.

  • West Texas||

    You forgot the white guilt angle. LOTS of normally right-of-center people voted for him - despite his obvious leftist politics - because they wouldn't have been able to live with themselves the next morning had they not.

    They're not going to make the same mistake again - they've been extricated from Grandpa's chains, so to speak.

  • ||

    YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

  • ||

    I thought you looked like you needed a shave.

  • PantsFan||

    I'll say it. Lou Ferigno is a LOSER!

  • ||

    inflexible, intellectually lazy, and tied to a vision of America the rest of the country stopped caring about decades ago.

    It's finally starting to show?

    I think I got deja vu, or something, when General Verelli started talking about how not having health care would infringe upon people's liberty.
    So other people should be forced to buy health insurance.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    RE the Time Magazine cover: The headline should be re-spelled as, "The Nu Nu Deal."

  • SIV||

    Fuck registration. I have no idea what my password is which means I'll have to change it every time I login.

    “Impeach Earl Warren” was a John Birch Society campaign. The intentional conflation of anti-collectivism and racism never stops.

  • ||

    even a representative of the ABA, which generally leans well to the left, has scathingly criticized obama for his comments about judicial activism in regards to this case.

    that's pretty telling, when one of the leading, and left-leaning organization of lawyers criticizes the president's legal analysis

  • A Serious Man||

    I am willing to call week 1 one of Reason registration a success simply because the weekend threads didn't devolve into a 1000+ comment clusterfuck.

  • PapayaSF||

    Indeed.

  • david||

    I agree

  • West Texas||

    The cartoon at the top of this post is the sine qua non of Obamacare support. The ends justify the means, motherfucker, and some people don't have "healthcare," so let's crack some constitutional eggs.

  • R C Dean||

    You could have had the same cartoon in 2010 about the people who passed and signed the law.

    "The future of ObamaCare now lies in the hands of 436 employees covered by the Federal health insurance plan."

    After all, they are the only people who will, in fact, be able to keep their current health insurance. Everybody else's insurance either has or will change due to the coverage mandates.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "As I argued a while back, that’s really all Obama needs to do in what will almost certainly be a low-turnout, low-enthusiasm election."

    Which, if true, Romney is the worst type of candidate the GOP could nominate, as winning the middle wil be less important than motivating a large chunk of the base to vote.

  • deified||

    That Obama is out of his depth just shows again that he’s everything Bill Clinton wasn’t: inflexible, intellectually lazy, and tied to a vision of America the rest of the country stopped caring about decades ago.

    [slow clap]

    As a former logic instructor, I must say that this sentence achieves the rare feat of "begging the question" (assuming what you need to prove) in at least three separate ways. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to find the offending segments and, for extra credit, to identify other (arguable) instances in the same passage.

  • deified||

    To the reader: please replace "ways" with "occasions."

    Also, I point out the fallacy only with sadness. I very much wish that Obama was the bumbling fool you had had him pegged for; I take the weight of the evidence to conclude that he is more likely a wily Machiavel.

  • Jerryskids||

    A wily Machiavel? A Machiavel is a stock character, a symbolic archetype of a wily, amoral schemer. A wily Machiavel would be truly Machiavellian. But Machiavelli was not Machiavellian.

    I think the better term would be "Chicago politician".

    And I am assuming everybody knows that Machiavelli's Discourses described a model government, a tri-partite Republic with checks and balances on the three branches of government designed to protect the general population from the rich and from the powerful and from the mob.

    Which was a rather silly idea for a government.

  • deified||

    To the reader: please replace "ways" with "occasions."

    Also, I point out the fallacy only with sadness. I very much wish that Obama was the bumbling fool you had had him pegged for; I take the weight of the evidence to conclude that he is more likely a wily Machiavel.

  • Gerrard||

    The issue fell flat on the newsstand, and the Prospect’s board of directors was apoplectic about the cover. Even if my colleagues and I were right, the publisher complained, the cover “wasn’t appropriate to the moment.”
    Click Here

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement