Instapundit: Two Cheers for "Irish Democracy" on Obamacare and Pot

Glenn Reynolds writes in USA Today about two developments that fall under the heading of "Irish Democracy," or "the silent, dogged resistance, withdrawal, and truculence of millions of ordinary people" (in the words of James Scott).

When it comes to Obamacare, the Instapundit notes, the program has signed less than half the number it needs by March 31. Worse still, only about 15 percent of the expected number of uninsured people have signed up.

If the program fails, it won't be because Republicans stopped it, despite all the House votes and defunding efforts. It will be because millions of Americans' passive resistance brought it to its knees. Irish Democracy, indeed....

Meanwhile, on the marijuana front, the people of states like Colorado are engaging in an odd, 21st century variety of nullification. Unlike the 19th century John Calhoun version, state laws legalizing marijuana don't purport to neutralize the still-extant federal laws banning cannabis. But the state, and millions of Coloradans, are simply ignoring the federal law and, in essence, daring the feds to do something about it.

Read the whole thing here.

And before anyone gets their, er, Irish up at the invocation of an ethnically charged term such as "Irish Democracy," let me point to the oppressively large presence at Reason of lads and lasses with Irish surnames, starting with yours truly.

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  • kinnath||

    kinnath approves of Irish Democracy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't understand what's going on in that picture. I mean, the drinking and drab clothes obviously mean they're from the Land of Ire, but is that king of the leprechauns?

  • guy in the back row||

    It's from Darby O'Gill and the Little People. A kid's movie from Disney, but with amazing forced perspective shots.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Idiots. Why didn't they just CGI it?

  • Robert||

    I don't think most of it is forced perspective, but old-fashioned matting. I used to look for matte lines in movies, and was amazed that I could hardly ever see them, but that's probably because my hands are so unsteady, I project that inability on everyone else. I was watching "Patton" on TV once at someone's house and exclaimed at a scene where a vehicle was blown into the air by an explosion, "How do they do that?!" He said with a little smile, "That's matting," like it was routine to him, but that's because he was a fine painter.

  • Robert||

    See, there's 2 types of people in the audience: the ones who go along pretending for the moment that it's real, and the ones like me who are impressed because we don't. Both are pleased when it's done well.

  • Robert||

    The trouble with actual forced perspective shots is getting enough depth of focus. Unless you can fuzz the whole thing convincingly with an intermediate focus, if you were to line up the scene for as much size disparity as in the above shot, the sharpness of one figure would contrast too much with that of the other.

  • BakedPenguin||

    If you haven't already, you might look into the extras from Lord of the Rings. They discuss a lot of the forced perspective shots in that movie.

  • Zeb||

    According to Wikipedia anyway, the movie did use a lot of forced perspective.

  • Tonio||

    Good one, Fist.

  • mr simple||

    So you think that just because you're of Irish descent you can make any jokes you want? Self-racist!

    "Don't you see what Whatley is after? Total joke-telling immunity! He's already got the big two religions covered. If he ever gets Polish citizenship, there'll be no stopping him."

  • AlmightyJB||

    Everyones a mutt anyways.

  • Rich||

    But the state, and millions of Coloradans, are simply ignoring the federal law and, in essence, daring the feds to do something about it.

    Double Dog Daring!

  • Hyperion||

    Alright, I'm done with protocol.

    I TRIPLE DOG DARE the feds to do something about it!

    Sorry, CO and WA citizens. But if we have to sacrifice a few of ya'll for the cause of liberty, don't worry, we'll make commemorative statues of you in Libertopia.

  • Patty O'Furniture||

    HEY!!

  • db||

    "Surely we count on it, ma'am, but it's just that the last three years, ya give us a patata."

  • Tonio||

    And you have the classic Irishman's dilemma - eat it now or drink it later.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Not really a dilemma. Drink it!

  • The Last American Hero||

    ...and yet despite some nice words last week, the Lightworker's minions in the Justice Dept and the DEA haven't changed their policies one bit.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm Irish! My name ends in "mic"!

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Irish Democracy

    AKA Men Going Their Own Way: MGTOW

  • John||

    The McCardle piece Reynolds links makes me wonder if she really is that naive or has turned into a comedy act. In it she is amazed to find out that a lot of people who didn't have health insurance didn't have it by choice and don't want it now.

    Does she just not get out very much?

  • John Thacker||

    Please remember that she's attempting to write for an audience and hopes to actually persuade people. There are a lot of people who assume different, and she's phrasing things so as to attempt to make people keep an open mind, rather than just calling them stupid.

    Considering that she recently won a debate in the Upper West Side about Obamacare failing (as mentioned in the previous article), I think her tactic is warranted.

  • John||

    I forget she has to write down to her idiot readers. If a year ago, anyone had tried to explain that people can and often do rationally chose not to have insurance, they would have been written off as a nut.

    My issue with McArdle is that I have a suspicion she would have been with the mob on that issue.

  • Sevo||

    ..."If a year ago, anyone had tried to explain that people can and often do rationally chose not to have insurance, they would have been written off as a nut."...
    As we all were and the proggies still don't get it.

  • John||

    All it took was a bit of game theory and economic reasoning and it was pretty clear that most of the uninsured were making the rational choice not to be. But that sort of rational thinking is well beyond any progressive and sadly McArdle a good amount of the time.

  • John Thacker||

    But that sort of rational thinking is well beyond any progressive and sadly McArdle a good amount of the time.

    Also sadly beyond you a good amount of the time. But we all try our best.

  • John||

    It wasn't this time. And that is the issue at hand. Beyond that, it is beyond McCardle, one of the biggest flacks for TARP in the major media, a hell of a lot more than it is ever beyond me.

  • John Thacker||

    My issue with McArdle is that I have a suspicion she would have been with the mob on that issue.

    Bullshit. Because I read what she wrote at the time. She listed it as one of the (many) reasons that she opposed the law.

  • John||

    I never read that. I am not calling you a liar John. But please give me a link to where McArdle ever said that most of or even a good number of the uninsured rationally chose to not have insurance and won't buy it under Obamacare.

    I read her too and read her then. I can't recall her saying anything like that. But if I am wrong, so me where she did and I will concede the point.

  • Malkavian||

    That midget is wearing a crown. So it's two cheers for Constitutional Monarchy at best.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I think it's Pappy O'Smurf.

  • Tonio||

    Well, more like fairy tale monarchy.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Oh, JFK then!

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Are you part of the McGillespies or something?

  • Jordan||

    The O'Gillespies.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If the program fails, it won't be because Republicans stopped it, despite all the House votes and defunding efforts. It will be because millions of Americans' passive resistance brought it to its knees."

    That isn't "passive resistance".

    Representative democracy is "passive"--other people making choices for you.

    Market forces are people actively making choices for themselves.

    The American people are actively rejecting ObamaCare in the most fundamental way possible.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Do you really have nothing better to say? Do you not understand what is meant by "passive resistance" as that phrase is used historically?

    Here, Ken, the dictionary is free on the internet now, just so you know:

    passive resistance
    n.
    Resistance by nonviolent methods to a government, an occupying power, or specific laws, as refusing to comply, demonstrating in protest, or fasting.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Are you under the impression anyone has been arguing for violence to get rid of ObamaCare?

    Is it a pet peeve of mine? Hell yeah! And it's a point I'd like more people to emphasize...

    Markets are more democratic than representative democracy. Because we get to represent ourselves in markets, we get to actively pursue our own interests with our participation.

    This is in contrast to elections. Voting for someone else to make your choices for you--by way of comparison--is not active participation in anything.

    This is an example of Americans actively rejecting ObamaCare. Justifying what Americans are doing as passive resistance suggests that active resistance entails violence--and that our participation in markets is somehow less "active" than participating in elections.

    I'd like to debunk that in people's heads--so don't expect me to apologize for emphasizing the point.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    you're an idiot who doesn't know the definition of words.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You don't seem to understand that one of the biggest problems in this country is that so many Americans think of market participation as passive, somehow, and they think of election participation as active.

    When we get their heads screwed on straight, that won't be a problem anymore.

    P.S. Do you really think of "active" resistance to ObamaCare as being about violence--like for reals?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I know what words mean and I even gave you the dictionary definition. You're basically saying everything someone chooses to do or not to do is "active". First of all, that's wrong, and second of all, the term "passive resistance" (AS IN THE DEFINITION I GAVE YOU) means something when used as it was in context and throughout history.

  • Zeb||

    I think "passive resistance" is a fair description of people who resist the law by doing nothing. Which is what the people who continue to be uninsured by choice are doing. If you don't consider that passive, I'd like to know what you do.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't see what these people are doing as doing nothing, or, rather, as Bon Scott once said, "Doing nothing means a lot to me".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aLnfglKnis

    That's one of the other great things about markets. You don't have to participate if you don't want to.

    But I don't know if that's really "doing nothing"; by not participating in a market, you can have a profound impact on what that market is doing.

    That seems like another reason why market participation (or the refusal to participate) isn't passive.

  • goneGalt||

    That seems like another reason why market participation (or the refusal to participate) isn't passive.

    Uhhh... Isn't that how we got into this mess?

    *Runs away*

  • goneGalt||

    Referring, of course to the pro Obamacare argument of not buying insurance as "activity".

  • Ken Shultz||

    Refusing to participate is something people should, generally, be allowed to do.

    I can only think of a few exceptions, and they mostly involve criminal justice, like showing up to serve a sentence or being called to trial as a witness.

    Even then, people have a right to remain silent so as not to incriminate themselves.

  • Free Society||

    And before anyone gets their, er, Irish up at the invocation of an ethnically charged term such as "Irish Democracy," let me point to the oppressively large presence at Reason of lads and lasses with Irish surnames, starting with yours truly.

    Nigger Jim: "That's our word!"

    Huckleberry: "Um, N-Word Jim, could you please pass the oar?"

    Nigger Jim: "Thank you."

  • WTF||

    Paddy please!

  • Brett L||

    My question is, are Paddy Wagons so named for the drivers or the passengers?

  • Zeb||

    The drivers, I think.

  • Free Society||

    In Boston maybe

  • ||

    in Boston it's for both

  • Robert||

    How about Irish truth? Bob Wilson said if you ever get lost in Ireland and stop to ask directions, don't, because if the one you ask doesn't know, s/he'll give you an Irish truth.

  • ||

    *points in the direction you're already going* 'STRAIGHT AHEAD!'

  • Hyperion||

    What? There are dirty MICs on this forum? Next thing I know, I'll be finding out that there are other dirty fureners around here. I hate all of em, especially Canucks. This is a MURIKAN board, you dirty furen lover types, M-U-R-I-K-A-N, for MURIKANS only!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    There's even one guy who goes by just plain "Irish". And I myself am descended largely from French/Irish Canadian stock. We're everywhere.

  • Hyperion||

    I used to admit that I am from Welsh descent. But then people started asking me about my goats...

  • Hyperion||

    from Welsh descent

    OF

    And I don't own any goats, I swear it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I wasn't thinking about goats, I was thinking your handle should be 'Hypryn'

  • Brett L||

    Still too many vowels.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, take out that first 'y'.

  • Zeb||

    y is a vowel, as is w. Hupyruwn. I think that's how you'd spell it.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

  • prolefeed||

    But the state, and millions of Coloradans, are simply ignoring the federal law and, in essence, daring the feds to do something about it.

    Technically, they're not ignoring federal law, they're just asserting that the state isn't gonna enforce those laws for the feds. And they're not daring the feds to do something, they're fervently hoping the feds decide to back off and leave them alone.

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