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May 10, 2010


First Brendan wanted to stifle the expression of "dishonest elites." Now he wants to do the same to ordinary citizens who write a letter to the editor. Brendan, as you slide down that slippery slope, guess what's waiting for you at the bottom.

That Health Bill letter asserts that "The law states if an Independent Medicare Advisory Board's decision is contested by Congress, members would need three-fifths of members of the House and Senate to challenge a decision of the board."

As far as I know, this is correct. This Board would decide the circumstances under which coverage should or should not be provided.

The letter writer calls the Board a "death panel." I think that's a tendentious name. Every insurance plan needs a mechanism to decide what is covered and what isn't.

However, a label I don't like isn't the same thing as a falsehood.

I guess Brendan's phrase "hack gap" means that conservatives lie more than liberals. IMHO all politicians lie and spin so much that it's hard to say which side is more unreliable.

And, this is nothing new. The joke with punch line "His lips are moving" was applied to politicians at least as early as 1956. http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/how_can_you_tell_when_a_politician_is_lying_his_lips_are_moving/

It might be interesting to study whether politicians lie more today than they did in the past. My impression is that they do lie and spin more today, but I have no idea how one could go about testing this impression,

Rob, are you implying that newspapers in their "letters to the editor" section are obligated to print ALL letters they receive from "ordinary citizens", no matter the actual content of the letter?

Certainly not, Daniel, but I think they should permit a broad range of opinion. If Brendan believes the IMAC will not make decisions that have life and death consequences, he should write his own letter to the editor explaining why. Better to contribute to the marketplace of ideas than to restrict it to only those ideas with which Brendan agrees.

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