Friday, October 13, 2017


Tweedy maybe leaned minimalist a little too much here, but they still got some funk on it.

•   It would be not only wonderful but also hilarious if the Harvey Weinstein controversy actually did put a crimp in powerful men using their clout to exploit women. I say hilarious because conservatives are betting they can turn it to their political advantage.They're currently using it to beat up on women as hypocrites because they didn't speak up sooner. Their attacks on Clinton for having accepted campaign donations from Weinstein because "everybody" knew about his crimes are already old news; now we have wingnuts doing the same witchfinder-general routine on actresses like Jane Fonda ("‘Found Out About Harvey About A Year Ago’ And Didn’t Say Anything" -- Daily Caller), and Meryl Streep ("Sophie’s choice was between her career and her conscience, and let’s just say she didn’t agonize over her pick" --  Kurt Schlichter). That the actresses who get the most heat are outspoken liberals is no accident; the whole wingnut play is that Hollywood is corrupt because it's lefty, and vice-versa, and this scandal rejuvenates all their old Hollyweird slurs; that's why you have guys like Jim Geraghty at National Review crying "Hollywood, you don’t get to lecture us about anything anymore" -- they have no interest in sparing women workplace indignities, they just want their ancient prejudices and those of their readers validated, and a source of opposition funding neutralized. The fact they can't admit, to their suckers or to themselves, is that it was wealth that insulated Weinstein, not political orthodoxy. That's the part that's most Trumpian about the whole affair -- not so much the simple, shameless hypocrisy of President Pussygrabber's fans decrying Weinstein as the blithe misdirection of outrage from the actual perps onto whomever one needs to smear. However, if the thing blows up like it seems it might, conservatives might find whirlwinds aren't so easily steered. I can understand why they think they're protected; they got their chief predator elected president, and another big one is making his comeback after just a few months offstage. But if their wall of white women voters shifts with this wind, it'll be something, especially since they won't notice (because they don't listen to them) until it's too late.

• As to Trump's gut-stabs to Obamacare, conservatives are of course thrilled. So far the most interesting reaction has been Peter Suderman's at Reason, which may serve as a template for conservatarians who'll need something to shout from the scaffold once Trump's yokels realize they've been had. Written apparently after the association health plan decision was announced but before the subsidies decision was, Suderman's post describes the political difficulty with undermining the ACA:
There is something clever, almost cunning, about Obamacare's policy scheme: It requires unequivocal political support from an administration in order to avoid accusations that the law is being undermined. It is a kind of joint political-policy trap, in which the only solution to the law's failings is to bail it out.
Insidious -- a policy that, like Social Security and Medicare, makes people angry at you if you "reform" it! All Trump's really trying to do, Suderman says, is offer people who've been forced to buy essential health benefit coverage even though they'll never get sick "less regulated, less expensive alternatives" that will cost them little and, if they get hit by a car, send them Mercurochrome and a bill. "The order is less a direct attack on Obamacare and more of an attempt to escape its failings," he says. "Yet the reaction from defenders of Obamacare has been to accuse the president of undermining the health law." By defenders he must mean the American College of Physicians and all the other experts I've seen who say this is an invitation to a tailspin. Suderman admits okay maybe that'll happen, but the important thing is, if it does it's not Trump's fault -- the thing is, we have to do something and anything we do kills it, so I guess the thing is doomed:
This would be true, however, of practically any effort to create more insurance options outside of its regulatory scheme. The law effectively requires total buy in, from market participants and from political overseers, in order to function. The result is situation in which the only way to avoid undermining the law is to prop it up. Obamacare is built to allow no alternative and no escape.
There was an alternative -- a repeal and replace plan, three crap versions of which Republicans threw in with a towel before running off to the woods. They weren't serious about killing Obamacare because they have constituents who would turn them out if they did so; Trump, senile and vicious, can imagine no such outcome for himself, and knows only that the black bastard can't get away with it. Enablers like Suderman have their own motivation -- something they call liberty, which always involves great sacrifice, in this case the sacrifice of even a hint of the decent coverage that Europeans take for granted. They better pray that the hint wasn't taken.

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