Friday, June 26, 2009

Exceptionally Brazen Sophistry

I think we're writing and reading total crap. Case in point: Medical reform. I was reading a conservative "news article" on this today at the National Review entitled Obama's Dirty Little Secret. At the heart and soul of the arguments expressed is the idea that private health insurance will be priced out of the market and we'll wind up with ObamaCare as the only option. The research for these claims is brought to you in part by the Lewin Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Health Group. That's right we get research about how bad it would be to change the private health care system from the private health care system. (I am staunchly resisting the temptation to make an analogy here . . . staunchly . . . and I might add, doing so with aplomb, decorum, and no small amount of class).

The really fascinating thing is that the article has a lot of .50 words. The phrase "exceptionally brazen sophistry"(1) is not something you hear on the street corner every day. This is clearly targeted at people who are smarter than the average bear--but it's incredibly easy to pull apart and dismiss. So why is a reasonably smart person trying to talk to reasonably smart people using "exceptionally brazen sophistry" of his own? I think it's a plot to lend relevance to Woody Allen movies and possibly high school literature like Catch 22.

Don't get me wrong, the National Review doesn't corner the market on ideological drivel. I get a regular helping from two facebook friends straight from the Huffington Post. I'd like to have news that is free of perspective thanks. I can form my own stinking opinions about who to vote for, I already know Glenn Beck is the most funny when he's trying to be deadly serious and frankly your attempt to explain it to me ruins the ride. I know I'm far from the first to feel this way--so where do I go for that sort of thing? Where do I get news sans commentary? Where do I get news about the system instead of from the system? Is there not a free market for that?

(1) As an aside, exceptionally brazen sophistry sounds like the height of stupidity. A subtle deception in argument that is in your face at the same time? Hmm subtle yet bold--sounds like we're describing a wine, possibly one that comes out of a box. How exactly does that work in argumentation? Well--I think we have two great examples here. Obama's claims about being able to keep your private insurer and this article's debunking of those claims as supported by private insurers.