Monday, November 9, 2009

Tom Maguire, upside Ezra Klein's head

"I resist the implicit notion that from a Federal perspective all your income are belong to us," Maguire says, after Ezra plays the class-warfare card on the Stupak Amendment. What bugs me more about Klein's post:
  • Who appointed Ezra guardian of the interests of the poor? If I don't like Ross Douthat claiming to speak on behalf of the working class, why should I defer to Ezra Klein? (In his defense, at least Ezra went to state schools, even if they were UC-Santa Cruz and UCLA.)
  • Since when is free abortion a "benefit" the lack of which constitutes deprivation? Isn't it condescending to suppose that poor women need government-funded abortion? Most abortion, after all, is just after-the-fact contraception. Does Ezra Klein suppose that poor women are incapable of following a contraceptive regimen as simple as "Keep Your Britches On"?
Really, unless you have some ideological investment in "sexual liberation" -- and fear that poverty might prevent some people from participating fully in the erotic carnival of pleasure -- what's up with this insistence about using taxpayer dollars to supply poor women with condoms, Norplant, abortions, etc.?

Excuse me for thinking the "soft bigotry of low expectations" might be implicated in such an attitude, although I do not mean to accuse Ezra of mala fides. I'm just sort of thinking out loud about the problems of "The Culture of Poverty," as discussed in the Moynihan Report. No time for an in-depth discourse on this controversial topic, but it seems to me that there is a self-fulfilling prophecy factor in this evident attitude among our policy elite that the poor are incapable of such basic virtues as chastity.

Returning more specifically to the matter at hand -- the $250 billion "subsidy" of tax-exemption for employer-provided health insurance that Klein targets -- the history of that policy goes back to FDR and WWII. It demonstrates how, once such policies are implemented, engrain themselves in the political system and develop constituencies, they become nearly impossible to repeal, even if the policies are arguably harmful. Employer-provided health-care as a middle-class entitlement certainly fits that description. And yet Klein is certainly not arguing against entitlements, is he?


  1. One would think that Ezra, ears still wet with amneotic fluid, might treat the issue of abortion with a more delicate hand.

  2. I wish someone would ask the Dems what they will seek next [for the downtrodden masses]after they secure universal healthcare[aka healthcare reform].

    Or could this be it? The last of the liberal, wealth re-distribution schemes? Yeah right.

  3. Are you being sarcastic? Of course "sexual liberation" is a core plank of the Democrats. Their image as the "Free Love" party is a major part of their appeal among young affluent whites, much moreso than altrustic appeals to "social justice".

    Democrats are all about allowing people to do whatever they want without suffering the consequences. With abortion, it's not just about casual sex but casual sex without the responsibility of using proper contraceptives. Most affluent young white women probably won't ever have an abortion, but they like to keep that option open. Hence, "pro-choice".

    Think about it. In a secular nihilistic selfish world, how many people wouldn't want to have the "choice" to kill another person if that person became a major inconvenience? In this world, who wouldn't want the "right to choose" to kill your neighbor if he plays his music too loud?

    Just to be clear, I don't want to kill my neighbor. I just want to have the choice. I'm pro-choice. And if you disagree, you're just trying to oppress me with a lifetime of noise pollution, you anti-choice bastard.