March 28, 2012

The NYT fails to engage with any of the most compelling arguments made against the healthcare mandate.

Here's the embarrassing editorial they printed, apparently trusting that readers would accept their characterization of what went on at the oral arguments yesterday, pack up a neat opinion that only activist judges would strike down this law, and move on to other articles... ooh, look! over there on the "most e-mailed" list! It's "The Chocolate Diet?" and "Forging Social Connections for Longer Life" and something about private schools and "The Brain on Love"... la la la... it's so nice to be a good person who cares about the right things and believes what the good people believe...

But who is the New York Times really talking to? I think it's Justice Kennedy, who, everybody who know anything knows, is the vote which, if you have it, you will be on the side that gets the majority in this case. So... Hey, Anthony Kennedy! Don't you see what all the good people whom you need to keep loving you are all going to believe? All those pesky arguments that you publicly puzzled over yesterday are as nothing to the elite class of Americans who internalize New York Times editorial opinion as if it were yummy chocolate that somehow also makes you lose weight.

42 comments:

Quayle said...

Sotomayor sat second chair for the SG.

That chair just happened to be on the dais.

AJ Lynch said...

"Activist judges"...hmm activist is almost never used to describe a conservative. Unless they connote activist in a negative sense.

prairie wind said...

Congress has indisputable authority to regulate national markets...

Except...hey, lookit that! We're disputing it!

Scott M said...

That is Congress’s job.

Grammatical point...should that be "Congress' job"? I don't claim to be smarter than a NYT editor. I just want to know the rule.

Did Congress have a rational basis for concluding that the economic effects of a broken health care system warranted a national solution? The answer is incontrovertibly yes.

What is the legal definition of "broken" and what's the limiting factor on how low the bar must be set to call something "broken"? Just this month, my very middle-class family used our middle of the road health insurance to perfectly acceptable effect. What's broken?

gerry said...

it's so nice to be a good person who cares about the right things and believes what the good people believe...

Perfect.

It's how Hitler's minions, Stalin's insiders, Mao's friends, and Pol Pot's pals all felt.

YoungHegelian said...

The NYT had already telegraphed it position via previous statements by Linda Greenhouse. That position is that it's simply ridiculous to believe that there are any constitutional issues at play with the mandate. Opposition to the mandate is driven by either stupidity or politics or both.

With such thoughts at the foundation of its editorial outlook, how could one expect the NYT to "engage" with the opposition?

FWIW, NPR seems to be stuck in the same rut as the NYT in its coverage.

purplepenquin said...

Here's the one-sided coverage Althouse has posted about the protests, apparently trusting that readers would accept her characterization of what went on at the Captiol over the last year, pack up a neat opinion that only greedy teachers and union bosses would want to recall Walker, and move on to other articles... ooh, look! over there a is picture of flowers and something about laptops being stolen... la la la... it's so nice to be a good person who cares about the right things and believes what the good people believe

Heh

Calypso Facto said...

Did Congress have a rational basis for concluding that the economic effects of a broken health care system warranted a national solution? The answer is incontrovertibly yes.

80% of Americans happy with the healthcare they have now = "incontrovertibly broken". Good thing the enlightened crowd at the NYT is clearing things up for us.

AprilApple said...

The NYT Fails.

Matthew said...

"Grammatical point...should that be "Congress' job"? I don't claim to be smarter than a NYT editor. I just want to know the rule."

-- Per AP Style, yes (the only exception I know of is "St. James's Palace); NYT may use a different style though. (Other examples: Hercules' labors, Achilles' heal, Moses' law).

AprilApple said...

The democrat party vilifies and destroys private free market commerce so that it can take it over. We will all pay more and the service will suck.

rhhardin said...

all the good people whom you need to keep loving you

Whom, because it's the subject of a non-finite verb.

Joe Schmoe said...

Hm. To me, the rationale for the editorial seems to boil down to 'because we said so.'

The court has no authority under the Constitution to judge the merits or effectiveness of the health care law.

They do have the authority and the obligation to unravel the intent of the bill, as it is quite incoherent in its current incarnation. Obviously its authors were aware of the Constitutional tightrope they were walking.

Rob said...

And EVERY market is a national market, of course.

rcommal said...

Scott M: I think the AP stylebook still currently says NOT to use the second "s," but, frankly, I don't feel like going to check.

In any case, the NYT has its own style guide (as many places do) and it differs in some respect form AP's (or at least it used to). My copy of it is very old, at this point, and I don't feel like digging it out and checking it either. : )

---

As for the editorial:

**"Indisputable"?** **"Incontrovertibly"?**

It's to laugh. How very unserious of them.

drozz said...

kennedy did not buy that the mandate was necessary AND proper (even carvin and clement stated the necessary part was present). he did not buy that the market itself was unique, because using the same standard all other markets are unique.

he also stated that he was setting the bar very high for the mandate to pass in the begininning of the SG's testimony.

i just don't think kennedy got the answers he was looking for. i think he wants to uphold, but can't find a way.

Scott M said...

but, frankly, I don't feel like going to check.

...slacker.

traditionalguy said...

The NYT is preparing the politics of a surge to defend Dear Leader from rabid attacks by ultra right wing Justices who bitterly defeat Sweet Obama's plans to give us all free health care.

Remember it's those same jerks again that stole AlGore's election.

Sonia Sotomayor is not that easily fooled. She may be that terrible Latino Justice who dare to be a fair person that wants to help the oppressed, but she is also wise enough to see that there will be no way the SCOTUS can continue to have a role once Dear Leader and his Czars have no limitations on their Socialism Gone Wild game.

Matthew said...

"In ruling on the constitutionality of requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance, the Supreme Court faces a central test: whether it will recognize limits on its own authority to overturn well-founded acts of Congress."

-- That's... not what the test is. At all.

How did they ignore the skepticism from the other, non-conservative justices (like Kennedy, when he does vote their way!)

I think the NYT is the only place I've read that says Verilli, or however it is spelled, was persuasive yesterday. Other terms I've heard used -- which may be what the NYT is paraphrasing -- was "choked," a "train wreck" and "spectacular flameout." I can see how the NYT might get persuasive from that. Oh, wait.

"Congress has indisputable authority to regulate national markets and provide for the general welfare through its broad power to tax."

-- Didn't the NYT hear yesterday that it is a penalty, not a tax (except when it is?) Don't they realize whether it is a tax is a key part of the case?

"Those critics concede that the mandate would be constitutional if it went into effect at the moment an individual actually needed health care."

-- It's almost like laws need to apply to actions, not inactions. Laws that ask you not to do things have a much lower bar to clear than laws that compel you. Even speeding laws and the such are worded as "you cannot do these things."

"Yet, as Justice Stephen Breyer remarked about the points made by a lawyer for the opponents: “All that sounds like you’re debating the merits of the bill.”"

-- That's what Sotomayor (or was it Kagan?) was doing when talking about a kid with an allergic reaction dying because hospitals would withhold care. Surely, the NYT didn't miss that, right?

"If the Supreme Court hews to established law, the only question it must answer in this case is modest: Did Congress have a rational basis for concluding that the economic effects of a broken health care system warranted a national solution?"

-- A rational basis is not required for laws. This is a terrible piece of garbage.

Tank said...

Did Congress have a rational basis for concluding that the economic effects of a broken health care system warranted a national solution? The answer is incontrovertibly yes.

Rational basis test = wrong test.

This ignores completely the threshold question of whether Congress has the authority to act at all. The fact that this is debatable surely has the drafters of the Constitution spinning in their graves.

Kansas City said...

It is embarassing in the sense of ignoring/avoiding virtually all legal issues or analysis (and putting forth the wrong "rational basis" legal standard); however, I assume they would say that they are arguing policy, not law. As to any effect on Kennedy, if that shabbily a written editorial could have any effect on him as a judge, then he is not a judge who is going to find the law unconstitutional. It is weird that one man again decides the law for all of us, but that is what politics have done to our Supreme Court. I am especially peeved at the liberal four justices obviously not being open to the other side of the argument and essentially functioning as democratic party/big government functionaries; however, I suppose liberals might see the four conservatives in a similar light. At least the conservatives engage in an intelligent discussion of the issues and give the other side a chance to have their say in response to important questions.

Bryan C said...

"Opposition to the mandate is driven by either stupidity or politics or both."

That's the editorial philosophy of the NYT on every issue: We're good friends with smart people who know what's best for you. So stay where you're put and do what you're told, and we'll all get along just fine.

David said...

"Indisputable."

So shut up all you flyovers, NASCARs, fat people, religious nut cases, right wing law professors and other bigots. Just shut up.

Ann Althouse said...

""Activist judges"...hmm activist is almost never used to describe a conservative. Unless they connote activist in a negative sense."

You need to read up on Lochner, the case the SG cited yesterday when he was cornered. Conservatives most certainly were the activists in the days before the Warren Court.

Nathan Alexander said...

My prediction:
7-2 to overturn.
Kagan and Sotomayor dissenting.

Nathan Alexander said...

re: conservative "activist judges".

This is just another attempt by liberals to use the watering down of language to conceal significant differences.

Liberal hypocrisy.

Rob said...

BTW, not only is every market "national", but the general welfare clause allows congress to pass any law about anything. Unless the New York Times is against the law. Then, the law is clearly unconstitutional.

There is everything you need to know about constitutional analysis from the New York Times editorial page. Seriously.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Strunk and White, to me the be-all and end-all of style, says "Congress's" is correct. They permit the terminal apostrophe for ancient Latin and Greek names.

bagoh20 said...

I don't understand some of the "facts" thrown around on this subject. They generally state insurnace premiums much higher than I or the people I know pay, and I have a cadillac plan that I really can't imagine being any better. It covers everything very low copays, and If I need to, I can call and see my doctor today, get an MRI in week or two, get a blood test today.

I know people who make at or near minimum wage who have insurance and pay for part of it. I just don't see the disaster that necessitates such a radical approach.

Actually, I think I do. The disaster is the cost of the health plans of the unionized public employees that are insured for life without them contributing much if anything to it. That's the employer that is going broke and looking for someone else to pitch in. They just happen to have friends in high places.

Scott M said...

Liberal hypocrisy.

Less is more. Why use two words to describe the same thing?

rhhardin said...

It's a lifestyle editorial.

AJ Lynch said...

Warren Court? I have barely heard of that Althouse so I must be way younger than you :)

EDH said...

Congress has indisputable authority to regulate national markets and provide for the general welfare through its broad power to tax. Nothing about the mandate falls outside those clearly delineated powers.?

What is it about the words "interstate commerce" and "promote" that has the NYT treating them like a vampire would garlic?

Rare video from inside the NYT editorial board meeting.

Quaestor said...

The editorial staff at the NYT must be a collection of idiots. The whole thrust of their comments is just gobsmackingly stupid... Please forgive my hyperventilation, but this editorial in what purports to be the greatest newspaper in America won't grade higher than a C in any journalism school in the country.

The use of the terms like "indisputable" and "incontrovertibly" don't belong anywhere in a newspaper published in a democracy, words like that are only fit for overt propaganda rags published for the lower tiers of a autocratic society. Has the Times become the reincarnation of the Völkischer Beobachter? Don't they teach rhetoric anymore? I can hardly believe the editors of the NYT even know that those words mean given the context in which they've used them. Have the standards of education in this country fallen that low? Nothing is indisbutable. Nothing is incontrovertible. Nothing. Not even the laws of Nature. Are we talking about dogma here, is that it? Is the Times trying to put Obamacare on the level of dogma so as to isolate it from doubt and reform and the likely total nullification that's likely to come one way or the other? If that's what they're trying to do I got some news for those newspaper editors, even dogma is disputable and controvertible. The Scholastics spent 500 years disputing dogma and never settled anything.

edutcher said...

Sounds a little like a lot of B movie masterminds of the 40s and 50s, as they prepare to throw The Switch, screaming, "This is all your doing. You've ruined all my wonderful plans", at the good guy(s).

I'm sure Pinch, like Dr Evil, sees himself as a benevolent Moriarty or Blofeld.

AJ Lynch said...

"Activist judges"...hmm activist is almost never used to describe a conservative. Unless they connote activist in a negative sense.

Words mean what they want them to mean until they want them to mean something else.

(whiskey tango ...?)

dbp said...

"Is the Times trying to put Obamacare on the level of dogma so as to isolate it from doubt and reform and the likely total nullification that's likely to come one way or the other?"

I don't know, maybe this is what they are doing. An easier explanation is that they are surrounded by people who believe exactly the same things and they just cannot conceive the possibility that good intelligent people could have a differing opinion.

They are immersed in group-think and have no idea how ridiculous they look to outsiders.

Joe Schmoe said...

Is the Times trying to put Obamacare on the level of dogma

I think that's the most incontrovertible thing written in this whole thread.

cubanbob said...

The NYT is a house organ of the democratic party that caters to the democratic elite. Skip over the "news" content and the editorial section and the rest of the inherently non political stuff is pretty good, just like Soviet Life was back in the day.

Publius the Clown said...

"The insurance mandate is nothing like requiring people to buy broccoli. . . . Congress has no interest in requiring broccoli purchases because the failure to buy broccoli does not push that cost onto others in the system."

Ah, I must have overlooked the Constitution's "power-to-require-purchases-if-the-alternative-is-cost-shifting" clause.

Thanks for enlightening me, NY Times!

Christopher in MA said...

Unnecessary repetition. Embarrasing and New York Times are a redundancy.

Like government school teachers and pedophiles.

Nathan Alexander said...

Remember when Kennedy was one of the evil, reliably ultra-right wing nutjob Supreme Court Justices, and Justice O'Connor was the RINO squish swing vote who cared too much what liberals thought of her?

Good times, good times.

If/when Obama loses, Breyer and Ginsburg aren't going to be able to resign in time to appoint new reliably-liberal Justices. The GOP could easily filibuster until the new President is sworn in.

Be prepared for the whiplash that will ensue when the NYT calls the filibuster anti-American and treasonous when used by the GOP minority to block lame-duck legislation and appointments, but then suddenly becomes the Savior of Freedom, Democracy, and the American Way when used 1 month later by the new Democratic Senate Minority to block Romney's appointments.

Henry said...

ALL New York Times editorials are embarrassing.

Putting myself in Justice Kennedy's shoes, I can't imagine being targeted by one. It would be like being targeted by a third-rate grifter with horrible flatulence.