Tuesday, January 12, 2010


In Defense of Harry Reid and Jonathan Gruber

C'mon kids, what Harry Reid said was not only not racist, but it was arguably true. If using that particular word makes him a racist, someone needs to tell these people to hurry up and change their name before getting booted out of polite society.

It's also absurd for radio talk show hosts to say that there is a double standard with Trent Lott. Now I've defended Lott in the past for this (I can't remember where), because duh it was a guy's 100th birthday party and he was a politician throwing out a generic slap on the back. It wouldn't surprise me if Lott didn't even think about what he was saying. But if you actually want to parse the words, then obviously Lott's statement was more racist than Harry Reid's.

This should go without saying, but here goes: Of COURSE if a Republican or conservative pundit had been caught saying what Reid did, his career would be finished. But that doesn't mean it's OK to engage in tit-for-tat witch hunts. If the pundits gave Reid a pass on this like George Will is doing, they would have a lot more credibility the next time a conservative says something "awkward" but truthful. Now they are just setting themselves up for a bigger blow up the next time a Republican says something "insensitive."

As far as Gruber: I have dealt with too many "refutations" of my arguments on oil markets and climate change that simply refer to my position with a company that receives industry funding, in order for me to get worked up about this. I admit to being very surprised by the amount of funding Gruber got, but let me put it this way: Are we saying the government and media couldn't have found someone to defend health care "reform" who was not getting money for it?

I would much rather focus on the flaws in Gruber's testimony and analysis, rather than his funding.

In general, on both issues: The only way to end witch hunts is to stop burning the "other side"'s witches.

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