Thornton Holding Court.jpg

Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

Asymetric Warfare: Conservative and Liberal Info Bubbles Compared

Did Warren Buffet say Obamacare has got to go? Within the conservative information bubble the answer is, "Yes, he did." Those folks who pay attention to corrections might add, "Well, yes, but he didn't say it recently, even though some reports made it sound like he did." Did he say it recently? No, that was a lie. Did he say it at all? No. The four year old quotation was not about Obamacare. Just another day within the conservative info bubble, where even the corrections are still 100% false.  

The perfect comparison would be to liberals correcting press accounts. I don't have that handy. Instead, here's Peter Orszag*, Health-Care Wonk in Chief at the WH during the writing of the ACA,  eviscerating the analytical methods used by both CMS and the Kaiser Family Foundation in attributing a decline in the health care inflation to the effects of the Great Recession. In thinking about this remember:

  • CMS is the government. It's leaders are administration officials appointed by Obama. 
  • The Kaiser Family Foundation has been instrumental in the fight for the ACA and improved access to health care generally. 
  • The conclusion of both groups--that the "explosion" of health care costs has dramatically slowed since the passage of the ACA--is, on its face, fantastic news for Orzag and Obamacare.
  • The disagreement comes over the nuanced question of why health care cost growth has slowed.

Now, imagine all the ways this couldn't happen on the other side of the asile:

The administration would not let CMS release the report without edits. W and his cronies spent an enormous amount of time changing the findings of scientists and professionials. A "conservative" think tank would design the report to give Obamacare credit for every single positive development in the world of health care. Here's a great example of how conservative "think" tanks operate from Brad DeLong:  No. Nothing Coming Out of the American Enterprise Institute Should Be Trusted Before It Is Carefully Vetted and Verified. Why Do You Ask?

On the press side: a former administration official could just pretend that the reports did not contain the unflattering information. Just quote the bottom line and deny the nuance. Or claim the nuance is a lie. The very last thing a Republican would do would be to lay out a careful argument, complete with academic citatations, for why he disagreed with the reports. But that's what Orszag did.

Switching to the budget battle, here's liberal Matt Yglesias, laying into the way Obama screwed up massively by negotiating over the debt ceiling the last time GOP psychos took a hostage. 


*Does he get any work done at Citibank? He seems to put a lot of effort into these columns in Bloomberg! 

I Feel Dizzy; What is going on?

This is how a party dies