Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Take a pill

Barack Obama says that "American-made motorcycles like Harleys don’t matter to John McCain."

Why, you ask?

Because he didn't support legislation requiring the government to buy American-made motorcycles. He actually thought that the government ought to buy motorcycles based on price and quality. Maybe that would be Harleys. Maybe not. He just wanted government to get the best deal for taxpayers' money.

So often we are faced with arguments that, if you don't support the idea that government should mandate a particular outcome, then you must oppose that outcome/ This reflects an historical move toward, as Hugh Heclo puts it in this marvelous essay Christianity and American Democracy, that the "one thing of supreme inportance in politics is government policy" and that democracy ought to entail "commitment to a never-ending policy agenda of social problem-solving."

But not everything that is potentially good should be mandated and not every good outcome is best acheived by some kind of fiat from above. It's not true that, if the government does it, it won't be done.

I took a few minutes this morning to surf around our local blogs and found an example close to home.

In a post largely dedicated to the idea that "Republicans are bad," Jay Bullock offers, as an example, the fact that conservative columnist Patrick McIlheran, following an accident in which someone was killed by a tire flying off a truck, was not convinced that more government inspections were essential. Jay's summary is that the "right" opposes "any requirements that corporations try not to, you know, kill people ...."

Really? I guess that politics must be very important to you if you think those who disagree with you want to let corporations kill people.; if you think that, in the absence of inspections, trucking companies are actually indifferent to whether tires fly off their vehicles, disrupting the movement of freight, bringing lawsuits, and killing people.

So John McCain hates Harleys. Patrick McIlheran wants people to die.


Anonymous said...

Just like Dems are against govenment mandated offshore drilling, so Dems must be for high gas prices, right??

Everyone is a victim of this kind of arguing, unfortunately. It is never constructive.

grumps said...

I don't believe McIlheran "wants people to die" but he has shown that he's indifferent to measures that might prevent them from being killed and from access to compensation for their relatives if they are.

joe stalin said...

I thought Obama was a "citizen of the world".
It's comical how libs try to play gotcha like 6 year olds.

Jay Bullock said...

In a post largely dedicated to the idea that "Republicans are bad," Jay Bullock offers . . .

Which is an interesting way of avoiding my central thesis: The Republicans have cultivated, over the last few decades and as the centerpiece of the current campaign, a bald-faced lie.

But whatever.

Anonymous said...

Funny, Obama thinks that the US should "Buy American" when it comes to motorcycles but doesn't think we should "Buy American" when it comes to oil.

Anonymous said...

@anon 1:43

Funny, McCain thinks that the US should "Buy American" when it comes to oil but doesn't think we should "Buy American" when it comes to motorcycles.

Dad29 said...

Kill people?

That's not the McIlheran I knew.

capper said...

McIlheran doesn't want to kill people. He just sees them as expendable, especially if one's bottom line is at risk.

joe stalin said...

17000 dead Americans per anum half of them BLACK/NEGROID/COLOURED/AFRICAN-AMERICAN or whatever term libs use currently hasn't made a dent in liberals love of "minorities".
Blacks killing blacks in America at a rate 10 times higher than any military losses is IGNORED.


We all know why.
Libs are racists/

Anonymous said...

Joe Stalin, you are my favorite right-wing troll- the borderline insane rants you post always bring a smile to my face.

I encourage you to get a blog of your own, I know I would read it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:19! You are now my hero! Not my Messiah, mind you, because that is for Obama!