Lots Of Bills Have Lots Of Pages

October 29, 2009

House Minority Leader John Boehner is whining about the length of the latest healthcare reform bill. It’s too long, he says. I agree it’s long, but to assume that all bills that long must, by definition, be “bad,” is not logical.

The truth of the matter, as Slate explains, is that lots of bills are long. The length of many of them is because pork is thrown in, in order to encourage members to vote for it. “Omnibus spending bills,” which are nearly an annual ritual in Congress, typically number well over 1,000 pages.

Sorry Mr Boehner, but the length of this bill has nothing to do with whether or not it’s good or bad.

Concentrating on one aspect of this bill while ignoring the rest is hypertrivia. Opposing the bill because Democrats authored it, is partisanism. Whining about yet another version of a healthcare bill — which has been worked on in Congress in one way or another since January, with none of it going anywhere — is hyperreacting. Appealing to people’s fears of “bureaucracy” … which is not evidenced in the number of pages in the bill, especially if those pages are more Congressional pork than anything else … is emotivism. Let’s grow up, Mr Boehner, and stop being maturity-deprived.


Defending The Indefensible

October 26, 2009

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, R-MN, is a true Right-wing nutcase. She has made a number of extreme claims, all of which are not only false, but obviously false. She’s such a whacko, she makes guys like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh appear reasonable by comparison.

But when push comes to shove, no one on the Right will condemn her … not even when she has overtly and unapologetically lied. In fact, conservative columnist George Will recently penned an article that pretty much makes her appear a saint of the Right. Not only does he whitewash her lies, he actually defends them:

Some of her supposed excesses are, however, not merely defensible, they are admirable. For example, her June 9 statement on the House floor in which she spoke of “gangster government” has been viewed on the Internet about 2 million times.

This is the danger with any ideology: It forces people who know better, to defend the indefensible, in order to promote the ideology itself — because no loyal ideologue is capable of admitting his/her ideology has any fault, not even within any of its partisans.

So George Will … who knows better than to defend liars … winds up defending a liar and the lies she told. All because he cannot admit the possibility that another Rightist might occasionally be wrong about something. Yes, it’s whiney and juvenile, and a guy George Will’s age is far too old to have any excuse for being so childish … but he is.