Third Party Nihilism: The Arguments Can Always Get Worse!

To its credit, the occasional inexplicable book-plugging interview aside Salon no longer promotes Camille Paglia. Alas, it is now fairly regularly publishing Matt Stoller, who is sort of Paglia but 1)with fewer references to Madonna and uses of the word “Dionysian,” and 2)less coherent. His latest ridiculous argument in favor of throwing the election to Romney has all of the same transparent defects as his previous ones, the most notable being a lack of an argument for how throwing the election to someone who is far worse than Obama on most things and better on nothing will work any better than it did in 2000. (If you’re looking for an explanation for how taking health insurance away from tens of millions of people and eliminating a major expansion of Medicaid will address economic inequality, or a defense of the implicit proposition that the uninsured should go off quitely and die somewhere until the point sometime after we’re all long dead when Senate supermajorities have the votes to eliminate the American health insurance industry, you’re out of luck.)

But he does add a couple of new twists. First of all, needless to say he asks us to take Connor Friedersdorf’s conservative case against Obama seriously, silliness we’ve already discussed plenty around here. But, even better, we have this remarkably confused argument that electing Romney won’t even matter for the Supreme Court:

Meanwhile, Obama-appointed Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor has in her career already ruled to limit access to abortion, and Elena Kagan’s stance is not yet clear. Arguing that Romney justices would overturn Roe v. Wade is a concession that Senate Democrats, as they did with Alito and Roberts, would allow an anti-choice justice through the Senate. More likely is that Romney, like Obama, simply does not care about abortion, but does care about the court’s business case rulings (the U.S. Chamber went undefeated last year). Romney has already said he won’t change abortion laws, and that all women should have access to contraception. He may be lying, but more likely is that he does not care and is being subjected to political pressure. But so is Obama, who is openly embracing abortion rights and contraception now that it is a political asset. In other words, what is moving women’s rights is not Obama or Romney, but the fact that a fierce political race has shown that women’s rights are popular. The lesson is not to support Obama, who will shelve women’s rights for another three years, but to continue making a strong case for women’s rights.

It’s hard to know even where to begin, given the sheer density of nonsense that, I fear, isn’t even being offered in bad faith. But let’s make a valiant effort at noting the most flagrant errors:

Page 1 of 3 | Next page