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Credit Where Credit Is Due


I first saw it in non-Twitter form here, but Simon Maloy apparently deserves the credit for inventing the “Moops” analogy to describe the Halbig litigation. And not only was his post the original, it might also be the best:

“That’s not ‘Moops,’ you jerk. It’s Moors. It’s a misprint,” the Bubble Boy explains, accurately presenting the game manufacturer’s intent in spite of the minor technical error.

“I’m sorry, the card says ‘Moops,’” Costanza replies, adopting an absurdly narrow and nonsensical interpretation of the rules that furthers his own interests. It’s a pretty good match on the logic, and the happy coincidence that the situation pits a whiny, lying jerk against a person in need of substantial medical care only bolsters its relevance.

Indeed. The look of self-satisfaction on Costanza’s face when he says “sorry” is the perfect metaphor for anti-ACA litigation, and the fact that it sets of a chain of events resulting in serious harm if not death to a third party makes the analogy even more perfect. (I assume the first person to come up with the equal protection rationale for Bush v. Gore had the same look.) Only the contemporary Republican Party might have transcended the nihilism of Larry David’s greatest creation. I’m not sure even George Costanza is shameless enough to argue that Spain really was invaded by the Moops. And the harm that his technicality caused the Bubble Boy, unlike the harm that will come to many people were the Supreme Court to uphold Halbig, was not easily foreseeable.

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  • Rob Patterson

    I’ve watched this video twice since reading Chait’s article and I’ve decided my favorite part is Susan looking up the game rules to see if they cover misprints.

    P.s. Maloy (one “L”)

    • rea

      I’m sorry, the card says ‘Malloy’

      • Rob Patterson


        • Scott Lemieux

          Yes, a D.C. Circuit panel has held 2-1 that “Malloy” was not a typo, but an attempt to coerce Maloy into changing his nae.

          • Malaclypse

            his nae.

            You’ll nae get anywhere with this line of thought.

          • rea

            Very true. Congress wanted to change him from an engineer:


            To an evangelical:


          • Anonymous Troll

            A carefully researched new book by Prof Comity Shlaes, PhD, conclusively demonstrates that it was, in fact, the Moops who invaded Spain.

            It turns out that a PR firm hired to increase tourism in North Africa was behind the name change. It was an effort to make potential visitors think of fens and marshes and other moor-like, wetter areas.

    • Hogan

      Same here. Nice movement away from the ball.

  • FridayNext

    And of course another possible comparison is that one of the players seems to think that this question is for the game, even though it is merely for a wedge. Had it really been for the game his piece would be in the center, much as the Halbig case was not a win since it was not in the SCOTUS, but one circuit court. Of course, I am not sure if the “sides” are correct vis a viz George=Halbig defenders and Bubble Boy=Halbig (and common sense) detractors, but, well, there we are. I just wanted to point out an error in the original show anyway.

  • Joe_JP

    A show about nothing is a good place to find a nothing argument.

    The opponents can be as insufferable as the Seinfeld characters.

  • George was so fast with the “Moops” it was if he didn’t even recognize that the card had a typo- he just thought the kid was wrong.

  • matt w

    The look of self-satisfaction on Costanza’s face when he says “sorry” is the perfect metaphor for anti-ACA litigation

    If I ever have occasion to read the Halbig opinion aloud, I know the tone of voice to use for “We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance.”

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