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Tone Policing: It’s A Nice Racket

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2016 Views

Republicans are rushing to push a piece of naked class warfare that will result in a lot of unnecessary deaths. Republicans are using an undemocratic process that strongly indicates a bill they don’t believe it can be defended on the merits to anybody but a sociopathic libertarian, and they’re right. So instead, their approach will be specious invocations of CIVILITY:

What you will notice, as more and more Republicans use this line, is that most people won’t dispute Bernie’s claim at all, and those that do will offer nothing but bare assertions — because, after all, stripping insurance from tens of millions of people will cause many people to die (as well as many more people to suffer unnecessarily and/or face financial ruin.) The point is just to preemptively demand that people not discuss the inevitable consequences of the bill, based on the longstanding principle that accurately describing a Republican’s policy views is that greatest act of incivility that can ever be committed. (cf. Robert Bork.)

Another approach we might call the “get the right baseline” approach. Here’s what passes for a policy intellectual in the Republican Party, Avik Roy:

I concede the point — at least for the next couple decades MILLIONS of people will not die because of what Roy considers a great piece of legislation, although tens or hundreds of thousands will. So…congratulations?

Personally, if I found myself using needed to use “will millions of people die” as a metric to measure the benefits of legislation I supported, I would be inclined to revise my ideological commitments.

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