Category Archives: Conservative Outrage Du Jour

Conservative Outrage DuJour: Rolling Stone gun listicle

Various conservative commentators are having fun with this.

And they’re right. Author of this original piece is ostensibly Rolling Stone’s Kristen Gwynne. She’s apparently a moron, with this level of topical competency passing for reasonably astute within the lefty epistemic loop.


IRS email: McCardle

Megan McCardle acknowledges that the lost email claim has some potential for being true.

I alluded to this yesterday, and I agree.  With the mix of malfeasance, malevolence, and indifference that we reasonably assume of the IRS, it’s possible the email loss is just kind of an externality.  My words:

“Now, there is a more nuanced explanation provided by the IRS in the last day as to why they can’t retrieve that email, and to a certain point it makes technical sense. But much of that explanation is hitched to an acknowledgement that they are indifferently out of compliance with system standards and record retention mandates for which conventional technical assumptions can be made. Go figure.”

Liberals can throat chortle at this IRS thing all they want, and maybe there are some things to throat chortle at.  But there’s also problems.  This IRS is a capricious, ill-mannered beast, and these recent transgressions are real even if we do not agree on what they are.  The Lerner revelations pose an existential threat to the department itself.  What will happen is, the coming Republican Congress will de-claw and diminish the IRS.  Pres. Obama will sign those measures that come while he is still in office, and be powerless to stop those that come after he leaves.

So throat chortle away, but it’s a mess and a threat to the broader liberal tax project.  You can’t get tax hikes passed with an IRS that’s run like this.

Hillary: Those minorities of people with their troubling viewpoints

“We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people,” she said.

Well Ok then, I’m sure not allowing a minority to hold viewpoints will be very interesting.

Now obviously, this is the test run for a response that is part cautious and then part dog whistle, and Hillary doesn’t have it rolling off the tongue quite yet.  She’s not going to overcommit on policy details, but she will play to unfavorable perceptions of the NRA, which the pollsters must feel are safe everywhere.  Very bold, Hil.

Anyway…. Is the rule that, science and epidemiology are to be liberal trump cards except when science and epidemiology buttress the conservative argument?  Where in that case, liberal whimsy trumping conservative epidemiology?

Thing is, It’s fair to acknowledge that public policy can be value driven rather than entirely epidemiologically driven.  But the literal facts of the matter are, the very general population has no statistical reason to feel terrorized by the incidence of crime as it might be enabled by guns.  Guns are up and crime is down, individual civilian risk is extraordinary low.  Feeling terrorized is thus the problem of those who feel it, not something gun owners can ameliorate by ceding some of their rights.

Which is to say, a values argument here is not terribly or at all persuasive in trumping the epidemiological observation, and thus not a compelling justification for any law changes that would curtail rights from where they are now.

Mind you, that’s only a meaningful observation if you can assume liberals actually care about individual rights these days.

Cantor for lunch, Brats for Dinner

Re Cantor’s Virginia primary loss:

Among other half-assed assertions, I will say college professors are proven consistently more dangerous as candidates than investment bankers.  Just shows to go ya.

This was a contest determined for the most part by the immigration issue, it seems.

There’s a lot that can be discussed both about the GOPs hatred of brown people, chortle chortle, and conversely it’s electoral / demographic ‘need’ to get on board with an amnesty plan.  But Brat’s message was basically, amnesty / immigration reform is a sop to big business, and it’s going to be a downward force on wages.

That’s intuitive, and so far as it’s merely intuitive and lacks concreteness, it still seems so rock solid as conventional wisdom that I don’t know how you blunt it with a MattY / Ezra data driven argument.  Are there any decent data driven observation to counter it?

As a pragmatic argument, it’s also an effective counter to this racism hooey.

Annals of GOP overreach

Sully and his review of Krauthammer are correct:

Thing is, if you are to acknowledge that the stagecraft was cloying, as Sully does, I think you almost have to acknowledge that the entire point of the exchange was to create a reason for the stagecraft… which was a response to the VA scandal.

That’s the thing with me, I think the White House decision making is consistently insipid and disengsuous.  Which is ironic, since they are by all accounts the smartest people in the history of history.


Outrage du Jour: I’m on board!

I’m still not all that passionate about the idea President Obama broke the law.  I mean, maybe he did.  So what…  It’s not a big deal in this age of executive branch power.

The proper critique as I see it is:  this 5 for 1 deal has been acceptable to the Taliban for a while.  So it was basically a foreign affairs card for the Obama Administration to play in the course of constructive engagement with the Taliban, but it was always to be subject to the hurdle of vetting and pushback from various stakeholders.  …Congress, the intelligence people, the military….

But the VA thing came up, so the White House cut the institutional stakeholders out of the loop and went ahead on a moment’s notice.  This effort was made to create out of thin air a PR coup that would neutralize the VA story.    They set out on a victory lap that played on various vet / military jingoisms.  They painted the younger Bergdahl as a returning hero and trotted out the specious elder Bergdahl as a sympathetic character.

This…. has not gone well…..

They panicked and got it wrong.  Not that they had a chance to get it right, but they did have an opportunity to chill and do nothing.