Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The logic of bad legislation, the logic of failure

The Associated Press:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says the Senate health care bill is better than Congress failing to deliver on President Barack Obama's top domestic initiative.

The Maryland Democrat told reporters Tuesday: "The Senate bill clearly is better than nothing."

He declined to say whether the House could pass the Senate bill, one possible way lawmakers might proceed if Democrats lose the Massachusetts Senate election Tuesday. The seat represents the 60th vote for health care in the Senate.
Here's the logic of bad legislation, the logic of failure, in big bold letters for everyone to see.

  1. There is a problem, and something must be done.
  2. This bill is something.
  3. Therefore, this bill must be passed.

It doesn't take much formal training to see the hole in that logic, the failure of that argument. But politicians stand up and make it everyday with a straight face, and, if the politicians are Democrats, the mainstream press echoes it uncritically.

Of course, even with all of the sycophantic media coverage that this White House has gotten, the majority of Americans disagree with Mr. Hoyer - most people think doing nothing is better than the Senate bill.

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