Race to the Bottom

Yesterday we took a look at some of the seemingly-latent prejudices of Jamelle Bouie, who apparently has a hangup about white guys: he characterized the debate in which we had engaged as “A white man is giving his opinion and you need to listen.” As I wrote,

Suffice to say I do not believe my opinions to be worthy of extra merit simply because I am white. I mentioned neither my race nor Bouie’s in the course of our debate; in fact, I didn’t mention race at all, and neither did he…Given that I believe Bouie to be both a smart person and a good one, I am mystified as to why this sneering racialist rhetoric was trooped out.

Give the man credit, he managed to rouse a spirited defense, if a not-entirely cogent one:

“A reference to the observation…” Whose observation? Bouie’s, or someone else’s? White men “tend to assume a certain authority?” Under what circumstances? Even if this is a “common comedy trope,” so what? If I made some nasty remark about black men based on a “common comedy trope,” do you think it would go over well with Jamelle Bouie? Anyway, I offered Bouie my opinion, that was all; I think we can safely conclude that I’m allowed to “assume a certain authority” when it comes to my own opinion, if nothing else. A personal opinion is a subjective judgment sui generis, and the person who proffers an opinion is authoritative over said opinion in toto. Of course I’ll assume an authority over my own thoughts! Bouie apparently not only harbors wacky racialist beliefs, he can’t even justify them with any coherency. It’s just a mess: on the one hand, he’s lumping me in with “white men” who “assume a certain authority”—an indisputably negative association—and on the other hand he’s assuring people that he does not want to “discount” me “because [I] am white.” He’s trying to have it both ways, and he only comes off looking like a dope.

Discussions of race in America are often fraught with this kind of nonsense: the subject often turns intelligent people into fairly stupid ones. In the New York Times today, author KJ Dell’Antonia has a column that addresses the topic of “Talking About Racism With White Kids.” (Ms. Dell’Antonia herself is white, and so could perhaps be considered—what’s the word?—an authority on white kids.) The column is interesting and mildly informative, but near the end she writes:

Ms. Zack said something else that struck me: “Whenever an unarmed black man is shot by a police officer and the black community protests, whites in the area buy more guns.”

The implication, of course, is that white people are fearful of the black community and thus stock up on firearms en masse out of this racist fear. If you follow the link provided by Ms. Dell’Antonia, you’ll find an article from August headlined: “Gun sales spike around Ferguson after 3 days of riots.” The article offers absolutely zero evidence that Ferguson experienced some kind white-driven gun boom: in fact, the article quotes a gun store owner who explicitly points out that “both black and white customers” were buying guns in the wake of the Ferguson riots. So there’s no evidence that whites were driving the higher gun sales—and there’s compelling evidence that both whites and blacks were behind the spike.

In other words, Ms. Dell’Antonia (and Naomi Zack, the professor of philosophy whom she quotes) have made a baseless, groundless and flatly contradicted claim about white people, proving themselves genuinely untrustworthy public commentators on the subject of race. They should be mocked and ridiculed for their reckless and irresponsible fearmongering—and instead they’re published in the pages of the New York Times. That should tell you something dismaying about the current state of racial discourse in America.

Why’s It Gotta Be White?

The grand jury’s verdict on whether or not to indict Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown resulted, as some feared it would, in a violent response from many aggrieved protesters. As Heather Mac Donald has pointed out, the phenomenon of black American rioting is a bizarre one, couched as it usually is in terms of preparation: we seem to “expect” blacks to riot under circumstances like Darren Wilson’s verdict, in a way that we don’t expect of whites or other minorities. It’s very odd—and yet it seems to have become part of the American political and social consciousness: if things turn out wrong for them, we assume many blacks will tear their communities apart. That’s what the message seems to be, anyway, and so it is not merely an odd supposition but a fundamentally insulting and degrading one, for blacks and for all Americans.

Anyway, the punditry class took to Twitter to discuss both the verdict and the riots that followed; Jamelle Bouie was one of them, and one of his oddest talking points revolved around the history of riots in this country: “None of this is to defend,” he wrote, “only to note that violence has produced a lot of political change in the U.S.” He noted “the anti-busing protests and riots in Boston,” “the white Detroit riots of 1943,” “the 1963 Birmingham riots” and several other instances of violent action throughout the country’s history. Yet he assured his readers that he was not out to “defend” violence, only to “note” its tendency to effect political change—which struck me as a rather useless exercise and a grand instance of missing the point: the issue isn’t whether or not riots do or don’t cause things to change, but that riots are harmful, and often deadly, towards innocent people, and that rioting should be reflexively discouraged whenever and wherever possible.

Anyway, I pointed out that his whole little Twitter essay seemed effectively needless and silly; he wasn’t “defending” violence, yet he was pointing out the ways in which violence can enact change—which is something everyone already knows in this first place. Anyway, suffice to say that he did not take my criticism too kindly, but that’s understandable and unremarkable; and in any event, I’m open-minded enough to imagine that Bouie might actually have a point to make. At the end of our conversation, however, he announced:

Jamelle Bouie tends to make light of the fact that many people accuse him of being racist himself; lots of folks claim he is prejudiced towards whites simply because he spends a lot of time writing about racism, and especially racism perpetrated by whites. I myself don’t believe he harbors such vile thoughts—and yet he’s fairly difficult to defend when he breaks out with absurdities such as this: his characterization of my argument was, “A white man is giving his opinion and you need to listen.” This is an ugly, simpleminded allegation. Suffice to say I do not believe my opinions to be worthy of extra merit simply because I am white. I mentioned neither my race nor Bouie’s in the course of our debate; in fact, I didn’t mention race at all, and neither did he. The debate wasn’t about race but about riots. Given that I believe Bouie to be both a smart person and a good one, I am mystified as to why this sneering racialist rhetoric was trooped out. I suppose it’s possible that I’m wrong about Bouie, that he really doesn’t like white people—but if that were true, I’m not sure why he’d be hiding it. (In the past, Bouie has tended to lash out when I’ve criticized him elsewhere, so perhaps the explanation is a relatively simple one: he’s insecure and quick to take offense at even the most mild-mannered appraisal of his work.)

Anyway, it’s self-evident that, were the tables to be turned, and I lambasted one of Bouie’s opinions due to his being a black man, the public response would be swift, harsh and relentless—and rightfully so. Unfortunately, there exists a pervasive double standard in American public discourse, in which white people can be mocked simply for being white—and nobody will suffer any repercussions of public opinion whatsoever. It’s highly frustrating and depressing. That’s my opinion, anyway—but, I assure you, you don’t need to listen to it.

Check, Please

I guess at this point in the Obama presidency, there’s not going to be much fuss kicked up over a few extra billion dollars here and there: after the useless stimulus and the expensive and destructive Affordable Care Act, for instance, the American public seems largely desensitized to the budget-busting spending habits of the Democratic party. Yet if you’re not upset over liberalism’s latest price tag, you’re not paying attention:

President Barack Obama’s amnesty for four million illegal immigrants will cost Americans about $2 trillion, or roughly $40 billion a year for the next five decades.

The cost of Obama’s generosity is equivalent to 30 cents extra for every gallon of gas bought by Americans.

Or a $10 monthly fee added to every cellphone.

Or a $22,000 tax on every American graduate’s four-year college degree.

So the President of the United States took it upon himself to legalize that which he had no authority to legalize, granting clemency to millions upon millions of lawbreakers and declaring that the legislative authority should “pass a bill” if they were upset by his unilateral and unconstitutional power-grab—and he’s kindly left us to foot the bill for the next half-century. This is the cost of liberal vanity, and though they’ve sang the praises of this strongman approach to amnesty, even liberals will eventually be confused and angry over this murderously high price tag: Americans are largely incapable of recognizing the true cost of American policy, and though I’m sure this wonderful one-man amnesty program might sound good in the faculty lounge or in the NPR website comments section, it probably won’t seem as great when the government comes looking for ways to pay for it.

Not that the government has ever been, or will ever be, honest about that for which it must pay:

President Barack Obama’s much-touted 8 million Obamacare enrollment number was inflated by 1.3 million, the Obama administration now admits.

“The mistake we made is unacceptable,” tweeted Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “I will be communicating that clearly throughout the department.”

Burwell, now under fire for the inflated figures, says the Obama administration counted nearly 400,000 dental plan subscribers as health insurance customers to boost the figures. In September, HHS admitted Obama’s oft-cited eight million enrollment figure was inflated by 700,000 and was really 7.3 million.

Oh, good, the secretary will be “communicating” her displeasure over an “unacceptable” instance of pure government fraud. I don’t expect we can look forward to any, you know, firings or genuine disciplinary action. Obamacare, the immigration system, the governmen in general—they are all, by and large, staffed by crooks, thieves and liars who are entirely unaccountable to the public. They may lie and steal with impunity, and the worst consequences they’ll suffer is receiving a “communication” from a displeased government schlep. As bad as the unilateral amnesty was, I think we have more to worry about from our incompetent and corrupt bureaucratic class, which  more and more evinces a total contempt for the American public and the rule of law.

A Scientific Love Affair

At The Federalist today, you can find my latest piece, in which I explain how, “When Liberals Use ‘Science’ To Attack Conservatives, They Demean Science.” Increasingly, progressivism has come to rely on the rallying cry of “science” to defend its own disastrous and played-out policies: if you disagree with the prevailing party line on climate change, for instance, then you should be prepared to face down a horde of liberals monotonously chanting “science” over and over again in an effort to shut you up. As I write:

For progressivism, “science” has become a safety blanket in which its adherents can swaddle themselves to avoid confronting alternative beliefs. It is a refuge from having to think too critically, either about your opponent’s political convictions or the gaping holes in your own.

Every ideology is prone to insular thinking to a certain degree, but liberalism has made great strides recently in utterly sheltering itself from political and philosophical views other than its own. In my article, I cite Chris Mooney of the Washington Post, who seeks to prove why conservatives are so anti-science-y and unscientific and so forth; Mooney is also the author of an entire book on this topic, in which he

uses cutting-edge research to explain the psychology behind why today’s Republicans reject reality—it’s just part of who they are…Why won’t Republicans accept things that most experts agree on? Why are they constantly fighting against the facts?

How dare they. Liberalism has, in recent years, adopted this kind of preachy, moralizing character about itself: if you disagree with progressive policy prescriptions, it’s not just that your politics are bad—there’s something wrong with you personally. This is not the mark of a confident political faction but a desperate one; it’s worth recognizing the pathetic insecurities that mark the liberal ideology these days, if only to remind ourselves that their politics are fundamentally bankrupt and that they are essentially out of ideas.

Easy Like Monday Morning

Homeschoolers are used to all manner of misguided and insulting judgement from a public that is often hostile to what Kevin D. Williamson calls “the last radicals;” at best, many people are dismissive of homeschoolers, while plenty of folks are outright antagonistic towards them. Sometimes the criticism takes a turn for the weird, however:

Patricia was complying with the law; she was qualified to homeschool and had notified the local school district of her intent to educate her teen daughter at home.

As a single parent she was entitled by law to child support pursuant to a custody agreement until her children completed high school. However, just days after her daughter’s 18th birthday, the agency responsible for collecting and distributing the support payments from Patricia’s former spouse informed her that child support would no longer be collected simply because her daughter, Katelyn, now 18, was not in school.

She was told that this was happening because “West Virginia does not recognize homeschooling as a secondary education.”

When Patricia contacted the agency to gather more information and to attempt to resolve the matter, she was told by one staff member that “We know homeschool kids don’t work as hard as kids in regular school.”

From a stylistic point of view, the “staff member” has just a terrible approximation of what constitutes a “regular” education: I would suggest that there is nothing “regular” about children going to a building for seven hours a day for years and years to be educated and bossed around by strangers while sitting with a bunch of people with whom they happen to share the same age range. It is an arrangement that, to me, seems more and more ghoulish and bizarre with each passing year. I can’t make any sense of it.

That being said, the bureaucrat in question is actually right about something in this case: we do know that homeschool students do not, in fact, “work as hard” as kids in “regular school.” That’s partly the point of homeschool: standard Western-style compulsory education is just a miserable dirge of constant busywork and grinding, mind-numbing boredom. By any reasonable measure it is unpleasant, annoying, distressing and exasperating work: it’s hard, in other words, and not the good kind of hard. Homeschooling done right, on the other hand, generally presents an opportunity for pleasant, enjoyable education, often built around what one wants to learn rather than what one “must” learn; moreover, homeschoolers are not suffocated by the petty little rules and dictates of modern education, they’re not wasting time trudging between classrooms, they don’t have to deal with a slate of tired and stressed-out teachers who are bitter and unhappy and constantly complaining about their jobs. Homeschooling frees the student from this brutal slog through the modern educational complex.

That’s not to say homeschool is always roses, but, in general, it’s much easier than “normal” school; it’s both better work and, by dint of the time-saving efficiency, it’s less work, which means you have more time for fun stuff. I’m baffled, in other words, as to why Patricia didn’t just go ahead and own it: “Yes,” she could have replied, “my daughter does less work than kids in ‘regular’ school, and she’s getting a better education while she’s at it. Now shut up and get me my damn child support.”

The Indestructible Unbannable Feminism

One of my editors, Mollie Hemingway, has a fantastic piece at The Federalist today in which she states that

Whether we want to or not, we have to deal with our feminist bullying problem.

Yes, we must. Feminism itself has become, by-and-large, a perversion of itself: the noble goal of, as Susan B. Anthony put it, women’s “rights, and nothing less” has morphed into an insane rage-based philosophy that is ruled by mob fury and academic indignation. It is almost beyond parody at this point; the only people able to adequately parody feminism are feminists themselves. Time Magazine recently came out with its annual “Banned Words” list, and “feminist” made the cut for self-evident reasons; the backlash was swift and strong enough to cause Time to issue the jaw-dropping addendum:

TIME apologizes for the execution of this poll; the word ‘feminist’ should not have been included in a list of words to ban. While we meant to invite debate about some ways the word was used this year, that nuance was lost, and we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice.

Well, actually, yes, the word “feminist” should have been included on the list: what on Earth would be the reason for keeping it off? Because it might offend a self-righteous women’s studies PhD candidate somewhere? And sorry, Time, but “the nuance” was not “lost:” most of us can see the nuance just fine, thank you, and the nuance says that feminism has mutated into a fragile, egocentric ideology that cannot take even the slightest bit of criticism in stride. I get that they were probably under a good bit of pressure from these lunatics, but seriously: the editors at Time should feel sort of ashamed for giving into such whack-jobs. It effects a deadening of the public debate sphere and makes other people less likely to resist the quasi-tyrannical influence of feminist anger. What a waste.

Another favorite pet project of hardcore feminists these days is pushing “affirmative consent” laws and policies on college campuses across the country: the concept of “affirmative consent,” as Tara Culp-Ressler put it, involves “making sure the person with whom you’re about to have sex is excited about having sex with you,” so that you don’t accidentally rape your sex partner: if someone does not offer an insanely enthusiastic and explicit “yes” to sex, then they can theoretically quite easily claim they were raped. A Yale professor recently wrote an op/ed pointing out the terrible flaws in this approach to rape adjudication, which led a group of Yale law students to throw up an “open letter” to the professor:

The old complicated standards required a debate over whether the sex or other offending behavior was or wasn’t “wanted” by the victim, or whether the victim fought back. Under affirmative consent, the question is simply whether both parties expressed a desire to proceed.

This is a bizarre mishmash of goobledygook: in this instance, the two standards of determining whether or not rape did or did not occur are functionally identical, both turning on whether or not the sex was wanted or unwanted by the victim in question. None of it makes any sense at all. Yet even if we’re to somehow parse these two definitions and divine some sort of difference between them, consider: the law students of one of the world’s top universities apparently believe that these “old standards” were somehow unbearably “complicated,” simply because they required a “debate” of moderate complexity in the event of a fraught and difficult subject like rape. These are the lawyers of tomorrow, under the influence of the feminism of today. If these future attorneys are any indication, then it’s rather ironic that Time expressed such anxiety regarding “the important debate over equality and justice.”

Veil of Ignorance, Lifted

Jonathan Gruber’s recently-revealed remarks—in which he stated that Obamacare was crafted and structured in such a way as to take advantage of “the stupidity of the American voter”—has created a baffling and frenetic firestorm on the Left, with progressives scrambling to explain why one of Obamacare’s chief architects admitted that the Affordable Care Act was essentially a massive exercise in voter deception. That the Left is perfectly willing to lie, cheat and mislead the American people to achieve its utopian ends is entirely unsurprising, but their defense of Gruber’s remarks has been somewhat astonishing to witness; Kevin Drum might just take the cake:

I gather this has created a mini-firestorm, and obviously I understand why. If you imply that a bill was structured to take advantage of the “stupidity” of the American voter, that’s just bound to come back to haunt you. So the radio yammerheads are having a field day, and I guess I don’t blame them.

But if we can take just a half step up from radio yammerhead land, did Gruber say anything that isn’t common knowledge? I’m not playing faux naive here. I’m serious. Basically, Gruber said two things…

Uh, actually, Gruber didn’t “imply” anything in his remarks; he flat-out admitted that Obamacare was a deceptive ruse from the get-go. Drum is just a bit too cowardly to admit that the Affordable Care Act’s architect is a sneaky, dishonest liar; in that he’s remarkably like Jonathan Gruber himself. Anyway, here’s Gruber’s “two things” according to Kevin Drum:

First, he noted that it was important to make sure the mandate wasn’t scored as a tax by the CBO. Indeed it was, and this was a topic of frequent discussion while the bill was being debated. We can all argue about whether this was an example of the CBO scoring process being gamed, but it has nothing to do with the American voter. Rather, it has everything to do with the American congressman, who’s afraid to vote for anything unless it comes packaged with a nice, neat bow bearing an arbitrary, predetermined price tag.

As for risk-rated subsidies, I don’t even know what Gruber is talking about here. Of course healthy people pay in and sick people get money. It’s health insurance. That’s how it works. Once again, this was a common topic of discussion while the bill was being debated—in fact, one that opponents of the bill talked about constantly. They complained endlessly that healthy young people would pay relatively higher rates than they deserved, while older, sicker people would get a relative break on their premiums. This was no big secret, but the bill passed anyway.

This is a disingenuous and pedantic justification of Gruber’s nasty and elitist remarks. Yes, it’s true that “American congressmen” are the ones who actually vote on pieces of legislation—but it’s “the American voter” who elects the Congressman. Democrats in Congress were terrified that “the American voter” might discover the portents of their rotten and disastrous piece of legislation. Hence the lack of transparency, and Gruber’s gleeful celebration of it.

As for the notion that the bill’s impending “relatively higher rates” for healthy people were “no big secret,” well, that, too, is a dishonest characterization of the promises that were made to justify Obamacare. Obama himself promised repeatedly to cut insurance premiums by thousands of dollars, first as a candidate in 2008 and then in the midst of the passage of Obamacare—but premiums are increasing anyway.  Democrats knew they had to lie through their teeth about Obamacare’s price tag to get the law passed; Gruber is simply rejoicing after the fact. Kevin Drum’s justifications here look clumsy and awkward and desperate. At least Gruber was honest about it, even if he didn’t expect to get caught. Actually, with each passing day, it’s coming to light that Gruber has been honest to a fault:

“Now, the problem is, it’s a political nightmare … and people say, ‘No, you can’t tax my benefits.’ So what we did a lot in that room was talk about, well, how could we make this work?” Gruber said.

“And Obama was like, ‘Well, you know’ — I mean, he is really a realistic guy. He is like, ‘Look, I can’t just do this.’ He said: ‘It is just not going to happen politically. The bill will not pass. How do we manage to get there through phases and other things?’ And we talked about it. And he was just very interested in that topic,” Gruber continued.

Of course he was “interested in that topic:” he knew that his signature “healthcare” law would have been deeply unpopular and completely un-passable if its ultimate expenses were revealed to the American public. So Democrats lied, repeatedly, over and over again—and then Gruber opened his big mouth a bunch of times afterwards to crow about it. Now liberals like Kevin Drum are forced to try and defend the indefensible—but then again, isn’t that what they’ve been doing with Obamacare all along?

What’s in a Word

If you follow feminist politics at all, then you’ll know that feminists themselves often get hung up on that one single word: “feminism.” Many people have understandably tried to distance themselves from the word “feminism,” given that the word itself has been taken over by a group of mildly psychopathic whack-jobs. You can, of course, still advocate for “gender equality” without calling yourself a feminist—but modern feminists are loath to let anyone off the hook so easily: “If you believe in equality between the sexes,” they scream, “then that means you’re a feminist!” Steve Shives summed it up thusly:

“The reason why it’s called feminism while advocating for gender equality is because females are the gender that are the underprivileged, underserved gender,” Shives says in his video response. “You attain gender equality by advocating for the rights of the underprivileged gender.”

This doesn’t make any sense. You can still “advocate for the rights of the underprivileged gender” and not call yourself a feminist. It’s just a word, for God’s sake. Anyway, most political or social causes don’t factor into their names the biological status of those they are trying to help: anti-slavery crusaders, for instance, were called “abolitionists;” they didn’t call their philosophy “blackism.” You don’t have to do it the way Steve Shives insists it be done, thank goodness.

You can have a crusade without being so insufferably pedantic or fussy about the name. The concept of “gender equality” is broad enough that you can call yourself whatever you want—feminist, humanist, whatever-ist—and still get away with it. Most modern feminists are deeply insecure bullies, however; instead of allowing people to decide what to call themselves, feminists greedily insist that everyone fly under their preferred banner. No wonder nobody wants to be associated with them.

Recipe for Disaster

At The Federalist today, you can find my latest piece, a response to the newest disastrous progressive proposal to control our food supply. Last week, Messrs. Bittman, Pollan, Salvador and De Schutter announced that we need a “national food policy” by way of an executive order from President Obama: instead of waiting around for the tiresome democratic process of Congressional action from duly-elected representatives of the people, the authors wish for our president to establish, “on his own,” a “new White House council” that will oversee seemingly every aspect of American food production, processing and marketing. What could go wrong?

Also today, you can find a brief essay of mine over at Front Porch Republic: “A Little Home Cooking,” which explains why home cooking is an indispensable virtue and how, contra Time Magazine, we should not be making “the case against cooking.” There is no “case against cooking,” not if we care about our personal health and the health of the domestic sphere. Cooking should be as reflexively encouraged and as highly regarded as any other practical and valuable skill. That it’s increasingly being seen as an outmoded drudgery speaks badly of our culture.

It’s funny the extremes one sees: on the one hand, we have Bill Saporito claiming that home cooking is “a relic of another age;” on the other hand, we have Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan begging the president to create, by executive fiat, a “well-articulated national food policy” that would, for all appearances, turn our farms and our food supply into a subsidiary wing of the bloated Federal bureaucracy. Here’s an idea for a novel balance between the two: cook your damn meals at home and stop trying to nationalize the agricultural industry. Would that be so hard?

That Ye Be Judged Unhinged

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear another challenge against Obamacare caused much of the Left to dissolve into hysterics; it’s as if they can’t quite understand why a poorly-written, disastrously-implemented, constitutionally-outrageous takeover of one sixth of the American economy could be just the little bit prone to legal challenges. At issue is the law’s system of insurance premium subsidies, which may not be available to customers if the exchange was established by the Federal government instead of by a state. One of the law’s chief architects has agreed that this is the way the law works, so you can’t argue that it’s too far-fetched of a lawsuit—though Paul Krugman is certainly giving it a shot:

Once upon a time, this lawsuit would have been literally laughed out of court. Instead, however, it has actually been upheld in some lower courts, on straight party-line votes — and the willingness of the Supremes to hear it is a bad omen.

So let’s be clear about what’s happening here. Judges who support this cruel absurdity aren’t stupid; they know what they’re doing. What they are, instead, is corrupt, willing to pervert the law to serve political masters. And what we’ll find out in the months ahead is how deep the corruption goes.

This is just babbling nonsense. For starters, to what end would a judge “serve” his “political masters?” A judge has already been appointed to his bench; what on earth could a “political master” possibly offer him? A lollipop?

Even if we’re to take Krugman’s wild-eyed accusation at face value, it doesn’t really make sense from a political perspective: I suppose one might “serve political masters” out of fear of losing one’s job, but Krugman’s theory still doesn’t hold up in this case. The judges that have ruled on the Obamacare subsidy issue, after all, can only lose their jobs by way of impeachment—and the trial proceedings must take place in the United States Senate, which has been under Democratic control for the duration of these lawsuits. That is to say, if anyone were to be beholden to these mythical “political masters,” it would  be the liberal judges, who would have to face the zealous Democrat partisans in a Senate judicial procedure were they to step out of line and rule against the exchange subsidies. That’s how it should seem to you, anyway, if you’re a paranoid lunatic who openly wonders “how deep the corruption goes” when the Supreme Court agrees to hear a controversial and complicated legal challenge.

Meanwhile, Obamacare faces yet another financial challenge; this one isn’t legal, but it’s still political:

With the next Obamacare enrollment period set to open on Saturday, the Obama administration is hoping to get millions of people who sat on the sidelines last time to sign up for coverage through the law’s health insurance marketplaces. But, the strong partisan politics surrounding the health-care law will keep some people from joining the markeplaces [sic], new research suggests.

Well, no kidding. I’ve written about my own problems with Obamacare, how the law has deep-sixed my preferred insurance plan and is forcing me to either (a) pay a great deal more for roughly the same plan, (b) receive insurance subsidies to help pay for a new (inferior) plan, or (c) go without health insurance. I doubt I’ll opt for the lattermost, and I can’t readily afford the former, so it looks like option (b) will probably have to suffice for now. Still, I can understand the folks who are motivated by “strong partisan politics:” I’m reluctant to be even moderately in the pocket of the incompetent monsters who have pushed this ridiculous law on me and the rest of the country. Paul Krugman probably doesn’t have to make that choice, which is why he can feel so comfortable spouting wacky theories about judicial corruption. For the rest of us, Obamacare is a legal joke, a self-evident disaster and a terrible burden. And it’s only going to get worse.