11 February 2008

If I could have said it so well myself...

Coming from John Hodgman (you know, the "resident expert" from The Daily Show and the "PC guy" from the Mac commercials),

"...enjoy this if you like watching pointless confrontation become meaningful conversation."

If only I could imagine myself responding so well to such an aggressive line of questioning. I feel like the interviewer's intention at the outset is to show how little Obama supporters know about the realities of politics, that they're all emotion and no substance. Thankfully he talks to Derrick who says it like it is. Good job Derrick!

More substantively about the health care differences between Clinton and Obama, check out this post from Marginal Revolution. Prof. Cowen is a wickedly smart guy and, according to his Wikipedia entry, a "libertarian bargainer" meaning that he is "someone of libertarian ideals who is not so radical that he cannot influence the 'currently powerful'". The basic conclusion of the post is that, given the goal of cheaper health insurance and, insofar as mandates are competition-stifling, mandates do not achieve the primary goal. Don't forget the social cost of removing personal choice from the equation!

The MR post also goes to show the stable of intellectuals that have gravitated to Obama, here's the opening line, "Cutler is very smart, tenured at Harvard, arguably the leading health care economist, and yes he is an advisor to Barack Obama." What do I see as the main value in an Obama presidency? An analytical chief executive to weigh unpredictable issues as they arise, backed by an army of advisors representing the best in their respective fields, not political cronies from the 90's. In short, a return of intellectualism to the White House, not the bizarre fundamentalism of the past seven years nor the political gaming of the preceding eight.

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