First of all, let’s call affordable health care what it really is: It’s socialized medicine.
I’ve had an opportunity to watch the Canadian version of affordable health care in action with all its limitations with my Canadian husband’s family. A few years ago, I was startled to see the cover of Maclean’s, a national Canadian magazine, showing a picture of a dog on an examining table with the headline, “Your Dog Can Get Better Health Care Than You.” It went on to say that young Canadian medical students have no incentive to become doctors to humans because they can’t make any money. Instead, there is a great surge of Canadian students becoming veterinarians. That’s where the money is. A Canadian animal can have timely MRIs, surgeries and any number of tests it needs to receive quality health care.
The other day I linked to an article about an unfortunate consequence uncovered by some research in cognitive psychology: some argumentation, however good (conclusive or decisive), reinforces the ignorance of the person who is wrong. Arguing with someone who is wrong, but steadfast in her wrongness, just makes everything worse.
SEATTLE—As debate continues in Washington over the funding of President Obama’s health care initiative, sources confirmed Thursday that 39-year-old Daniel Seaver, a man who understands a total of 8 percent of the Affordable Care Act, offered a vehement defense of the legislation to 41-year-old Alex Crawford, who understands 5 percent of it.
“Hold on, Alex, let’s go back to the premiums for a second, because I feel like I need to drive this point home for you: they’ll get lower for most people,” said Seaver, straining the very limits of his 8 percent comprehension of the bill to the point of utter collapse. “Lower premiums, lower deductibles, and no denial of coverage to people with preexisting conditions.”
“Way lower premiums,” Seaver added.
At press time, both men’s understanding of Obamacare had dropped to 3 percent as a result of the debate.
I think this problem is undertheorized, but then again I don’t really know this literature.
I've been thinking of the reverse straw man for a bit now. Following the suggestions of some friends and commenters at the Mid South, one variation of the too charitable straw man we might call the "iron man." This is when someone's weak argument–or some weak arguer–is made stronger by irrelevant and inappropriate charity. Too often this inappropriate charity comes from people who ought to know better. And trolls depend on troll enablers.
Michele Bachmann Announces Bid To Be Discussed More Than She Deserves In 2012
That pretty much sums it up. Bachmann makes Bush look like Aristotle. Not iron-manning every incoherent utterance. I heard this yesterday on NPR:
ELLIOTT: I think the reception that Minnesota Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, got here. She was really the star of the day. The crowd even sort of mobbed the stage when she finished her speech. And she really gave this conservative crowd just what they were looking for: plenty of meat stoking the anti-President Obama fervor that was rumbling through the crowd.
She attacked the president's health care overhaul. She attacked his energy policy, as well as his handling of the economy.
Representative MICHELE BACHMANN (Republican, Minnesota): We know what works. It's cutting spending. It's growing the economy. It's doing what free markets do, and what economic superpowers do. And Mr. President, you're no economic superpower.
I think it's a stretch to call this an "attack" on the President's handling of the economy. Maybe it would be more appropriate to say that she said words which on the most charitble interpretation were probably meant as criticism of Obama on the economy. Anything more would be iron-manning. The sample clip doesn't begin to make sense–it begs the question (it's growing the economy!), ignores basic economics (cutting spending!), and it equivocates on "economic superpower" (in the first it's a property of nations, then it's denied of Barack Obama).