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Old 02-25-2010, 02:14 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: France, Earth
Posts: 1,165
Default Re: Squeaky Clean Edition (Robert Wright & Ramesh Ponnuru)

I thought bhtv was supposed to be about ideas, Bob. So when Ramesh got to the point of saying that he was OK with the Cadillac tax in isolation but could not support the current bill(s), that was your cue to let us find out why he opposed the bill(s), unless it's just the usual sort of knee-jerk reasons. Or perhaps you were either out of your depth or more concerned about maintaining civility than about having the audience learn anything. Instead, we get a bunch of pretty idle speculation about what will motivate congresspeople. That was uninteresting because no specific cases were even outlined. OK, Stupak was mentioned. Anyway, this whole discussion was pretty close to worthless.

You're the alternative media mogul, not I, but I'm not getting the sort of concerted and ongoing examination of policies or ideas that I feel I could be getting, given this format, not on Afghanistan/Iraq, not on the financial crisis, not on health care reform. I am not aware of a single real health care economist who has been on the site. Why hasn't Reinhardt been on? Where is the substantive debate about this "libertarian" alternative on health care that Brink Lindsey alluded to when he last talked to Cohen? If there is a Swiss system that sort of approximates what this libertarian alternative is, then let's hear about it from someone who has studied it. As it is, I've heard Lindsey refer to a secret plan, like Nixon's plan to get us out of Vietnam.

I want to hear more academic or think-tank experts and fewer young journalists. I think there could be more of a sense that we're tracking certain policy and intellectual problems, rather than flitting about sort of randomly and listening to a certain stable of heads put in their two cents, often on subjects they don't know that much about. Because one thing you are doing, no doubt unintentionally, is just encouraging more ill-informed citizens who come on to these forums and bloviate. The site is not fulfilling its promise as an educational tool, in my opinion. You are helping to breed contempt for expertise.

Here's an example. You had Mark Schmitt talk to the lady law professor from Yale about the Citizens United decision. That was good, but I'm not convinced that her take on the decision was correct. She thought it was a minor decision, Ronald Dworkin thinks it's monumentally and importantly bad, and even Evan Bayh thinks it's quite disturbing. Why can't we get Pam whatever her name is from Stanford to debate a conservative law professor on this? And why can't we be on the road to developing some expertise among the viewers, because I would probably read the decision if given any impetus to do so, by which I mean if I felt that I was part of an ongoing conversation or debate.

Keep up the good work.
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