the jonathan gruber/obamacare scandal is devastating. in this era of incredibly stupid partisanship, the fact that it more or less unfolded on fox news makes it invisible to half the population, while making nothing else visible to the other half. the coverage by msm outlets other than fox has been unbelievably pathetic, discrediting to them, quite substantiating 'left-wing media' as a phrase encompassing, say, the new york times or the atlantic. i am telling you that you must watch some fox during a democratic administration, or you are just getting barraged with propaganda and nothing else, as this scandal shows. but it is truly as though most of the people i know are physically incapable of watching fox even for a moment.
really what emerges is a portrayal of the way washington works now. so, gruber - mit prof/white house consultant/important source of the plan itself - starts the ball rolling by saying they'd never have got the thing through if the american people knew what was in it, that they depended on our stupidity. then it turns out that he was functioning simultaneously as an extremely well-paid consultant, and an independent authority. they took his advice on policy and on pr, then appealed to his material specifically as independent academic analysis of the aca's effects. he was writing op-eds presenting himself precisely as an independent authority, with bio squibs that did not identify his inside role. then he went out and made perhaps millions helping states with their exchanges, as pelosi and many others routinely appealed to his 'independent' research and 'mit' as evidence for the costs and benefits of the program. there were many utter disasters among the state exchanges, of course. simultaneously with this whole process, gruber was, according to himself, thinking to himself 'we've got to pull the wool over the eyes of the american public to get this thing passed and implemented'.
he was enriching himself and certainly compromising his own academic integrity and that of mit continuously. it is a very disturbing portrait of interlocked political parties/operations and academic institutions/experts, where the professors give the political positions credibility or an air of objectivity or even science, while also cashing in and moving back and forth between government and academia, one way or another. i think this should make any rational person doubt the credibility of mit professors. if you looked at the intersection of harvard, wall street, and the obama admin, you'd see the function of expertise in squishy totalitarianism, and the disturbing way that money and power flow through academic institutions, controlling every aspect of the way they are administered, who they hire, what sort of research they fund and pursue and tenure, and so on.
what you'd want to look at are things like contributions and expenditures in the endowment; uses of the research output by partisan politicians; migration of faculty into the state and migration of officials to the faculty and thence to the investment banking industry or lobbying; the ideological diversity or the reverse of the faculty; direct federal grants for research and the backgrounds of the faculty funded and the uses of research in justifying federal programs or partisan hobbyhorses, including the funding of the grants themselves; where they send their graduates.
maybe you think that, since all harvard profs are liberals and vote democratic, they are egalitarians. well, it is time to stop listening to their yap and start attending to their actual effect: who they are and whom they hang out with and whom they are funded by and whom they serve and what they really want, which is only an ever-ascending prestige and the ascendency of their like in the various hierarchies. that the harvard or stanford administration or faculty are enemies of privilege: surely no one can possibly think something like that? withering skepticism of the research is appropriate in this situation. (ladies and gentlemen, the vast faculty of the kennedy school of government.) and i'm telling you that even humanities professors at these institutions are interlocked with the admin and political parties, and of course with the ways their own positions are funded and ways to enhance their salaries or collect the junkets or get that pic with michelle obama.
but it's the depravity of the sales strategies by the white house and the democratic party that really sticks: the condescension, the contempt for us and for the truth and for democracy, the routine miserable lack of integrity or decency in our political process, the total dedication to manipulation, the underlying incompetence.
when i figure out how to get it and embed it, i'll post the special report panel from tonight with goldberg, fournier, and krauthammer, with a report that gives a very clear account of events. obviously it's a report produced by an organization that wants to focus scepticism on the administration. but that's what we need, with regard to every administration. it's reaching the point where the nytimes is going to have to cover it, and not just cover the fact that fox is covering it as a way to discredit the story itself. to do that, the only relevant thing is to throw specific doubts on specific parts of the reporting, correct?