Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chris Hayes is not reality based.

He claims that Clinton did not attempt health care reform. He is writing about Obama's trip to China. Given his contempt for plain facts, I'm surprised he didn't say that Obama showed great courage as he risked falling off the edge of the earth.

It seems that The Nation does not support comments so I will note here that Hayes is not reality based.

He wrote "In the 1990s Bill Clinton was persuaded by Robert Rubin and others that the deficits he inherited required him to abandon any extension of the welfare state," that is the Clinton administration did not propose health care reform.

This is totally insane utter nonsense. Clinton attempted by far the largest expansion of the welfare state since the 60s. It was blocked by the Senate and not by concerns about bond markets.

Also, I guess Hayes doesn't consider the Earned income tax credit to be part of the welfare state. The Clinton recovery plan included a huge expansion of the EITC. Clinton promised that any family with a full time worker in it would be over the poverty line. Counting food stamps he managed to get congress to keep that promise.

Hayes' claim is totally insane utterly non reality based nonsense. I think it is obvious that he has written this plain blatant actionable libel about Robert Rubin, because Rubin is a banker and therefore must be evil according to Hayes. But even if he must say that Rubin was a bad influence on Clinton, he could have avoided demonstrating utter contempt for the historical record.

I have a lot of respect for Atrios, but linking to an article which makes a totally false claim makes me wonder.

I have to ask you, what does Palin have which Hayes doesn't ? What is the difference between his utterly, totally, completely, false, insane, nonsensical claim and say the death panels claim ?

update: This is alarming. Like Black, Krugman linked to the article by Hayes without mentioning the totally false historical claim. Whatever happened to the reality based community ? It seems that they no longer insist that people respect plain well known facts.

I commented at Krugman's blog. I copy the comment below as I'm not sure that the comment will survive moderation (although there is no way I could honestly have been more polite to Krugman or more generous to Hayes).

I am surprised that you link to Hayes’ article without mentioning that he is totally delusional or lying. In the article to which you link (without making any criticism at all) he wrote He wrote “In the 1990s Bill Clinton was persuaded by Robert Rubin and others that the deficits he inherited required him to abandon any extension of the welfare state,” That is, Clinton did not attempt health care reform and did not expand the earned income tax credit.

I think it is important to respect facts even if they are over a decade old. The fact that you approvingly link to Hayes in spite of the plainly grossly false historical claim in this article is, I think, a serious mistake. You endanger your own credibility and reputation as a reality based economist and columnist when you link to such a palinly* false absurd claim.

It just will not do to consider a totally false claim on a matter of fact to be not worthy of even a mention. Once one decides to let falsehoods pass, because they don’t matter much, where is one to draw the line ?

* this was an honest typo. It might have been Freudian as I had just asked (on my blog) if there is any difference between Hayes’ claim and Palin’s claim about death panels. I see none. Both are utter falsehoods which demonstrate ideologically induced delusions, or contempt for the truth, or both.

update II Now I'm wondering about *my* sanity. Brad DeLong has a tweet linking to Hayes with no criticism. Now I can see how it is hard to fit discussion of one tossed of totally false absurd claim into 140 characters but What the Hell is Going On !

OMFG Brad quoted Hayes at length without any criticism. He didn't quote the absurd historical falsehood, but he didn't mention it either.

Brad is very proud of his role in the one successful Clinton administration effort to expand the welfare state. He agonized over the failure of the colossal effort to obtain universal health insurance *and* he once named Robert Rubin as the one person in the whole world who he considered most qualified to be President of the USA !

But whether I'm sane or not, I just cut and pasted from the much linked Hayes article.

WTF !?!?!

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