Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ballance at Vox ?

Ezra Klein has an excellent post on the closed feedback loop conservabubble where the obamacare is failing. One aside illustrates a few things. The first is that I find it much easier to criticize than to praise -- I can't help myself. The second is that the rule that an essay should include a "to be sure" and a "both sides" is very strong. The third is related to Drum's rule -- if you have to search comment threads for evidence that people of type X have crazy opinion Y, you have really found evidence against your conclusion.

the aside is

(Of course, information loops can go the other way, too: a lot of liberals probably don't know that of the much-discussed 8 million enrollees in Obamacare's insurance exchanges, new data suggests only about 7.3 million stuck around as paying members.)
It is, of course, true that a lot of liberals don't know about the 7.3 million as it is true that a (smaller) lot of liberals never heard about the 8 million -- political junkies can't imagine how little normal people know about public affairs.

That said, Klein's argument is so weak that, if I didn't trust his integrity, I would suspect that he was trying to convince people that all loopy information loops loop right. 7.3/8 >90% . The fraction is at the upper end of predictions. political junky liberals have been reading forecasts that the ratio will be about 90% for months from, for example, Charles Gaba .

The 7.3 million number was trumpeted at liberal sites

Trusting Klein's integrity as I do, I think the aside really does provide strong evidence for the opposite of its apparent claim.

First the news for the ACA has to be very good indeed for "only about 7.3 million" to be the example of not as good as the rest of it news for the ACA.

Second, the hack gap is huge. New liberal alternatives to the MSM (shuch as Talking Points Memo and VOX) play it straight. In fact, liberals like Klein feel the need to add a bit of Ballance.

Well at least I sincerely honestly believe this. Klein's critique of Klein and people like him is so feeble and his obvious interest in convincing people of the opposite of his stated claim means that my confidence that he didn't make an invalid argument on purpose indicates my absolute faith in his integrity.

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