Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bill Kristol Exposes Himself as a Total Fraud

Neo-conservative big thinker Bill Kristol has exposed himself as a clueless con-man.

The video clip linked to below has been circulating the internet. It shows Kristol being boxed in on healthcare by Jon Stewart. The clip is usually accompanied by a comment that this proves that a national healthcare plan is a good idea, since Stewart clearly has caught Kristol flummoxed with his pants over his head.

In actuality, the video doesn't prove that a national healthcare plan is a good idea. It proves that Kristol is a total fraud who doesn't even know how to use basic tools of economics to defend himself in intellectual debate.

At no point does Kristol raise the problems of limiting pay and other payments to the medical profession that will result in the suffocation of invention, creativity and advancements in the medical sector. At no point does Kristol point out that the rationing plan of government seems to be aimed at limiting care for the elderly and those with serious ailments. Kristol, if he had any clue, could have knocked Stewart so far into a hole that Stewart would have had to go back to doing stand-up in some honky-tonk on Hollywood Boulevard. That the intellectual voice of the neo-conservative movement couldn't lay a hand on Stewart, and was himself knocked to the ground many times by Stewart is nothing more than a clear sign of how intellectually bankrupt the neo-cons are.

Kristol ends up babbling something about the great healthcare in the armed services. He doesn't even get this right. Last I read, military medical care for wounded soldiers even at top hospitals can be a wreck.

The video is here.


  1. Military health care? It's great in real emergencies (e.g., when you've been shot or blown up in a war zome), but once the emergency has past, forget it.

    For routine care, it's endless lines, bureaucracy, and jumping through hoops to prove you actually need service. And preventive care, forget it. The only timing device you need to measure that service is a calendar. Most people don't bother trying.

  2. geoih,

    Is it even great in real emergencies? One statistic I haven't seen anyone keep track of about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is the wounded/mortality rate, or the outcomes of people being medivaced from combat or receiving triage care on the frontlines.

    I'm sure things have improved somewhat but all I can think of is those old WW2 movies (and Black Hawk Down) where the combat medic's role seemed to be to inject morphine into the wounded man so he inevitably died less painfully...

  3. Wenzel,

    Wow, just watched that clip. That was AWFUL. Does Kristol not have a problem with the military people being paid as little (on average) as they're paid? Does he not find that a bit contradictory? No where in this discussion, of course, does the question of "how do we objectively determine what things are worth?" come into play.

    You're right, Kristol is a fraud. He has to support the premise "Military healthcare is superb" or else he'll be called a hypocrite in his defense of the military. Stewart seized on this to present a "knock-down" argument for why there should be a "public option" in healthcare. If Stewart were debating anyone whose honesty were not already compromised by his ridiculous pro-war principles like Kristol, then that premise (military healthcare = superb) could be rejected outright and the debate could start from a more reasonable footing.

    This country is doomed. The only thing that will prevent a "public option" from happening is inability to finance it. The political will is there and there's no reason why, if most other countries have been convinced of its superiority, Americans won't eventually be convinced as well.