Sunday, December 19, 2004

All In

Poker players know that it’s often easier to bluff when your hand is unambiguously bad than when it has some real strength. The possibility of actually drawing the flush distracts from the crucial work of bluster and deception. Which explains in large measure why the innumerable arguments against Bush’s social security reforms are strangely irrelevant despite their obvious cogency. It simply doesn’t matter that partial privatization is indefensible. It proponents have no intention of playing defense. Just as rightists really don’t care that Star Wars is technologically infeasible or that there really is no scientific merit to intelligent design, they are quite indifferent to the fiscal and moral objections to the proposed changes to Social Security. Of course it’s a bad idea. How could it be a triumph for an aggressive minority if it were a good one? What’s the glory in winning a hand with a full house?

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