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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The "car insurance" analogy and intellectual dishonesty 


Righties correctly point out that Barack Obama's "car insurance" analogy makes it look like he does not understand how car insurance works. On its face, it is pretty difficult to understand how a law professor -- even a law professor? -- would not understand the difference between liability insurance, which is always required, and collision insurance, which is always optional. But of course he understands the difference. He is just making an intellectually dishonest argument and hoping nobody calls him on it, because that is what politicians do. Even Barack Obama. The difference is that he makes it all sound so reasonable, except when it is so silly that you snap awake from your usual stupor in shock and awe, shock at the transparency of the silliness and awe that he has the brass to try it.

And, yes, we can all imagine what the press would have done to George Bush or Sarah Palin -- or pretty much anybody who does not get the benefit of every doubt -- for saying something so silly.

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.


16 Comments:

By Blogger Tigerhawk Teenager, at Sun Feb 28, 06:12:00 PM:

Truth, although I remember making excuses for Bush when he did silly things. People are just willing to turn a blind eye to the silliness of people they like because their perspective is a bit different.  

By Anonymous sirius_sir, at Sun Feb 28, 07:10:00 PM:

"He is just making an intellectually dishonest argument and hoping nobody calls him on it, because that is what politicians do."

I'm not so sure. I think he is really that ignorant.

Either that, or he doesn't mind making himself out to look like a fool.  

By Anonymous davod, at Sun Feb 28, 08:25:00 PM:

Excuses - Bush examples.

I get the feeling the lefter the Democrat the less they care whether they lie to your face.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Feb 28, 08:44:00 PM:

This complete misinterpretation of the mechanism of Insurance...and how it works...makes it even more compelling that we see Obama's school transcripts.

If I rear-ended a Harvard Law school graduate, I would prepare myself for a fusillade of legal action that would leave me writing a big check to the guy and his auto shop...whether he had insurance or not!

The only thing worse would be to rear-end a police car!!

Either Obama is a fool...or he takes us for fools...or he is lying about the whole affair.

Actually, I think ALL THREE are the correct answer.  

By Blogger Simon Kenton, at Sun Feb 28, 09:48:00 PM:

Give me a hand here. I read what Obi said. What relevance has his insurance to the situation? When I get rear-ended, it doesn't make any difference whatever if I even have insurance. It's the other guy's insurance that matters; they're who pays. I actually tried calling my insurance after some zitty teenager attempted to sodomize my then Volvo, and in a nice way they blew me off completely. Not their business. His insurance company's business. So was there something special, or perhaps subtle and nuanced about the situation as presented by the President that I'm missing here?  

By Blogger Don Cox, at Mon Mar 01, 04:12:00 AM:

I can't see that insurance has anything to do with a health service. Do you rely for national defense on people taking out insurance against an invasion? Do you pay for roads or schools by insurance?

Any modern state should provide a health service for its citizens, rich or poor. It is amazing to me that people in the US can go bankrupt because they are attacked by some disease.  

By Blogger Marv, at Mon Mar 01, 07:38:00 AM:

Really, why the assumption of audacity to lie to score a political point?
The only trait Obama has demonstrated during his brief exposure to the world is his ability to speak smoothly like a snake oil salesman.
He has proven his ignorance on many subjects including history and economics.
In fact, he has yet to prove his vast intelligence to which the left media continuously refers.
Perhaps he really is severely limited to what we know him to be: a lawyer who has practised and seems to understand little law, a politician who has practised and seems to understand little politics and a seasoned community organizer who well understands the manipulation of the good will of citizens to achieve "social justice" (or redistribution if you want to be politically incorrect).
Maybe all you get is what you see. There is no more in his repertoire.  

By Anonymous Noel, at Mon Mar 01, 11:16:00 AM:

I don't think he's lying. I think he really expected ACME to hand him the keys to a brand-new car. Just like his Marxist professors handed him a degree. It's typical "something for nothing"-socialist thinking.

Although the professors did get something for the degree--a socialist president.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Mon Mar 01, 11:19:00 AM:

The government doesn't mandate car ownership.

Nor does the act of simply owning a car require insurance of any sort.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 01, 12:26:00 PM:

He lies. It is that simple. I am so tired of reading the postulated excuses and 'benefit of the doubt' statements.

That IS the character of the man. Accept it; know it; proceed accordingly. Don't compound it by being false to yourself.  

By Anonymous Formerly known as Skeptic, at Mon Mar 01, 12:37:00 PM:

Assuming for the sake of argument that the story really happened something like what he described. It is not too surprising that a college student with his first car might not realize what his insurance actually covered, but the lesson he claims to have learned from this episode is not "I should make sure that the coverage I buy is what I really need," but rather, "the minimum insurance mandated by law (which is what he admitted he had) should include all the things I think insurance should cover." Of course, he would then likely argue that it shouldn't cost any more either, since it should have included that coverage anyway.  

By Anonymous Dolf Fenster, at Mon Mar 01, 03:42:00 PM:

Then again, it could have happened just as Obama described. In the 1980's, he's rear-ended by someone with fly-by-night liability coverage. When he contacts the insurance company, they manufacture some excuse, most likely comparative liability of some sort, and basically tell him to get lost. This sort of thing has happened only, what, a million times since? After all, one's insurance coverage is only as good as the company providing it, and the premium you pay, which, of course, was the President's point.

But, hey, please continue the comparisons of Obama with Bush and Palin. He always comes away looking good.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 01, 04:54:00 PM:

DF - he said he paid the premiums to his insurance carrier on his "beater". He probably thought it included collision coverage. Obviously, it didn't. An embarrassing mistake then, but it appears he still doesn't understand the difference and neither do you. In your case, I could care less.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 01, 06:55:00 PM:

"Then again, it could have happened just as Obama described. In the 1980's, he's rear-ended by someone with fly-by-night liability coverage. When he contacts the insurance company, they manufacture some excuse,"

Then again, you could have actually read Obama's comments, as anonymous 4:54 alluded, it is obvious that "Acme" insurance was his carrier.

This was a ridiculously stupid comment and not a verbal gaffe.  

By Anonymous Mark @ Israel, at Tue Mar 02, 04:23:00 AM:

I wonder why Obama has to try such a silly tactic. Why should he use a "car insurance" analogy when it would reveal that he doesn't know what he is saying? I hope someone enlightens him.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Tue Mar 02, 08:59:00 PM:

If someone rear ends my car and causes damage, it is, by definition, their fault.

As a graduate of Harvard Law School, I will have to make an assumption here...and that is that Mr. Obama know the law and his rights under the law...probably BETTER than anyone else at the scene of the accident.

Yet he failed to sue the other party for negligence and failed to sue the insurance company for breach of contract.

We have a "Sophie's Choice" here for liberals.

Either Obama is an incompetent lawyer, an ignorant man, a liar...or all three.  

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