Adventures In Logic With Tom Coburn

Obama's pal, Senator Tom Coburn on, of all things, Medicare:

Responding to a man in Langley who asked if Obama “wants to destroy America,” Coburn said the president is “very bright” and loves his country but has a political philosophy that is “goofy and wrong.”

Obama’s “intent is not to destroy, his intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him,” he said.

“As an African-American male,” Coburn said, Obama received “tremendous advantage from a lot of these programs.”

So, I think the notion that somehow black people benefit from social insurance like Medicare but white people don't is a pretty ugly one, but fairly central to the effectiveness of the conservative argument against the welfare state. Even as Republicans win elections by scaring the crap out of white seniors over cuts to Medicare, and Democrats do the same, somehow, the notion that black people are the ones gaining a "tremendous advantage" prevails. Turns out "entitlement" has more than one meaning here.

What I enjoy about this argument though, is that where most conservatives try to argue that these programs don't do what they're supposed to do, Coburn essentially grants the notion that these programs help people who otherwise would lack the means to do so--that in fact, a little help from the government can help someone from a family of modest means become the president of the United States.He just thinks that the government making sure poor people and old people have health care is "goofy," because it's morally wrong that people aren't consigned to poverty by virtue of being born into a family that can't afford health care. 

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