Saturday, October 17, 2009

Update on Reich

Robert Reich has responded on his blog (don't be deceived by its cosmetic similarity to the SWNIDish blog, gentle readers!) to the circulation of an audacious audio clip, noted previously on this blog. We will take the unusual step of quoting in full to note that, despite his attempt to excoriate "the Right" for its use of his statement, what Reich still affirms is that he is stating the truth about so-called healthcare reform. Emphasis is inserted.

Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Rush, and the right-wing blogosphere seem interested in a talk I gave in September, 2007 to students in a political science class here at Berkeley, in which I played the role of a presidential candidate so politically incorrect and tone-deaf as to pummel every sacred cow in sight -- including the notion that our society could afford and would continue forever to pay whatever amount of money was required to keep everyone alive forever. The whole point of the mock exercise was to show that presidential candidates can't state what everyone knows to be the truth because they'll be taken apart by the Right or the Left. I slew many other sacred cows in that mock exercise, some of which are held dearly by the Left. Nonetheless, two years later the Right has exhumed the lecture and taken my words completely out of context purportedly to show that Obama and the Democrats plan death panels.

If their desperation weren't so pathetic it would be funny. After all, they have proven the whole point of my lecture. UC Berkeley maintains an archive of webcasts and my speech is available there verbatim, should you wish to listen to it in its entirety.
Well, Mr. Reich, the point that you say was "included" is certainly the point that we understood from the clip, that it amounts to sacrificing a sacred cow of the Left, and that you were telling truths that politicians don't want to talk about. How circulating this clip constitutes taking your "words completely out of context" is beyond my ability, as someone who studies the interpretation of words and belongs to a religious tradition that alternately takes words out of context and decries the same, to comprehend.

If your desperation weren't so pathetic, it would be funny. We borrow that hackneyed insult from you, by the way, simply because we've heard it so often in your radio commentaries.

No comments: