Hillary Rodham Clinton's Sovietology Exercise

Michael Friedman mfriedma at us.oracle.com
Tue Mar 30 13:53:42 EST 1993

Bernie, straw men are really pathetic debating tactics.  Don't use
them - they just detract from your arguments.

In article <C4MF3C.BDH at world.std.com> cosell at world.std.com (Bernie Cosell) writes:
>In article <1993Mar27.012953.4607 at oracle.us.oracle.com>, Michael Friedman (mfriedma at us.oracle.com) wrote:
>} In article <1ot5vgINN28i at gap.caltech.edu> kloomis at cco.caltech.edu (Kate E. Loomis) writes:
>} >Regarding the extensive list of names on the "top secret, Soviet-Style
>} >health reform task force" : there is no analogy here. These people are 
>} >not creating policy, they are _drafting a plan_ . ...
>} >So what is the problem?

>} The problem is that we are supposed to have an open government.  Plans
>} that do not require security are not supposed to be drafted in secret
>} by people whose names are not even released.

>} If nothing else, people who object to the makeup of the task force
>} have the right to know who is on it and to present their objections to
>} the people of the United States.

>I don't understand this.  

I can tell.

>By and large, NONE of the government
>'plan making' machinery is particularly open.  

Phrases like "particularly open" or so vague that they are
meaningless.  However, can you name another government committee whose
members are secret and which is not related to national defense or
sensitive foreign policy issues?

>The gov't *IS* open:
>by and large they are bound to public disclosure before enacting
>almost anything.  But before that public disclosure, the zillions
>of agencies, committees, boards, administrations, etc, mostly
>follow their own courses to decide *what* to propose.  In fact,
>usually you don't even *know* that a particular gov't group is
>_going_ to propose something until the public notice appears, and
>the question of *how* they decided to propose what they did is
>irrelevant and moot.

This is known as a straw man.  No one is objecting to Hillary's
taskforce keeping its internal deliberations private.  People are
objecting to keeping the names of the individual on it secret.  That
is not standard policy.

>And in any event, why should the makeup of the committee be of any
>real concern?   Either you like the plan or you don't, what
>difference does it make whether it was drafted by Rush Limbaugh or
>Lawrence Tribe?  

Because by examining the makeup of the committee one can often predict
its recommendations.  By influencing its makeup one can often effect

For example, Clinton promised that his task force would include people
from all over the health industry.  In fact, the vast majority of them
are government employees and most of them are Democratic congressional
staff.  Right off the bat that tells us a lot about what the final
result will be.

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