Understanding the opposition: The elites vs reality in regards to Obamacare

Jonathan Alder asks Why Did Legal Elites Underestimate the Case Against the Mandate? “A better question to ask is: why did so many expect legal elites to have any particular insight into the current court?”

There are a number of points raised. One is about the dismissive attitude using ridicule and sneers in considering opposing views. Another is the focus on academia turning from what has been to fantasies about what should be. Another is ideological bias enhanced by a selected community.

“In teaching our students to be effective lawyers it is important that we teach them how to understand opposing legal arguments on their own terms. … you can’t effectively advocate your own position until you truly understand the other side. This can be difficult to do, particularly when we have strong feelings about a subject. Someone who believes the PPACA is a long-overdue step toward remedying the profound injustices of the American health care system is not predisposed to embrace arguments that the PPACA is unconstitutional. And if those same academics both lack colleagues with opposing points of view and have no particular professional interest in making sure they fairly consider the other side, it is easy for them to overlook the strength of opposing arguments and reduce them to caricatures. Ridiculing the need for a limiting principle or other anti-mandate arguments may get approving nods in the faculty lounge, but, as we saw this week, it won’t receive an equally warm welcome in court.”

The phenomena is seen outside of the legal sphere as well. The climate alarmists display similar problems. Many of those STEM related topics that have “alternative” pasted on the front also show this behavior in their advocates. It is why those who do hold onto intellectual integrity feel like they are talking to a brick wall when they encounter such advocates. The concern is about what will happen when reality crashes in as it appears might happen with the health care legislation.

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