Saturday, December 25, 2021

New Year's Resolutions: 2022

Everyone's favorite Debate Link tradition, coming to you live from Christmas Day! Here are the 2021 resolutions, and the whole series can be found here. As always, we begin by seeing how last year's resolutions went:

Met: 1 (knock on wood), 2,  3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15

Missed: 4, 7, 9, 14, 16

Pick 'em: 8 (no RingFit, but I have been semi-regularly doing sit-ups).

Onwards to 2022!


1) Get any recommended COVID boosters that are released in 2022. (Met)

2) Get a book contract. (Missed -- it's been "under review" for a year and a half!)

3) Submit a sample chapter for the antisemitism textbook. (Missed)

4) Buy a house(!!). (Met!!!)

5) Make a new friend in Portland (if at first you don't succeed...). (Met)

6) Reach a new rating high on (current peak rating: 1214). (Met, and how -- a new peak of 1522, over 300 points higher than last year's peak)

7) Go for walks on a semi-regular basis. (Missed)

8) Buy a new video game (not a repurchase of an old game). (Met)

9) Go to a sporting event. (Met)

10) See a sight in Oregon that's not in Portland(Pick 'em -- does Salem count as a "sight"?)

11) Publish another column in The Oregonian. (Missed)

12) Successfully manage an RA. (Met)

13) Visit at least one of the following places: DC, Las Vegas, Bay Area, or Seattle. (Met)

14) Donate to at least one new charity. (Met -- I was actually reminded by this post to donate to the Oregon Jewish Museum!)

15) Go to a local comedy club at least once. (Missed)

Friday, December 24, 2021

Out/In: 2021-2022 Edition

It's not quite a tradition, but we have done it at least once before: an out/in list. What is out, and what is in, come the New Year? Read below to find out!

Oregon v. Smith
Open Hillel
Nailing Trump on the insurrection
Abortion rights
Susan Collins switches parties?

Build Back Better (original flavor)

Challenging election results
Second Reconstruction
Cancel culture
Blue Virginia
Texas is a swing state
Trump/Bibi bromance
Jewish Institute for Liberal Values

"The Supreme Court is not a superlegislature"
Timothy Chalamet
Steve King
LibDem wave
First Amendment Lochnerism
Vaccine mandates
Sherbert v. Verner
Closed Jewish Currents
Nailing Trump on racketeering
Bounty hunting
Kyrsten Sinema runs as an independent?
Build Back Better (Manchin diet edition)
Ignoring election results
Second Redemption
Book burning
blue Virginia
New Jersey is a swing state
"Fuck him."
Some equally annoying astroturf group
"The Supreme Court is a super-CDC"
Pauline Chalamet
Paul Gosar
Regular fa
Prime Minister Keir Starmer
Right to die

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

What If Trump Had Been Clear on the Vaccine from the Start?

Kevin Drum flags a new approach from former President Donald Trump vis-à-vis the vaccine: it was my doing and MAGA-land should stop letting liberals take credit for it. Drum says that if this had been Trump's approach from the get-go, "We'd probably be 90% vaxed by now. Hell, Republicans might have a higher vaccination rate than Democrats."

Not sure about that last part. But it is certainly the case that much -- not all, but much -- right-wing antipathy towards vaccines would have never come into being. Some would have still existed -- the conspiratorial anti-vaxx wing of the conservative movement predates COVID and would not have been squelched entirely no matter what Trump did -- but it wouldn't have been amplified endlessly on Fox, nor would it have become a tribal identifier for true Trumpist loyalty.

Would Democrats have simply flipped and become the new anti-vaxx party? Unlikely. We'd still see anti-vaxx sentiment from these sorts of "progressives". And they'd be roundly thought of, and presented as by other liberals as idiots worthy of contempt and scorn (though they'd no doubt be defended vociferously by Glenn Greenwald types). Hippy-dippy anti-vaxx sentiment on the left would have remained a joke, just as it had been for years before it became a conservative domain and suddenly had to be respected as a grave matter of conscience and a deep policy dilemma. The vast majority of Democrats would still get vaccinated, because at least in this domain polarization really is asymmetric and Democrats aren't willing to enroll in a death cult just to do the opposite of whatever Trump does.

Oh, and I also strongly suspect that if Trump had taking this loud pro-vaccine stance from the beginning, there's a solid chance he'd still be President today. So take from that what you will.