Smugness + wrongness = Esquire

Esquire gets the facts of the Cornhusker Kickback wrong:

Thanks [Ann Althouse] for the link, but, seriously, I know there are better things to do in Wisconsin than to be this publicly dim. . .

But this part is seriously hilarious.

We know that the Cornhusker kickback — AKA the Nebraska Compromise — was a deal made by Harry Reid to get the vote of Senator Ben Nelson, the last hold-out among the Democrats. The state of Nebraska got 100% funding for Medicaid, unlike all the other states, so that extra funding to Nebraska approaches vote-buying.

Actually, what we know is that the “Cornhusker kickback” — a rightwing term of art — is not in the Affordable Care Act at all. Scalia was repeating something he heard on his radio or on his TV. It was eliminated before the bill passed. So Scalia was constructing his “hypothetical” around something that is no more part of the ACA than the public option is. He’s just not trying very hard anymore. Neither, apparently, are many of his defenders.

What’s great about this is the height of smugness that this Esquire columnist achieves while getting the facts completely wrong.

In fact, the Cornhusker Kickback was not eliminated before the bill passed. It was part of the Senate bill that the Democrats were not able to amend because Scott Brown has been elected. As a result, the House had to pass precisely the Senate bill. The House also passed a second bill (the “reconciliation sidecar” it was called) that removed the Cornhusker Kickback and some other provisions unpalatable to House Democrats (such as taxes on high value health plans favored by unions). The second bill passed the Senate under reconciliation (so only fifty-one votes were required) and amended the first bill.

Moreover, every single thing that Althouse wrote in that quote was accurate: The Kickback was a deal made between Reid and Nelson to buy Nelson’s vote, and it would have given Nebraska 100% funding for Medicaid.

The only reason the Kickback isn’t part of the law now is it was so outrageous that Democrats had to repeal it. Nevertheless, less-publicized special provisions for at least five other states are still in the law.

When you mock someone’s command of the facts, you would do well to get the facts straight yourself.

POSTSCRIPT: If I wanted to be smug, I would also correct his use of the phrase “term of art”, but I’ll let that go.

(Via Althouse.)

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