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Here Comes the Sunstein

September 11th, 2009 · 6 Comments

I’m happy to see scholar Cass Sunstein finally confirmed to head OIRA despite the bizarre attempt to paint him as a fire-breathing radical determined to seize your guns—presumably using the mutant mastery of magnetism with which all OIRA directors are endowed.   The panic might have been avoided if, instead of mining his academic work for evidence of his views on the Second Amendment, animal rights, and other issues with little relevance to his job description, people had looked to stuff like this eminently sane op-ed on how to think about the costs and benefits and regulation, which is what the OIRA head actually does.

Tags: Journalism & the Media · Science



6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jre // Sep 11, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    It’s hard not to take some pleasure in anything that frustrates Glenn Beck, so let’s.

    But somebody needs to mention that, eminently sane as that op-ed may have been, well researched it was not. Case in point:

    In poor nations, though, DDT bans eliminate what appears to be the most effective way of combating malaria – and thus significantly undermine public health.

    Wrong on every point (unless, of course, Sunstein has some actual nation in mind where DDT was banned even though it was the most effective way to combat malaria).

    Overall, the piece displayed some awfully casual scholarship — as if Sunstein was trying to be the David Brooks of regulatory philosophy. I hope he surprises me, though, and does a great job in his new post.

  • 2 sidereal // Sep 11, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    I have read it written both that in ancient times (meaning anytime during or before the 70s) bipartisanship and congressional comity were such that procedural aggressions like filibusters and reflexive holds on the opposite party’s nominations were very rare; and that in ancient times partisanship was so bad that people caned each other in public and nothing could ever get passed.

    I guess I’ll have to read a book on it to figure out which is true.

  • 3 Consumatopia // Sep 13, 2009 at 11:01 am

    It would make sense to vote for cloture and then either against him or not voting at all in the final vote. He seems like a reasonable pick for OIRA from both a left and right perspective, but he also seems like a terrible future pick for SCOTUS from both a left and right perspective–a strange sort of Pareto detriment for all sides.

  • 4 Julian Sanchez // Sep 13, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Sure, but can’t we deal with his suitability for SCOTUS if and when that’s the job he’s up for? Is there some inexorable momentum where once he’s confirmed for one, he’d have to be confirmed for the other?

  • 5 jre // Sep 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    What? You want us to wait until a nomination is made, instead of getting all worked up pre-emptively over the nightmarish qualities of some hypothetical future nominee?

    That is not how our modern democracy works, suh!

  • 6 Lacy Posis // Jun 22, 2012 at 8:51 am

    excellent submit, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You should proceed your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

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