Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Still Life with Numskull

I GUESS we can’t help it, drawing premature conclusions, that is. It’s probably rooted in a primordial impulse we Homo sapiens needed to keep from being eaten back in the Pleistocene Epoch. Better to be wrong than being dinner for a saber-tooth tiger. These thoughts came to mind as I read the reactions to today Supreme Court hearings on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The black-robed justices, in full Socratic Method mode, grilled the government’s lawyer and set him back on his heels a bit. It’s what they do. Afterward, the news media’s Paleolithic instincts kicked it as they rushed out to report the proceedings. "This was a train wreck for the Obama administration. This law looks like it's going to be struck down. All of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong," concluded CNN's legal correspondent Jeffrey Toobin. Really? A ruling won’t be made for months. What you see (today) is not necessarily what you’re going to get later. Yet, the media is already howling that Obamacare is doomed. Reporters would make a tasty treat. But there’s never a hungry saber-tooth tiger around when you need one.

Painting: Paul Cézanne, "Still Life with Skull" (Nature Morte au Crane).

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