Saturday, March 5, 2011


The following is my original rebuttal in response to Jim Benton's viscious personal attacks upon me as documented on the dorfonlaw blog under comments to Neil H. Buchanan's "Health Care, Incentives, and Complexity" editorial.   Orginally intended to be published in two parts on the blog site March 4, 2011, part one was repeatedly deleted from the dorfonlaw site for unknown reasons, (part two is still there as of now, 1:20pm on 3/5/2011). I therefore here re-post both parts of my response to Mr. Benton in their entirety, (with appropriate notation as to where each respective part begins). 

Jp Andreas, President and Blogmaster, ACLP. 


Jim Benton's (aka 'prups') vicious personal attack on me yesterday for merely sharing my perspective is I'm sure as shocking to other readers of this blog for the tone of its invective as it was to me. But I'm confused, doesn't he watch T.V.? As a loyal foot soldier in the Democratic party obviously versed in carrying the DSCC's water how could he have missed our good President's calls for "civility" after the Tuscon shootings? Indeed, in the extensive media aftermath we were all repeatedly informed it was the "vitriolic and divisive" rhetoric of the political right spouted on Fox news and talk radio that caused this national tragedy, (in spite of no evidence for such a theory coming out whatsoever; rather, Mr. Loughner was an apolitical schizophrenic or, if we are going from reading lists, a Communist, see my “Dubya Dupnik” post on the ACLP's blog for Jan. 2011. So much for the argument there exists no liberal bias in the news media!)

Though the false and scurrilous accusations of Mr. Benton are far too numerous to respond to here, (even in a multi-part post), I refer all those interested in the truth in this matter to the ACLP's blog at for a far more comprehensive reply; I cannot however allow Mr. Benton's most obvious and pernicious lies to go unanswered.

Mr. Benton suggests I “lose the pretentiousness and propaganda and actually try and contribute to the discussion,” implying I have NOT positively contributed to the debate at Leaving aside his statement's own evident “pretentiousness” and arrogance, judging from other users' comments on this site his assertion is clearly false, (see below).

Indeed, I have had some extended conversations with various individuals on dorflaw, who, in spite of disagreeing with me and, I suspect, frankly sharing Mr. Benton's political views on most subjects, have nevertheless not felt it necessary to call me a liar, a propagandist, or attack me personally but instead have pressed their arguments using logic and skills that apparently evade Mr. Benton. The following published comments from this site, (of which I have conveniently procured screen shots for the record), prove this to be the case. Aside from the information in brackets, they are exact quotes:


"@JP - I'd love to get it [censorship of JP posts] to stop as your responses have been interesting and have added to the debate... If Mr. Dorf or Mr. Buchanan could post the original comments or add JP to a safe list it would be helpful." -Doug

"@JP - It does clarify your position and it was a most interesting post to read."

Doug, from the comment thread at post "A shift in Washington's attitude towards home ownership"

“Thanks JP. It's been fun.” - Egarber

From “The Enforcement/Defense calculus in DOMA and beyond” thread.

And, from none other than the founder of this blog, (and in the same thread as Doug's comments above in response to my concerns brought to his attention about the mysterious deletions of my posts and temporary blocking of access to my google account and blog):

"Good luck in getting your account restored. Thanks for reading and commenting here."- Michael Dorf

Now I may not be near as "enlightened" as you are Jim, but I find such a thing as these posters have replied to me to be awfully strange for someone who doesn't "try and contribute to the discussion" as you slanderously assert.

Moreover, Mr. Benton's bald claim that government does “everything more efficiently” is clearly not accurate. Apparently he has never heard about his “efficient” government's five hundred dollar toilet seats or read the recent GAO report on waste and duplication in gov programs, (or, so it seems, even Mr. Buchanan's post to which he replied, which itself contradicts his claim:

“For example, calls to have members of Congress file their own taxes, or to have governors register their own cars with their states' DMVs, are based on the belief that there is nothing quite like lived experience to break through a person's apathy about others' plight. Health care is one of those issues for which seeing how the other 95% live might well lead to changes in policymakers' and analysts' attitudes about what is acceptable.” Mr. Neil Buchanan, “Health Care, Incentives, and Complexity.”

Indeed, while Mr. Benton may have lots of experience in the health care system, he apparently has not visited his state DMV office in quite a while.

Similarly, his claim that:

“when a governmental agency makes a mistake, you have an immediate right to review, and can delay its enforcement until there is a fair hearing,” I find extremely specious vis a vis the context of an expanded role for government in health care, (i.e., Obamacare), for the simply fact that who's to make it if it doesn't? Indeed, from my post on this subject at the ACLP's website,
“If we make government, the current regulator over fair health practices into a health insurance provider or player itself, (as Obamacare ultimately does), who will regulate the regulators?  Right now there are already laws against health insurers denying care wrongly, and if necessary, the people's representatives can pass new ones, as the Democratic process allows...
However, if the government itself is the provider of your health care, if they have the first and final say establishing what care you should receive and the government itself denies your claim, who are you going to turn to then?  Indeed, by making government itself a stakeholder in the outcome, rather than the government merely being an impartial referee which applies the same rules to all, the entire system is rigged from the getgo against you and turned on its head.
From Feb. blog post, “So what's really the problem with Obamacare?”- ACLP blog

Finally, and even though even it might seem counter-intuitive, I am actually heartened at the thought that if personal attack was the only way Benton and Co. could respond to my arguments then they must really be quite bankrupt idea-wise (and likely terrified of the headway I am making! :) Otherwise, why the need to demonize?

Moreover, and best of all, since I and the ACLP are just the fledgling "one-person affair" he alleges, it is gratifying to know from our web analytics today that by highlighting our organization and its blog he has single-handedly driven an increase in traffic to our site by more than 300%, (thank you Mr. Benton! :) Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, the fact he felt he had to resort to such tactics heartens me at the soundness of my arguments. Indeed, as another more wise than I once said, "if you must resort to personal attacks and smears to win the argument you've already lost it.”

Jp Andreas, President, ACLP

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