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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Biden’s Faulty Lifeguard Logic

“As the president said, if your actions result in only saving one life, they’re worth taking,” Vice President Joe Biden declared on Wednesday as he previewed what his commission on gun violence might actually do.

“There are executive orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the Cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”

Biden insisted that it is a moral imperative for the White House to do something: “It’s critically important that we act.”

Most of the attention, understandably, is on Biden’s suggestion that the president will consider using executive orders to do things he couldn’t possibly accomplish legislatively. The imperial presidency is always troubling, but when it rubs up against the Bill of Rights it is especially so.

But what I find to be arguably the most disturbing — and definitely the most annoying — part of Biden’s remarks is this nonsense about if it saves only one life, the White House’s actions would be worth it.

Maybe it’s because I wrote a whole book on the way phrases like “if it saves only one life, it’s worth it” distort our politics, but whenever I hear such things the hairs on the back of my neck go up.


1 comment:

lmclain said...

Our society has been STRANGLED by people who think that if their actions "save just one life", then it's worth all the laws, fees, surveillance, fines and punishments that are needed to control whatever behaviors are the current target of those who always know whats best for everyone. Here's a clue for all you "I know how everyone should live" do-gooders --- stop your BS. Keep your advice (and all your asssociated laws and regulations) to yourself. Most people are sick to death of your interference and your holier-than-thou perfection. Human error, accidents, and other unpredictable but nonetheless inevitable occurences kill, maim, and hurt people every day. Only God can stop it. I KNOW you THINK you are pretty close to being like him (wise and all-knowing) but you are not. Please leave the rest of us alone.