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Betsy Is Still All Wetsy

Earlier this week, Elizabeth McCaughey wrote an article for, arguing against the stimulus package because it would allow government to destroy American health care. The article was wildly misinformed and misleading. But, surprise, that didn't prevent Rush Limbaugh and Fox News from citing it. Steve Benen has the whole story here.

Alas, this is an old story with McCaughey, who put forth similarly dishonest arguments during the debate over the Clinton health care plan. Those arguments--which, regrettably, originated in this magazine--played a small but important role in the plan's eventual demise. Right-wingers cited McCaughey over and over again, just as Rush and Fox have done this week.

Not long after the end of the Clintoncare fight, The Altantic's James Fallows went back and provided the definitive rebuttal to McCaughey, pointing out all of the mistakes she made. Today, Fallows reprises some of those arguments in a blog item.

The item is worth reading in full, as is the original article. As far as I'm concerned, McCaughey has forfeited her right to be taken seriously as a public intellectual, particularly on the issue of health care.

By the way, the other definitive demolition of McCaughey's aritcles was written by Mickey Kaus and, as it happens, also appeared in this magazine. You can now read Kaus's article here.  

Update: Ezra Klein and Igor Volsky have more on the present controversy. 

--Jonathan Cohn