Monday, April 11, 2022

Megan McArdle, Disney, and the defending the indefensible adjacent.

One of Megan McArdle's go-to moves is to take some truly reprehensible Republican policy and come up with an argument that while it doesn't really make the same policy and it comes at the question from a completely different set of assumptions and justifications, is something kinda, sorta in the general ballpark which reasonable people might be able to accept. A bit like David Brooks but more hot-take centric. 

Unless you've done the sensible thing and stopped following politics, you've probably heard about this.
A political party promising to rewrite laws and regulations to punish a company for criticizing the party is about as blatant as corruption gets. With any kind of honest framing this is truly indefensible.

With that in mind, check out Megan Mcardle's comment.

At the risk of putting too fine a point on it, we are talking about the most naked example of political extortion we've seen since the Trump Administration (I know that was only two years ago but they set the bar really high). The Republicans have loudly and openly spelled out that these threats are payback for Disney's (constitutionally protected) criticisms of Republican policies.

McArdle is absolutely correct to suggest that the endless extensions of copyrights to protect the intellectual property of companies like Disney and Warner Brothers has been a horrible example of regulatory capture. Lots of people have been making this point from much larger platforms than ours including Dean Baker, Adam Conover, and Cory Doctorow, but the Republicans have clearly stated their reasons for this and they have nothing to with the greater economic good.

Megan McArdle doesn't defend the GOP extortion scheme here, but she very clearly takes the edge off of it. It's a bit like hearing a news story about firemen refusing to hook the hoses until they get a pay-off and responding that putting out fires is a good thing. 

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