National Review Writers Pen Four Pajama Boy Stories

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Dec. 19 2013 9:47 AM

National Review Writers Pen Four Pajama Boy Stories

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How many articles has National Review published in which manly man conservative writers pronounce their revulsion at the idea of a pajama-clad and rather slender young man preparing to sip some hot cocoa and discuss Affordable Care Act coverage options with his mom over the holidays? Well here's one from Jonah Goldberg, and another one from Charles Cooke, and yet a third from Michael Walsh.

So you're thinking to yourself—three? How can they get by with only three takes on this issue?

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See the answer is that National Review Editor Rich Lowry saved the definitive National Review conservadude take on Pajama Boy for an opinion piece published in Politico magazine. The need to bring his particular take on it (OK, well, like the other three National Review writers he sees Pajama Boy as an emblem of the failures of the contemporary left) to the broader Politico audience explains the relatively scanty coverage in NR proper.

At any rate, this is why National Review remains the flagship journal of the American right. The Weekly Standard limited itself to only a single article on the subject of Pajama Boy, though it did come up with the novel take that Pajama Boy is at odds with traditional notions of masculinity and this is both terrible and emblematic of the larger failings of the contemporary American left.

Lurking behind this gender-identity freakout is a sliver of a real issue, namely that in a whole variety of ways the Affordable Care Act does tend to redistribute economic resources away from men and toward women. The program taxes the rich (a disproportionately male group) to spend a lot of money on the poor and near-poor (a disproportionately female group). Meanwhile, inside the middle class it equalizes premiums between men and women—a move the Obama administration has marketed heavily to women, but which carries precisely offsetting costs for men.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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