Archive for the ‘Argument’ Category
Just to counter FDL, Corrente, Kos, and Open Left, let me just say that you motherfuckers are killing the liberal movement (I’m not ever going to bother addressing the PUMAs, who are only in this game to oppose Obama, nothing else). The Overton Window shifts left when the Republicans cease being a national party, not because you blogged about single payer a lot. At that point, the Democrats can split into a center-left and left party that can both win national elections.
Anyone on the left who opposes the president now is favoring this shift happening during their generation at the expense of this shift happening at all. You are all a bunch of selfish bastards who deserve to die in a fire; you are certainly not anyone who’s “keeping Obama honest”. Your shortsightedness will be all of our ruin.
Lambert and Vastleft at Corrente are always complaining that they’re not PUMAs or racists, but instead trying to critique Barack Obama from the left. Funny, then, that they continue to let Carolyn Kay post on the front page. Kay, or “Caro” as she’s known online, posts a daily blog roundup. Of course, most if not all of her recommendations are PUMA blogs, and one in particular (let’s just say that if you don’t read the Confluence, you’d still get to read most of their writing via her posts). This is harmless enough on its own, but recently it’s come out that she’s a hard core Birther.
Take today’s post, for instance. Caro notes the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari for Leo Donofrio’s crazy “natural born citizen” lawsuit with the kind of self-centered pith she’s become (in)famous for:
This decision confirms my belief that the Republican powers that be WANT Obama in the presidency. They must think they have a better chance of discrediting him and the Democratic Party with Obama at the helm.
It’s not that Donofrio’s suit has merit. It’s that the Republicans are engaged in a giant conspiracy to make the Democrats looks bad by…well, by…electing a Democratic president? Caro has gone so crazy that she’s gone down the rabbit hole and come out the other side. She’s spouting a racist right-wing conspiracy theory, blaming right-wingers for not expelling Obama from the presidency. She’s convinced herself that Obama will somehow discredit Democrats forever, so her ideal solution to protect Democrats is to elect a Republican. This is a special kind of crazy. It’s supporting Democrats via Rube Goldberg device.
This ranting isn’t by any means, though, a progressive critique of the President-Elect, which is what Corrente is supposedly all about. So Lambert and Vastleft, I’ll follow your lead and issue a self-righteous ultimatium: I’ll start taking you seriously when you shitcan Caro. Your tolerance of her right-wing bloviations undermines everything you claim to represent, and a dedicated reader of Corrente such as myself deserves nothing less than an end to this bullshit. What say ye?
UPDATE: Edited for clarity.
Shorter Riverdaughter: PUMAs are smarter than other Democrats because they chose Hillary Clinton, who was obviously the smarter choice.
I’ll have to file this away with “she’s obviously very mature to be dating a man my age” and “Homeopathy works because I feel better” under examples I readily use to highlight this particular fallacy.
Not content to be obsessed with only one blogger’s body, Ann Althouse goes for the deuce and calls Kevin Drum a fattie. As Althouse has perhaps the largest yet most fragile ego on the entire web, one insult isn’t going to do it; she also notes that Drum is a Clinton sycophant. Apparently posting one item with positive mention of Hillary Clinton is enough to earn sycophant status these days. Who knew? More on this later.
Stay with me, readers, because we’re not even to the craziest portion of this post yet. That comes later on, as Althouse muses why Drum gave her the Golden Wingnut Award:
I understand that I ruffled some feathers with that harshly satirical post that took aim at Bill Clinton and a feminist who festoons her blog with images of breasts. You can hate that post all you want, but there’s nothing right wing about it. If it’s any wing, it’s left.
So I got to thinking that Drum must be one of those politicos who’s carrying water for HC.
But I don’t have time. Not to write a poem and not to solve the mystery of whether Drum is on my case in service to the Clintons.
Althouse apparently thinks the reactions to her posts on Jessica Valenti’s breasts were all about defending Bill Clinton. She also thinks that any such criticism is part of a massive conspiracy against her powered by the Clintons.
Let that sink in for a second.
Needless to say, both these notions are completely absurd. If anything, reaction to Althouse was focused on defending Valenti from Althouse’s attacks after simply looking like herself and being photographed. The nutty professor implied that Valenti was slutting it up for the presidental photograph, when in reality Valenti simply wore business casual clothing and (gasp!) had breasts. Althouse also tried to shame Feministing for the female silhouettes in its logo, because they too had breasts, shockingly enough.
This argument was idiotic and puzzling at the time, and this still holds true. There’s nothing that Valenti could have done to be outside of Althouse’s slut criteria short of not attending the luncheon or taping down her breasts, indeed it seems that her only crimes were standing next to Bill Clinton and being pretty. When this was pointed out to Ann, the brouhaha quickly centered around her truly unhinged reaction to all the criticism, best exemplified by her Bloggingheads TV spot with Garance Franke-Ruta.
As for the conspiracy theory, well, I did say she had a big ego.
That Ann Althouse still thinks she’s the victim of some sort of liberal persecution in this matter is maddening, and it’s a testament to her lack of intellectual heft that the best she can come up with is fat jokes and egotistical delusions. But I’ve got to hand it to her, this is by far the best acceptance speech for a Golden Wingnut Award that I’ve ever read.
Althouse’s link to Drum’s post that dotes on Hillary Clinton (reproduced here) doesn’t actually take you to a real website, and a quick Google search of some the text she cites shows only her blog as a result. There’s a chance she made up the whole thing, which isn’t really surprising.
As I said earlier, Jill over at Feministe responded to my two posts from Wednesday, and she deserves a response. First, I want to say that I was wrong about the abortion study. Reading her take on the studies, as well as re-reading the abstracts (I didn’t read the actual study, as I don’t have a Lancet subscription), I realized that her case was persuasive, and that I too hastily dismissed them. It probably didn’t help that I read Matt’s and Megan’s takes on the study before reading the abstracts, and that probably skewed my initial reading somewhat. That’s not an excuse, however, I should have known better. In any case, I now disavow my original objections to the study and find its conclusions persuasive. Mea culpa.
Second, I want to disagree with Mike and agree with Jill regarding the propriety of her criticizing me when she’s such a bigger fish than I am. Part of the responsibility involved when putting your opinions into a public forum is accepting that those opinions are fair game for criticism, regardless of the traffic of those doing the criticizing. If I didn’t want anyone disagreeing with me, I shouldn’t have put my thoughts on a blog in the first place. Additionally, I’m posting under my full name, so it’s fine to refer to me by it (although I am attempting to foster some mystery as to whether it’s real or not). I’m not sure if Jill was pulling punches or just didn’t notice, but my name isn’t Soberish, the blog’s is.
That all said, I disagree with much of what Jill posted, and to some extent think she gravely misrepresented my positions. Since this could get somewhat lengthy, the rest is below.
Jill at Feministe wrote about both my posts from yesterday, and naturally I feel the need to respond. As it turns out, though, Mike Meginnis has come to my defense and says much of what I was going to say, so I’m just going to point anyone interested over to him. I’ll still have a response up, but not until after work.
Immediately after posting the previous item, I checked my reader for new posts, only to find zuzu from Feministe proving my point, responding to Matt Yglesias’ take on the abortion study I linked to previously:
What I’m interested in right now is the privilege on display — Matt, who will never have to face the question of whether to have an abortion, dismisses the Guttmacher study as “questionable.” And why? Because, gosh, it just doesn’t make any sense that women would seek abortions where they’re illegal and dangerous! It’s quite telling that Matt can’t get past the mathematical modeling of it all to reach the understanding that the reason that reproductive-rights advocates argue in favor of safe and legal abortion is that women will get abortions regardless of whether or not they’re legal, and they will get abortions regardless of the possibility of injury or death, because the alternative for them is worse. IOW, criminalizing abortion does not make abortion stop. It simply makes it more dangerous.
In other words, Matt’s purely scientific concerns with the study’s methodology are without merit, because the study agrees with zuzu’s ideology. Also, Matt is sexist.
zuzu is, of course, employing the patented “Privilege Defense” employed by some feminist bloggers. It’s a version of the ad hominem retort that involves ignoring the merits of your opponent’s argument, dropping words like “privilege” and “patriarchy”, insinuating that your opponent is sexist, and hoping they’re cowed enough not to respond. It’s the worst kind of well poisoning, and frankly it’s complete bullshit and needs to stop.
For further insights into the Privilege Defense, see Mike Meginnis. He knows more about it than anyone really should.
- the definition of poisoning the well
- another definition, this time of the appeal to emotion
- an explanation of the ad hominem fallacy fallacy
- a discussion of the problems with the phrase “you haven’t walked in my shoes”
Please keep these in mind the next time you respond to your co-workers. All employees of Blogosphere LLC need to ensure that they maintain a civil tone while corresponding with their fellow employees; don’t let your emotions blind you. Try arguing through your pain next time instead of freaking out.
I’d hate for this to become an issue during your annual review, but I’ll be forced to if you continue to foster this environment of tremendous personal hostility.
See you at the budget review!
Human Resources Assistant