Thursday, August 11, 2011

Am I REALLY supposed to take this seriously?

For some reason, the Democratic machine on the Internet seems prone to the straw-man fallacy, mixed liberally with ad hominem attacks.  Some sites are so into this that the two things are virtually indistinguishable; it's a veritable cob of horrible arguments.

Case in point: Michele Bachmann Supports View That Slavery Wasn't So Bad After All.  It's a pretty short article, with a large part of it being a quote from a book Bachmann apparently considers a must-read, so it's hard for me to find a pull-quote from it, but I'll go ahead and run with this one:

This is the rising star of the GOP. If you are even contemplating voting for this woman, you are a goddamn idiot.

Well, then.

Brief detour for a personal story: My ex-husband?  Totally still living in the homeless shelter (And still appearing in the paper!  My girls were able to pick out both their dad and his girlfriend in a picture of Haven for Hope's one year birthday barbecue).  For those not keeping track, he's been there 13 months now, with no real signs of getting ready to leave.  Anyway, a few weeks ago Bobbie came home and told me that her dad and my cousin Scooter, who is his best friend, were both calling me stupid with startling frequency.  I told her, "Honey, if I'm considered stupid by a guy living in the homeless shelter over a year and a guy who dropped out of junior high, I'm gonna consider it a compliment."

This is sorta like that.  If intellectually dishonest liberals consider me an idiot, I'll wear it as the badge of honor it is, 'cause these guys obviously can't see beyond their own biases.  (These are, after all, the same folks who came up with "Why saying 'I'm in the Tea Party is the same as saying 'I eat glue and like it.'")

Here's the thing (and again, I know I'm preaching to the choir).  Saying a book is a "must read" isn't an endorsement of everything--or even anything--in it.  For example, I consider Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickled and Dimed to be required reading, mainly because the elitism and condescension she displays throughout is breathtaking.  I certainly don't endorse, say, her belief that she was hired as a waitress rather than kitchen staff by simple virtue of being white.

Now,  don't get me wrong here.  I'm no Michele Bachmann fan.  But why put words in her mouth?  If she's really that bad a candidate, can't you point to her policy positions and actions for reasons why to not vote for her? 

And it's not just this one site and this one candidate.  Here's another: "If Rick Perry is seriously a Presidential front-runner, there's something wrong with all of us."  No pull quote, 'cause I can't quit rolling my eyes long enough to read the article.  But you get the idea.  Rick Perry can't possibly be a viable candidate because Texas leads the nation in job creation, can he?  Naw, can't give the electorate that much credit...

1 comment:

JebTexas said...

I love Larry Niven's comment on it: "There is a technical term we use to descibe those who believe writers share their character's beliefs. The term is "Idiots""

STILL cracks me up.