Category Archives: Op-Eds and other opinions

Almost, Douthat, almost. . ..

But it seemed that way because it was hard to imagine the Obama White House botching the design and execution of its national health care exchange. Building Web sites, mastering the Internet — this is what Team Obama does! Except … Continue reading

Posted in General discussion, Ross Douthat, specious comparisons | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

You would have noticed this hypocrisy… if you weren’t such a hypocrite

Jonah Goldberg at NRO rings up a fantastic subjunctive tu quoque: Yes, it’s extremely unlikely he ordered the IRS to discriminate against tea-party. . . . And his outrage now — however convenient — is appreciated. But when people he … Continue reading

Posted in Ad hominem tu quoque, Jonah Goldberg | Tagged | 5 Comments

Pretty in pink

Check out Charles Krauthammer’s downplaying analogy over at the NRO for Obama’s ‘Red Line’ ultimatum with Syria using chemical weapons and what the Right thinks is dithering (or “fudging and fumbling”) in the face of the worry they’ve used them.  … Continue reading

Posted in Charles Krauthammer, Weak Analogy | 1 Comment

The old ball and chain

A playground loser may save his ego with the following: I didn’t want to win anyway.  Here’s Yale Professor David Brooks’ latest version. But last week saw a setback for the forces of maximum freedom. A representative of millions of gays and … Continue reading

Posted in David Brooks | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Scarequote overkill

Scarequotes are a form of downplayer (I’d posted on them and what I call the scarequote exercise earlier HERE) — you use them when you invoke the vocabulary of the opposition, but to call attention to how false the vocabulary … Continue reading

Posted in Op-Eds and other opinions, Things that are false | Tagged | 2 Comments

Classic Krugman

Check out this video on Bloomberg. The story goes something like this.  In the remark shown on the screen, Paul Krugman cautioned that he is not calling someone a name (via a Monty Python reference lost on the speaker), but … Continue reading

Posted in Paul Krugman, Specious allegations of fallacy | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Reduce, reuse, recyle

Fig.1: Conservativism Here is a post for those who think that pointing out the inconsistency between a party’s name and its alleged position on an issue constitutes a decisive refutation of their view.  That “conservatives” fail to “conserve” or “preserve” … Continue reading

Posted in Argument from Inconsistency, Equivocation, George Will | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Love democracy, despise your fellow citizens

Check out last Friday’s Mallard Fillmore: The thought here is a familiar sour-grapes yuckface that those on the losing ends of elections make about what they think wins elections — catering to the intellectual tastes of a credulous and decadent … Continue reading

Posted in Op-Eds and other opinions, Straw Man | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Reductio by analogy

Johah Goldberg wrote a book about public and political discourse.  That makes him an expert about how people argue about policy.  His recent criticism of Joe Biden’s rhetorical flourish “if it saves one life,” reason to heavily regulate fire arms … Continue reading

Posted in Jonah Goldberg, Straw Man, Weak Analogy | 7 Comments

Progressivism Isn’t Everything, It’s The Only Thing

Sometimes I think the real reason Hume aimed his skeptical arguments at the notion of causation is because he perceived the manifold ways dubious argumentative strategies can give causal arguments tremendous rhetorical force.   George Will was kind enough to provide us … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Explanations, Division/Composition, False Cause, General discussion, George Will, Narrativism, oversimplified cause | Tagged , , | 13 Comments