Category Archives: inconsistency

TU to-the-evah-lovin’ QUOQUE!

We’ve had a number of discussions here at the NS about how ad hominem tu quoque can sometimes actually be a relevant form of argument. (See one of mine HERE, Colin on it HERE, John on it HERE, and my … Continue reading

Posted in Ad hominem tu quoque, Argument from Double Standards, Argument from Inconsistency, inconsistency, is quoque, weak man | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

I won’t forget to place roses on your grave

Tu Quoque arguments, it seems to me, have a statute of limitations on when the first of the two inconsistent acts can be relevantly inconsistent with the second. (See my long article in Informal Logic for the full story)  For … Continue reading

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

It’s not hypocrisy if you don’t like it

Word has it that Paul Ryan, the respondent to the SOTU address, is a major fan of hack philosopher and confuser of undergraduates¬†Ayn Rand such that he distributes copies of her works to staffers and credits her work with¬†his desire … Continue reading

Posted in Ad hominem tu quoque, ignorance of basic matters of logic, inconsistency | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

There’s no modern Socrates, so you must be…

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist of some standing.  But he, unfortunately, isn't much for logic. Or, perhaps, simple consistency.  His recent article, "The New Sophists," over at National Review Online, exemplifies these two traits in spades. Hanson's thesis is … Continue reading

Posted in Contradictions, Hasty Generalization, ignorance of basic matters of logic, inconsistency, Specious allegations of fallacy | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Why aren’t conservatives for equal protection?

There is a old but reliable theme in political discussion: the gulf between the rights of individuals and the objectives of the state.  Liberal democracies are posited on the premise that the objectives of the state must be in the service … Continue reading

Posted in General discussion, inconsistency, Things that are false | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Bear with me

My colleagues have challenged me to look deeper into the abyss.  I did.  This is what I found (courtesy of Sadly, No!): In February of 2010, ABC News published an article regarding the 2009 enacted right to carry law in … Continue reading

Posted in Ad Hominem Abusive, General discussion, ignorance of basic matters of logic, inconsistency, Inexplicable, Lack of Evidence, Plain Bad Arguments, Red Herring, Specious allegations of fallacy, Straw Man, Things that are false, weak man | 8 Comments


Too much of our critical political discourse depends on one single virtue: consistency.  This is why Pat Buchanan, a man who writes articles (I am not exaggerating) in praise of Hitler–is a kind of pundit saint.  Since consistency matters, and consistency depends on … Continue reading

Posted in Ad Hominem Abusive, Ad hominem circumstantial, General discussion, inconsistency, Robert Samuelson | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

You have a right to be wrong

True story.  A few years back one of my students had confused some minor matter about a text of Plato.  When I pointed that out, another student commented: "He has a right to be wrong."  That odd justification comes out … Continue reading

Posted in Ad Hominem Abusive, Contradictions, George Will, ignorance of basic matters of logic, Ignoratio Elenchi, inconsistency, Plain Bad Arguments, Weak Analogy | Leave a comment

Serious Breaches of Trust

David Broder argues today that while he supports accountability for illegal acts and serious breaches of trust, he does not support investigating illegal acts and serious breaches of trust.  I have trouble putting these two claims together: First, we should … Continue reading

Posted in David Broder, inconsistency | 4 Comments


I think right now we have a system that rations health care.  It denies it to  the 47 or so million people who don't have insurance; it restricts health care to the people who don't have enough insurance; it denies … Continue reading

Posted in inconsistency, Michael Gerson, Plain Bad Arguments, Things that are false | 4 Comments