Sometimes calling people names is not fallacious. And so, David Broder:
>When Powell wrote that Bush’s demand would compound the world’s “doubt [about] the moral basis of our fight against terrorism,” he was appealing to Jefferson’s standard.
>It is a standard this administration has flagrantly rejected. Bush was elected twice, over Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry, whose know-it-all arrogance rankled Midwesterners such as myself. The country thought Bush was a pleasant, down-to-earth guy who would not rock the boat. Instead, swayed by some inner impulse or the influence of Dick Cheney, he has proved to be lawless and reckless. He started a war he cannot finish, drove the government into debt and repeatedly defied the Constitution.
No inference is being explicitly or implicitly drawn on the basis of the meanie-meanie-bo-beanie remark (and it doesn’t seem to play a functional roll in this paragraph or the op-ed as a whole). Since no inferences are being drawn, if Broder is guilty of anything, it’s uttering or uncritically repeating dubious memes about Gore, Kerry and Bush. But that’s a question for those who study and analyse the formation and dissemination of the “conventional wisdom.” He continues:
>Now, however, you can see the independence party forming — on both sides of the aisle. They are mobilizing to resist not only Bush but also the extremist elements in American society — the vituperative, foul-mouthed bloggers on the left and the doctrinaire religious extremists on the right who would convert their faith into a whipping post for their opponents.
We might point out that being vituperative and foul-mouthed doesn’t mean you don’t have an argument, and that one finds many of the same bloggers on the right (add that to religious extremists and the balance shifts!), but that’s a factual point that we’d have to establish by reference to the relevant evidence. My anecdotal sampling of the blogosphere hardly seems sufficient evidence for such claims, so I won’t make them. Maybe Broder shouldn’t either, but he’s not arguing from this, he’s reporting it as fact. So once again, we’d leave that to the foul-mouthed blogers to discuss.