You did X
Stalin did X (or something like it)
Therefore, your doing X is wrong. And you’re like Stalin.
Arguments by analogy have trouble with relevance, and this one has plenty. In recent news, a rodeo clown took over the mic at a state fair in Missouri and put on an Obama mask. The announcer asked if they wanted to see Obama run down by a bull. That’s pretty crazy. The rodeo clown in the mask has been banned for life from participating in rodeos in Missouri, and all the other cowboys have been required to attend sensitivity training seminars.
The RIGHT, instead of feeling a little silly for catering to people who think that having bulls trample a president in effigy is good political commentary, they rush to these guys defense. This is where the Ad Salinem comes in. So here’s a taste of it over at the American Spectator:
I’m surprised, in the efforts to lynch the Obama Clown and brainwash other cowboys with sensitivity training, that the Obama regime and cronies have failed to recount one of my favorite Stalin stories from long ago.
After a hard day’s work, Uncle Joe blessed a Moscow circus with his presence. The clowns performed a bit that contained (what Stalin perceived as) political commentary obliquely critical of him. Yet the audience roared with delight at the funny clowns!
True to form, Stalin had his armed guards line up the clowns in center ring and execute them, on the spot.
Then, as a clever follow-up on Stalin’s part, he had the guards turn their guns on the audience and slaughter dozens. Call it a curtain call: it was curtains for all.
Oh, the dangers of mocking Great Leaders.
For arguments by analogy to work, there must be some important factors in common between the cases. Here are a few. 1. The objection to the clown’s portrayal of Obama wasn’t about criticizing his policies, but about the racist overtones of the portrayal. 2. None of the consequences visited on him are from the Obama administration, but from the Missouri State Fair officials. 3. Nobody in the audience had anything bad happen to them. 4. If you look at the picture closely, you’ll see that it looks like the guy’s got a broom halfway up his butt. He should be fired for that, solely. That’s not funny. It’s weird. Even for a rodeo clown.