Tag Archives: John McCain

An Exercise in Scarequoting

Classic downplaying is the strategy of making something look less important or significant.  You can do this with euphemisms, so you can call a pay cut "salary compression," or you can call the victims of indiscriminate use of lethal force … Continue reading

Posted in Argument Analysis, General discussion, John McCain, Reporting, Sarah Palin | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Teenage Wasteland

Media bias resists simple quantification.  First, it's not clear what "bias" means.  In the case of a contest between two political candidates, it may mean (1) a tendency to measure people by differing standards; or (2) uncritically adopting or repeating … Continue reading

Posted in Deborah Howell, Inexplicable | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pretty woman

Practically by his own admission, Charles Krauthammer's thin case isn't worth making fun of–"he's going down with the ship" out of fears that Obama would not frighten the Beejeebus out of our terrorist enemies, like Bush does now.  Which he … Continue reading

Posted in Bad Explanations, Kathleen Parker | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Race baiting

Charles Krauthammer, despite his apparent recognition of the shortcomings of the Republican ticket, can still find a way to generate outrage.  Today, for instance, he complains about those who would suggest there is a racial element to the McCain campaign.  … Continue reading

Posted in Charles Krauthammer, General discussion, Specious allegations of fallacy | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

What will the neighbors think?

If God isn't moved by direct prayers–oh Lord, please help me!–perhaps He will be moved by trash talking (via Washington Monthly): Unhelpful for establishing the tone McCain sought in Davenport was the Rev. Arnold Conrad, past pastor of the Grace … Continue reading

Posted in General discussion, Religion | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Don’t be negative

A guest op-ed in the Washington Post (by Vanderbilt Political Science Professor John G. Geer) makes the obvious point that "negative" ads are not ipso facto bad (a similar point was made more effectively I think by Jamison Foser at … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, specious comparisons | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Stay classy, Bill Kristol

William Kristol has a strategy for raising the level our national discourse as the election draws near: That debate is important. McCain took a risk in choosing Palin. If she does poorly, it will reflect badly on his judgment. If … Continue reading

Posted in Ad Hominem Abusive, Ad hominem circumstantial, bad company, William Kristol | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Stand down

A few posts back (and for a couple of posts) I remarked on the tendency of "liberal" pundits to separate themselves from the "liberal" candidate by frequently criticizing him or her, usually for failing to look enough like the conservative … Continue reading

Posted in General discussion, George Will, Ruth Marcus, Straw Man | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Theory of negativity

Jamison Foser at Media Matters notices some very stunning idiocy and responds accordingly.  He writes: The Wisconsin Advertising Project looked at a single week's worth of ads in determining that 56 percent of McCain ads and 77 percent of Obama … Continue reading

Posted in category mistake, specious comparisons | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

American idle

In the wake of David Brooks's critical piece on Sarah Palin, I was going to point out that perhaps I was wrong about the right wing pundit corps.  Maybe they don't marshal any argument, however foolish, in support of their … Continue reading

Posted in General discussion, George Will, Lack of Evidence, Plain Bad Arguments, Straw Man | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments