Their reasoning is a non sequitur

George Will should not use the phrase "non sequitur."  He writes:

Some liberals argue that the Constitution is unconstitutional. Their reasoning is a non sequitur: The Constitution empowers each chamber to "determine the rules of its proceedings." It requires five supermajorities (for ratifying treaties, endorsing constitutional amendments, overriding vetoes, expelling members and impeachment convictions). Therefore it does not permit requiring a sixth, to end filibusters.

No one I know of argues that–and Will doesn't try to cite anyone.  It's a dumb argument, after all.  So he's right about that.  He ought to know, of course, because that is precisly Will's argument against everything else about government he doesn't like.  Since the Constitution doesn't expressly provide for it, it doesn't exist.  There is no right to x, because the Constitution doesn't say so. 

Now since no one argues for this silly view (other than Will), it's a perfect example of the hollow man.  Note the use of "some."    

Thanks to Aaron at the Stopped Clock for the hat tip, the pointer, and for generally reading this blog. 

6 thoughts on “Their reasoning is a non sequitur”

  1. I have a general question, and this is as good a place to post it as any (possibly even appropriate!):
    There is a psychological state/condition where persons are so ignorant &/or incompetent that they actually consider themselves possessed of expertise.
    I have seen it mentioned in the context of climate change arguments where, for example, meteorologists will commit argumentum ad vericundiam fallacies with the most self-righteous of confidence. Clearly it applies to Will whenever he talks about anything other than baseball and tieing a bow-tie. (And, for all I know, it is his wife that does the latter.)
    Any help here would be much appreciated.

  2. 'Dunning-Kruger effect'
    Thank you! My failure to remember that has been galling me for a while now.

  3. The SOTL fallacy strikes again. The Republicans should get a copyright for having their own version of the straw man. (SOTL= Some On The Left, immediately preceding, "say (insert idiotic position no one holds here)."

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