While Charles Krauthammer argues (with some pretty silly comparisons) that we shouldn’t be upset about drunken astronauts:

>Have you ever been to the shuttle launch pad? Have you ever seen that beautiful and preposterous thing the astronauts ride? Imagine it’s you sitting on top of a 12-story winged tube bolted to a gigantic canister filled with 2 million liters of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. Then picture your own buddies — the “closeout crew” — who met you at the pad, fastened your emergency chute, strapped you into your launch seat, sealed the hatch and waved smiling to you through the window. Having left you lashed to what is the largest bomb on planet Earth, they then proceed 200 feet down the elevator and drive not one, not two, but three miles away to watch as the button is pressed that lights the candle that ignites the fuel that blows you into space.

>Three miles! That’s how far they calculate they must go to be beyond the radius of incineration should anything go awry on the launch pad on which, I remind you, these insanely brave people are sitting. Would you not want to be a bit soused? Would you be all aflutter if you discovered that a couple of astronauts — out of dozens — were mildly so? I dare say that if the standards of today’s fussy flight surgeons had been applied to pilots showing up for morning duty in the Battle of Britain, the signs in Piccadilly would today be in German.

And Michael Gerson, warrior of words, argues that the party whose leader promises to veto a bill that would provide insurance to poor children is somehow Christian:

>Romney, however, should not make Kennedy’s mistake and assert that all religious beliefs are unrelated to politics. What Mormonism shares with other religious traditions is a strong commitment to the value and dignity of human beings, including the unborn, the disabled and the poor. This conviction is unavoidably political, because it leads men and women to act in the cause of justice, not in order to impose their religion, but to protect the weak.

E.J. Dionne–liberal columnist I think–explains why the is just like Rush Limbaugh:

>Perhaps you missed it, but Wednesday was the 19th anniversary of Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. Limbaugh was celebrating his ripe old age, in media years, in the same week that liberal blog fans were trekking to Chicago for the YearlyKos convention. Therein lies one of the most important stories in American politics.

What Krauthammer says is outrageous: we’re not in the Battle of Britain and a drunken astronaut endangers the lives of the rest of the crew, people on the ground (and the billions of dollars invested in the shuttle program). Gerson’s claim about justice rings hollow in light of Romney’s belligerent rhetoric.

Those are the kinds of arguments–dumb ones I mean–that Limbaugh would be making. That is, after all, what Limbaugh does. He makes crappy arguments and spreads untruths. But, according to Dionne’s knuckle-headed article, Limbaugh does so in the service of a partisan goal. So any media figure who (ideologically and pragmatically) advances a partisan agenda (and arouses the ire of the opposition) is just like Limbaugh.

Dionne, of course, thinks Limbaugh is full of it. And, while he is sympathetic to dailykos), you’d never know that by his silly comparison. But then again, Dionne isn’t really interested in the substance of arguments.

2 thoughts on “Comparisons”

  1. Faulty, poorly conceived comparisons are certainly one of the troubling cruxes of American political discourse (can we still even call it that?). Thanks for bringing this point to light.

    I have one factual clarification; the drunken astronauts were not necessarily flying the shuttle. Astronauts also regularly fly test missions and also fly aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Russian authorities have publicly denied that it allowed any intoxicated American astronauts to use it’s flight equipment, which leads me to believe the GAO report must indicate that the drunken astronauts where in Russia at the time. However, your point still stands because it clearly endangers other lives and puts billions of dollars worth of space flight equipment at unnecessary risk.

  2. Perhaps Krauthammer has finally revealed the reason he constantly writes such dreck: he “prepares for battle” before he writes his column. After all, a little liquid courage is requisite for such an “insanely brave” soul to venture out into the frightening expanse of the liberal media.

    And one more thing: this line,”Have you ever been on the launch pad?” Ummm, yeah, right back at ya, sparky. Have you ever been to Iraq? Have you ever faced down the wrong end of a gun barrel? Have you ever faced your enemy through the sights of a rifle? And yet you compose columns with an alarming alacrity on the manner in which these matters should be conducted.




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