Persuasive or rhetorical explanation is the non-argumentative strategy of increasing critical scrutiny on one side of an issue by way of explaining a disagreement or situation in terms of some failure on the other side. So, for example, if we ask why S doesn’t give to charity, we might then place the burden of proof on those defending S to not only explain S’s actions, but also dispel the thought that S is selfish. Or if S avoids a confrontation, we challenge the other side to show that S isn’t spineless.
Victor Davis Hanson has a rhetorical explanation for why the base of the Democratic Party has stuck with President Obama through all the controversies, ranging from Benghazi, to the IRS targeting Tea Party oufits, to the botched rollout of the ACA (AKA “Obamacare”).
In short, Obama will always poll around 45 percent. That core support is his lasting legacy. In a mere five years, by the vast expansion of federal spending, by the demonizing rhetoric of his partisan bully pulpit, and by executive orders and bizarre appointments, Obama has so divided the nation that he has created a permanent constituency that will never care as much about what he does as it cares about what he says and represents.
For elite rich liberals, whose money and privilege exempt them from the consequences of Obama’s policies, and their own ideology, he will always be their totem. He is iconic of their own progressivism and proof of their racial liberalism, and thus allows them to go on enjoying their privilege, without guilt and without worrying too much about how they got it or whether they might lose it.
Now, for sure, there has been some pretty scandalous behavior from the White House, and heads have rolled. Nobody can, really, repeat Bob Dole’s “Where’s the Outrage?” challenge. Perhaps an alternate story could be told about the outrage mongers. In trying to keep their own base in a permanent state of fury, they’ve had to bloat anything that even hinted of error from the White House into the outrage du jour. And it’s had boy who cried wolf effects on their credibility and the capacity of anyone to be properly outraged. (For a recent example of outrage machines making noise, take a peek at the Obama with his feet on the Oval Office desk story: HERE.)
Oh, and rich white liberals might support the President because they see his policies as overall in the right direction, even if he makes errors (even egregious ones) in the process. That’s partly the Republicans’ fault, too. Most political support, you know, is made on the basis of comparative judgment.