Saturday, July 01, 2006

Pajama Logic

Something that has been bothering me lately is the fact that my Raw Story editorials have been greeted with utter silence from the A-list blogs, both left and right. When I make good arguments, I'd like them to be widely disseminated; if I make a bad one, I'd rather be called out for it than ignored. (The silly flame war now raging in the comments section at Raw is a triumph of the trolls over clueless, easily distracted lefties.)

Well, I have to say that my record of A-list obscurity remains unbroken (other than a passing mention @ Glenn Greenwald's place.) But a B-list winger has taken on my Coulter piece. That piece also generated the pointless flame war in the comments section @ Raw and attracted a couple of rabid and incoherent comments here -- I am gobsmacked at the reflexive fury we generate among certain wignuts simply by mentioning her name. Kinda supports my argument, I think.

Anyway, a blog called "Classical Values," complete with pictures of Roman statuary and marble columns, subtitled "End the Culture War by Restoring Classical Values," has taken on my Coulter column. (Those classical values apparently include links to "Communists for Kerry" and a what appears to be a soft porn site called "Stacked and Packed,"
but I will not resort to classical fallacies like ad hominems or guilt by association. Nosiree.) What I am presuming elevates this blog to B-list staus is its inclusion in the vaunted Pajamas Media constellation. (Yeah, I know right wing websites are in free fall. Indulge me.)

As I will assume you recall, my Coulter piece urges Democrats and the media to force Republicans to choose between aligning with Coulter and her loathsome provocations, or disclaim her and thus alienate wingnuts like the one who turned the Raw Story comments into a cesspool. That Hobson's choice would make Coulter as effective a fulcrum in fracturing the right as they made Michael Moore in dividing the left in 2004.

In Is cosmic accountability a dead issue?, someone named Eric Scheie argues:

Well, as I said, I'd buy tickets to a Coulter-Moore debate. However, I'm not sure that as a political tactic, guilt by association works all by itself. The Democrats didn't lose simply because Michael Moore was in their party, but because he (and his followers) were perceived as within or close to the party mainstream. Ann Coulter has positioned herself far to the right of Bush, and I seriously doubt she'll be sitting next to any former president at the next Republican convention.

There's no denying, of course, that Ann Coulter is a Republican. But does this means that every other Republican can be held answerable for her?

As I've pointed out, in addition to being a Republican, Ann Coulter is also a Deadhead. ...

I think this calls for some serious questions. Not for Ann, but for all Deadheads.

I'd like to ask every last one of them the following:

Are you an Ann Coulter Deadhead?

Don't we have a right to know whether the other Deadheads are in favor of "poisoning Supreme Court Justices and killing Congressmen"?

I for one am sick of the fact that the gutless media cowards allow them to duck the tough questions by hiding behind their tie-dyes. (Or their skulls wrapped in the American flag!)

I don't know if ridicule is considered a classical value, so I will stick to the basics.

First Eric says that the Michael Moore gambit wasn't about guilt by association -- by asserting that "The Democrats didn't lose simply because Michael Moore was in their party, but because he (and his followers) were perceived as within or close to the party mainstream." I guess I'm only a stupid moonbat, but that sure sounds like guilt by association to me.

In any event, the "classical" logical fallacy (OK, one of them) Eric demonstrates with his main argument is the question-begging analogy.

The question Eric begs is whether attending Grateful Dead concerts is logically equivalent to serving an essential role in maintaining the coalition that has ruled the United States for the last six years.

I will grant Eric that endlessly meandering improvisations without structure created by people who appear to be under the influence of hallucinogenic substances do bear a certain resemblance to Grateful Dead concerts. But there are a hundred ways in which the absurdity of the analogy shows through.

Does Coulter write books arguing that Rolling Stones fans are traitors? Does she call female fans of Green Day witches and harpies? Has she advocated the poisoning of Sting's deserts? Do Newsweek and Chris Matthews offer her a platform from which she bashes Jerry Garcia's enemies? And, most important of all, does the Dead machine benefit when Coulter vicously insults other bands?

Never mind that, as pointed out in my original piece, Rudy Giuliani has actually run away from the Coulter question -- in other words, that I presented factual evidence to support my hypothesis. But I do mind that Eric has has perhaps forgotten to answer my questions, so I will ask him directly: Do you think the 9/11 widows are witches and harpies? Do you think it is OK to advocate poisoning Supreme Court Justices? Do you think it appropriate to talk about fragging John Murtha?

Eric, are you an Ann Coulter Republican?


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