Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Reductio ad Bullshitium

Whenever I hear lefties deride some "Right Wing Spin Machine" or some similar nonsense, it never fails to bring a hearty laugh. Oh sure, their appearances are pretty funny: faces contorted with rage and spittle flying. But what really gets my laugh flag flying is the unintended irony from their stable of mouthpieces. If you want a good example of what I'm talking about, see anything Molly Ivins has ever written ("There is a LOOMING Social Security CRISIS!! Oh wait. Now it's gone.")

And their condescending expectation that their readers are a gaggle of dimwits is as outrageous as their irony is funny. Here's today's example, that you can read in its entirety by following that link (not recommended), or you can read this convenient summary that the Strib kindly inserted next to it in a graphic box:


1985: "I am and always have been a conservative and an adherent to the same philosophical views that I believe are central to this administration."

2005: "I'm not an advocate; I don't give heed to my personal views."

Ooooooo - they got him there!!!

Actually no. They don't. It's bullshit propaganda in its simplest and basest form.

I'll return to that momentarily. But first, a quick observation that ought to be hammered back into the B.S. pile from which it sprang. The author goes on to highlight Alito's proclaimed "disagreements" with many Warren Court decisions. The author points out that the Warren Court expanded civil liberties to the greatest extent in the history of the court, and goes on to castigate Alito on that basis. What the author glosses over is that 1) Alito said he disagreed with some, not all, of the Courts decisions; and 2) the Warren Court didn't do a whole lot of good for the civil liberties of white males, voters, employers or unborn children.

But back to my main point. Does anybody see a problem in that 1985 / 2005 comparison above that may be only charitably described as "disingenuous" (i.e. if I were a liberal I would be shrieking LIE! loudly and repeatedly)?



Yes, you in the back.


Yes, you may go to the rest room. Anybody else?

OK. I'll give it to you: In 1985, Alito was a lawyer applying for an attorney position in the Reagan administration. That quote came from his application materials. In 2005 he is a judge, nominated to be a Supreme Court justice.

I see some blank faces. Particularly on those wearing Che t-shirts. I will elaborate.

And I will try to type slowly, so the Che people can understand this:

An ATTORNEY is SUPPOSED to be an A-D-V-O-C-A-T-E. In fact there is a rule of professional conduct that requires an A-T-T-O-R-N-E-Y to be a ZEALOUS A-D-V-O-C-A-T-E for his client. When applying for a job where you will be required to be a Z-E-A-L-O-U-S ADVOCATE, it would help your chances greatly if you somehow demonstrated that in your cover letter or resume'.

And now you can see the other side of the coin coming, even if you arrive there via reductio ad absurdium (and I realize that liberals may have a tough time with this, because it runs counter to their concept of what the Judicial branch does): a J-U-D-G-E is P-R-O-H-I-B-I-T-E-D from being an A-D-V-O-C-A-T-E.

So, with a little thinking and a little context, one can easily strip away the poop-colored varnish and see that the thinking behind this article could only have been borne out of 1) a lazy, hysterical and dyspeptic intellect; or 2) this whiffle-nuts is trying to fool you.

And I'll leave that to someone else. My work here is done.

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