Not merely fallout/follow-up to Scooter's Day(s) Off news, but sort of a general criticism of some people, and for some weird strange reason, they seem to be opposite my political and intellectual milieu. (And before I go any further, this following observation and recitation of pet peeve is high on the list of reasons it is HEALTHIER if not BEST for me to NOT debate politics on internet message boards anymore.)
Anyway, the particular stupid human trick I am about to rail against (seemingly, and I will admit the mere possibility, that my own biases lead me to believe), more often employed by right wing partisans, is the False Comparison
Now, I also believe that sort of folk who engage in False Comparisons, also engage in what I call "Redfinition
," and I am sure I posted about that here, in the past. Setting up false or specious comparisons is basically a variant of the same fraud. For example, when Kansas recently tried to change the definition of the word "SCIENCE" so it could include the unscientific theology called "Intelligent Design," into the school's curriculum:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10038768/
Mostly, these kinds of fallacies work on the same level. They usually are something of a red herring, and there usually is a sort of reverse straw man thing happing there. To explain, as you know, a proplerly constructed straw man arguement is a false argument, employed by the proponent, so they can easilly knock it down themselves. For example (and this shit actually happened):
following Elizabeth Edwards' request to Ann Coulter to stop the personal attacks, Ann replied something like . . . well I guess you are going to stop me from being able to write my books anymore.
That was a straw man fallacy as Ms. Edward's only asked (not forced, not demanded, but only asked) that Coulter stop acting mean and using mean personal attacks on people. And in response to that Coulter pulls the fraud move out of her playbook, mischaracterizing the request to 'stop the personal attacks' to one where she was being totally silenced. (Ok, there is one argument that if Coulter had nothing ugly to say, she would not have anything to say at all, but that does not seem to be where she was coming from.) Of course it would be wrong (under law) for Coulter to be totally forced to not write books anymore. But to merely suggest she stop being such a bitch? To compare the two is at minimum, a fraud. And if anyone truly believes the ideas are even remotely close? Well, anyone who can believe that is just out of their mind, plain and simple. In any event, the straw man fallacy is a variant of the false comparison tactic.
Now the main reason this is on my mind now? I implied that the Scooter Libby story had something to do with it, and many an idiot has made a false comparsion to either the Clinton Impeachment, or Clinton's last batch of pardons before he left office. Anyway, yesterday I saw a vid of that Arch Buffoon (I don't say Clown, that is disrepectful to Clowns. Clowns are trained professionals, and I have worked with and respect genuine working Clowns too much to insult them that way) Hannity. In the clip I saw, Buffoon was deep into the false analogy and harping about how "Clinton should have been charged and convicted, and sentenced."
Oh and do you remember what I said about reverse straw man arguments? Buffoon did it, right then and there. He left this juicy opening that a 4 year old could have driven a 45' Tractor Trailer though. However my particular reply to that would have been:
"But he was NOT charged, he was not tried in a court of law, and he was not sentenced. You attempt to draw an analogy here is laughable. And as far as his last minute pardons go? He did NOT do what Bush did with Libby, and that was use the power of clemency to grant clemency to someone who was a high level staffer in his own White House.
If you want to make an INTELLIGENT analogy, you need to go back in time and find an example of a President who used his powers of clemency to protect someone on his own staff, or high up in the administration. Last time that happened was when Reagan used it.
If you can not see the difference here, if you can not honestly see the disparity between your examples and REALITY, forget the meds, I think Neurological Testing is in order, here."
(In fairness to Allan Colmes, Hannity's alleged foil, he did make some points but he never challenges Hannity on the, "You Are Detached From Reality," axis. I know, he can't directly, but he should at least try the crafty way . . . . learn how to arch just one eyebrow, or take his glasses off, rub his eyes hard. Something!)
So that is my thought of the day.
Oh wait. I could have should have used one of my favorite quotes from that Tragic Prince of Denmark:"I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw."
So to wrap things up here, if anyone talks in a way that shows that they in fact (or at least based on observation) do not know the difference between a hawk and a handsaw, tell yourself up in your own head, you are facing a crazy person, and even if they seem lucid, time to time, get the hell away from them, fast.
Most of all, don't give them credit for their moments of lucidity. That only encourages the crazy part.