October 24th, 2008


Mailbag: Politics (Please turn the partisanship knob down a little).

So far this week I've (as have a hundred other people in the headers) gotten mail forwards of different political rants from two different people with a note of smug outrage aimed at the opposing side, and overall at "the press". Some of this will blow over in a few weeks, one hopes ...

To get the facts out of the way: Iraq had programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. Sen. Obama got lots of campaign donations from quasi-governmental financial institutions. Pres. Clinton signed the law that completed the dismantling of the legal protections for the financial industry that were assembled after the last round of this (aka The Great Depression)**. Journalists and publications have their own biases. No surprises there for anyone, we hope.

None of this magically makes Pres. (G. W.) Bush a good president, invading Iraq a great idea, or the financial crisis we have created the fault of either party in particular. It doesn't make Gov. Palin a reasonable choice for a vice-presidential candidate either. (Not even for the Republicans.) Or either the Cartoon News Network or Fox News a good choice for your sole "news" source.

And in partial rebuttal to Mr Card's recent rant: If anyone actually believes that the Republicans are solely responsible for creating the financial crisis ... ... ... even Wikipedia can disabuse them of that notion quickly given a chance. Also, "the press" is/are biased as is every individual who writes much of anything, especially about politics. Especially including Mr Card who I am singling out here because I sometimes agree with his political rantings despite his bias of monotheism.( Apparently this week he is using Roe as a bludgeon against judicial activism ... *wince* no winners in that fight.) Don't like what people write? Write your own. You could even put it on the Internet, I hear.

Now then. An argument of the form "Because a reporter biased to your side said something that was wrong, my side is right" is at best an ad hominem on a straw man, a double fallacy!
Without taking up moral relativism I can assure everyone that there are no right answers in the current political landscape, particularly not on the US Presidential ballot. It is in the best interest of the Parties and demonstrably not in anyone else's to keep trying to divide the world (or the electorate) into two camps. Please don't buy into this and please try to bring the hype and rhetoric under control.

** Ref http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass-Steagall and thanks to folk for that link.