Monday, June 06, 2005

uggabugga has been challenged

We are getting flack from the right-wingers who are not telling their readers the truth. The table (below) is clearly described as dealing only with the part of Feinstein's speech that enumerated those Clinton nominees who were blocked in the Senate. It is not "misleading" as Powerline or Hoystory would have you believe; it does what it claims to do. If you want to talk about all of Clinton's nominations or the Fortas filibuster or James Madison, go somewhere else. The table was created as easy to comprehend view of the details of a part of Feinstein's long speech. It is a one-to-one mapping of a subset. That's what it claims to be. That's what it is. It does not cover all of Clinton's nominations. Nor does it cover nominations made by Eisenhower. Or anything about the French Revolution. Or neutron stars.

What we are seeing here is a classic case of attacking the straw man. But the straw man attack is what you do when you've got to come up with a negative comment, any negative comment - no matter how minor, to bash the other side. So polemicists like John Hinderaker and Matthew Hoy say, in effect, “Look at that table, it’s misleading, it doesn’t do X”. Anything to trash the opposition, apparently.

Also, Hoystory tells his readers that the numbers at the bottom of the table "aren't the sum total of Clinton's nominees". We never made that claim. Hoystory omits the identifier "THIS TABLE" when he posts the 'scorecard', but that's to allow him to ‘warn’ readers not to be fooled into believing that "Clinton only got one judge through during his eight years in office". Only an idiot would come to that conclusion. Are readers of Hoystory idiots? The world wonders.

Long time readers of this blog know that while our politics are center-left, the overwhelming proportion of our posts are presentations of information in a manner that allows the reader to better understand a situation. In fact, the maligned table is viewpoint neutral. It's a catalogue of Clinton's blocked nominees. But note that it also shows a number of renominations by Clinton, something that Bush has been criticized for recently. How is making that point clear a plus for the Democrats? Also, by isolating Feinstein's explanations for the blocked nominations, readers can see which are news reports, which are Feinstein's "understanding", and which are unknown at the present time. In addition, some of the citations for the nominees (gray boxes) are compelling, while others are less so. Did we delete those facts which were unfavorable to our case? No. We didn't drop a word, except for extremely minor changes like "nominated on" to "nominated" (for reading consistency). We are honest with our readers, something bloggers 'on the other side' don't care to bother with.

With any factual report, there are likely to be points that support both views. In our view, the overwhelming weight of evidence indicates that a substantial number of acceptable Clinton nominees were blocked by a very small minority of senators (e.g. the committee chair, Sen. Abraham, "two unknowns", Sen. Helms). That’s a case Democrats can make against Republicans who are demanding 'up or down votes' for all nominees. Clinton was not given that privilege. Should Bush get it? Fairness would dictate No.

Final word. We aren't all that upset with the deception by right-wingers, but thought it was an interesting experiment to see how they react to cold facts. They don't like 'em. Or rather, they will take anything that comes their way and see what they can do to discredit it. They've got a lot of tools in their kit bag: plurium interrogationum, argumentum ad baculum, attacking a straw man, post hoc ergo propter hoc, argumentum ad hominem (aka the 'Hugh Hewitt way'), petitio principii, argumentum ad populum (they do this a lot), fallacy of composition or division, and argumentum ad misericordiam (Schiavo), just to mention a few. Those are what propagandists use. And propagandists aren't interested in the truth, only winning the arguement. (If you've got plenty of time and can tolerate him, Sean Hannity is a master at this. Listen to him and see how many different fallacious questions or statements he makes in an hour. It's a very large number.)

Actually, it will be interesting when a major schism develops on the right. Up until now, they've been inhabiting a reasonably consistent, unrealistic world, fueled by their misrepresentations to each other. Since they won't be dealing with objective facts, it'll be who can bellow loudest to determine who wins. Either that, or pistols at dawn. When it happens (and it will eventually) it should make for great entertainment.

[NOTE: We know Hoystory is a 3rd tier blogger (or worse), but included him in this post because of the similarity of argumentation with Time's Blog Of The Year, Powerline.]


Hey, hey, HEY! Easy on us 3rd tier bloggers.

By Blogger Riggsveda, at 6/06/2005 7:48 AM  

who is this Hinderaker person? I do remember a deliciously named Addrocket.

By Blogger Zappatero, at 6/06/2005 12:16 PM  

Your criticism (I assume that's you since it makes the same points as this post) is still the only comment there. You're not his troll, you're his only reader. That's not third tier, it's masturbation. The guy might as well start his entries, "Dear diary," and keep a heart shaped lock on his blog.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/06/2005 4:52 PM  

In our view, the overwhelming weight of evidence indicates that a substantial number of acceptable Clinton nominees were blocked by a very small minority of senators (e.g. the committee chair, Sen. Abraham, "two unknowns", Sen. Helms).

That's not just your view, that's a simple fact. Buttrocket's vigorous efforts to pretend otherwise are just downright comical.

By Blogger kc, at 6/07/2005 3:06 PM  

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