Today’s post by Professor Jacobson is an excellent fisk of the rhetorically challenged Left. The good professor slices their arguments deftly, updating his critique with the latest extremity being entertained by Politico - i.e., that Tea Parties are the “dark side” of conservatism.
Interesting metaphor, that. If the term were used by the right it would immediately be deemed racist. Can’t say ‘dark’, you know. And no, I don’t exaggerate: black holes, devil’s food cake, dark horse - for the terminally thin-skinned (and etymologically illiterate) these are niggardly, nasty words.
Meanwhile, back at the dark side, Jacobson takes the Leftist doctrine apart as he points to the illogic of the Left’s claims about conservatives:
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One day, we are totalitarian control freaks who want to post police at every ice cream shop to check for papers.
The next day, we are pseudo-anarchists who want no government at all.
Which extreme are we supposed to be, or are we everything to them, the sum of all their fears?
The argument by extreme reflects left-wing epistemic closure, an inability to engage in meaningful discussion of the failures of big government, resulting in a series of strawman arguments and extensive hyperbole meant to marginalize those who disagree.
We have seen this time and again. It seems to be all they know.
I really want to take these people seriously, but it is hard. But then again, what do I know, I am the mob.
Legal Insurrection demonstrates once again, the paucity of genuine rhetorical argument by the Left and their fear-driven ideology.
Professor Jacobson is that rara avis, a Harvard Law School graduate who doesn’t walk in lock step with the power brokers inside the Beltway. School reunions must be entertaining.
Cato puts that Politico essay in its proper context:
Are tea partiers the new John Birchers?
This is absurd. An obscure assistant professor teaching in a middling university writes an opinion piece comparing the Tea Party movement to the John Birch Society - indeed, even to the Ku Klux Klan - and Politico Arena asks us to take it seriously for comment?! Res ipsa loquitur: The several recent elections speak more loudly than this professor ever will. Back to adult fare.
The children’s menu adverted to here contains nuggets like this:
For its part, the JBS [the John Birch Society - D] followed in the tradition of the Liberty League, a right-wing citizens’ group organized by the DuPont family in the 1930s to overturn President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.
We’re still mired in the unforeseen effects of that “New Deal” and they continue to hollow out our commonweal. The best one can say is that FDR didn’t mean any harm, though others would argue he knew full well. A few generations from now, political historians will write books about the New Deal with titles such as What In The World Were They Thinking?, books that will eviscerate the undead Keynesian theories to which governing elites continue to be addicted. FDR may not have known, but these current members of the political class realize full well what they’re attempting to tie onto the back of our current crisis.
That’s why they’re reduced to “strawman arguments and extensive hyperbole” to make their points against conservative principles. They understand that shining the light on their ideology would result in indecent exposure.
The only reason they’re able to prevail is the headlock these pernicious ideas have on all the portals of information distribution. Or rather, nearly all of them. Blogs like Legal Insurrection are evidence that there is one opening they don’t control.
Of course, if the EU has its way, that escape hatch will close on the Continent. But then again, the weight of its own hubris and the coming economic meltdown may drag the European Union down to perdition. Think of it as the silver lining in this mess.