Sunday, June 26, 2005

Spare the Outrage Please

Have you noticed how the latest exchange of “insults” and demands for “apologies” a la Durbin and Rove has created so much static it’s hard to hear news about anything with real-world consequences over the last week or two? Take the war. The Downing Street memos continue to be hot on the ‘Net, but not so far on the networks. Rummy has to make the talk show rounds to clear up for us how a dying insurgency in its “throes” kills more innocent Iraqis every day, General Abazaid’s opinions notwithstanding. Take public broadcasting, even. Congress apparently saw the light about the CPB and PBS just in a nick of time to avoid single digit purgatory. True, political plants in the ranks at those institutions may ruin them just as surely as “starving” the two little beasts, but at least for the record, our opponents lost plenty of face.

A few years ago I ventured onto local talk radio to speak about the Lake Alan Henry easement controversy. At that time, the lake had the just about the best water quality in the state, mainly because there was very little human activity next to it. A would-be easement-buster called in to say so many boaters had already tossed dead batteries in the water that the easement was beside the point. My response was that some people were ready to say just about anything to justify their point of view. I was expecting exaggerated claims and untruths. The listeners could decide for themselves about how (un)truthful the caller was – no help needed.

Whenever someone says Hitler, Nazi, Stalin, gulag, etc., outrage is sure to follow. One would have to be a fool not to foresee the controversy remarks like Durbin’s would elicit. Too bad for us he wasn’t able to keep his cool. I feel discouraged when I think that Rove has once again been able to bait serious people into an actual debate about the patriotism of liberals following 9/11 at this late date. I need to sustain some hope that liberals can learn the verbal judo to flip the debate so it doesn’t land in the gutter or stay stuck in la-la land, where the opposition is so comfy. So let’s spare the outrage in responding, else he’s burning us with our own flames. Rove is the ultimate party hack, after all, and what besides criticism or scorn can he be expected to heap on liberals?


At 8:16 AM, Blogger Synthesis said...

Godwin's Law, section II

If anyone uses Hitler or Nazi's as an analogy, he or she automatically loses the argument, such comparisons being preposterous outside of genocide and concentration camps.

Everyone needs to learn this law.

Synthesis's law, section I

Any attempt to show how something post January 20th, 2001 is somehow all Bill Clinton's fault, automatically causes the arguer to lose the argument. The longer the time period from Clinton's last day in office, the more severely the argument is lost.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Dem-X said...

Hm. I think you're right -- we were baited. Rove is probably still chuckling to himself about what a fine distraction he created.

Sometimes it's tough to know where to direct your ire with so much shit going wrong. Sometimes the biggest target is the most appealing.


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