Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Irrationalism and Evasion on the Left

Irrationalism is certainly a crowning mark of the hard-left forces arrayed against the U.S. Sometimes, though, you have to get down in the trenches and engage these whacked-out loonies to experience it first hand (see here and here).

After surfing blogs the other day, I read a post or two over at
Digby's page. I strolled through the comments for awhile. Most of the remarks were little excursions over to Bush-bashing Neverland, which is obviously characteristic of the liberal blogosphere.

I took exception to this comment, though, from N=1, who blogs at
Universal Health:

I believe that the policy of redeploying the Army personnel over and over for 15 months at a stretch is actually a policy of trying to get them killed so that Bush doesn’t incur their lifelong health expenses. I really think he’s using them as literal IED fodder.
The whole comment thread can be found at this post.

After reading N=1's comments, I clicked on her link, and left an objection on her page:

Man! It’s hard to believe that you’d believe such a thing. President Bush has met with thousands of military families, consoling them in their losses. It’s been the hardest part of his presidency. We made mistakes going into Iraq, but we’re there now, and we can win. Thankfully Reid & Co. are so incompetent in their obstructionism, the administration will have some time to see the surge work.
Later, N=1 responded on her page as follows:

Donald: Provide the evidence to support your claims....

Wishing something was so does not make it thus. Repeated lengthy deployments - and record length 15 month deployments - using troops who have been exposed to repeated concussive blasts, and to whom inadequate mental health care was and is offered, let alone adequate armament and equipment - is not a logical plan, by all accounts - military leadership, civilian leadership, the troops themselves, and the informed public. It boils down to three main possible rationales: desperation, willful ignorance and negligence or intentional manslaughter to contain casualty expenses.
Then she came over on my blog to leave a comment:

You hijacked a comment thread on my blog to post several claims without supporting evidence. Please revisit and provide evidence which you find compelling. And next time, please be courteous and place comments on the appropriate associated blog post(s).

Why all the name calling on your blog? Radical - what is the definition of radical? Nuts - why use derogatory terms and ad hominem attacks on people? Argue the ideas, the underlying evidence, and the logic of arguments.

The purpose of debate is to bring opposing arguments to bear, not to destroy other people. Debate is no warfare. It is logic, argument, strategy and congruence of principle and virtue.
I responded on her page, saying that I had not "hijacked" her post. Indeed, I noted that no one had commented at all to that point, so there was nothing to hijack. I also pointed out that "radical" was a maintream term in the literature on ideology, and thus I wasn't name-calling. Finally, I noted I'd back up with evidence any point I made, and left this quote on President Bush from Newsweek, which was one of the sources for my remarks:

"I don't think Congress ought to be running the war," he told reporters before the House voted, largely on party lines, to require that the United States withdraw most combat troops by April 1, 2008. "I think they ought to be funding the troops." Privately, however, he was more reflective. Talking to Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon about another matter, the president got on to the subject of burying dead kids, a highly personal topic for Smith, whose 21-year-old adopted son committed suicide in 2003. Smith says he told the president that his opposition to the war was based in part on "knowing what it's like as a parent to bury a child." Smith pointedly added: "And we're doing a lot of that in this country now." Bush responded, "I understand, because I've talked to several thousand families." Smith tells NEWSWEEK: "He didn't say this, but I know that's the hardest part of his job, and I know how personally this all grieves him."
This wasn't enough for N=1. She rejected my response in an e-mail later, and then deleted the exchange from her blog:

I am taking this conversation off blog as it does not pertain to the parent post.

Thank you for providing the quote from Newsweek. That Bush stated he visited several thousand troops is without independent verification, though. My counter to that is that he exaggerated, and that the number is far fewer. Perhaps the White House would like to put dates of visits and number of those visited in writing, and then we all could assess the veracity of that assertion.

You didn't cite the source of your definition of radical, hard left, reactionary, etc. I would like to know the sources for these terms, as they are used so freely - not solely on your blog, but in many fora.

And yes, inserting a comment randomly after a non-related post is thread hi-jacking, in my book. It doesn't demonstrate respect for the author, and my posts are all easily found via the categories, tag cloud or via the search functions all placed conveniently on the left column of my blog....

I welcome legitimate debate, but not ad hominem attacks or unsupported speculation or propaganda presented as fact. As a first time visitor to a blog, I read the blog rules, if any, read several posts to try to gain an understanding into the blog's intent and the author's style and interests, and then I respond accordingly. Drive by comments aren't something that lend themselves to further consideration and discussion.

You are welcome to visit and comment, but please stay on topic and provide sources where appropriate.
Well, there you have it. Not once did N=1 attempt to support her outlandish original claims regarding the administration. No, her ploy was to assume the attack mode from the start, using the most freaky, non-existent rules of blog ettiquette to evade and obfuscate a simple challenge to her allegations. The finale, of course, was to delete the exhange, elimating from outside review her shifty legerdemain.

When you're dealing with the far-lefties such as this, no amount of or evidentiary argumentation will break them free from their paronoid-style dissonance. I could have given N=1 a peer-reviewed article on the administration's public relations with military families, only to have it rebuked as "propaganda."

I left it alone after that, but it left me thinking:
1) You just can't make this stuff up! 2) N=1 needs some help. She's apparently a nurse writing a socialist medicine blog, so perhaps we can reasonably assume she'll know a good psychiatric clinic.

All in a day's work exposing the left - it's getting to be a big job.

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