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Nutpicking: a rhetorical scourge finds a name.
August 14, 2006 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Nutpicking : It's a new and long overdue slur to describe the increasingly common practice on the right (and yes, on the left, too) of cherry-picking random comments or hate emails to smear your entire opposition as raving nuts. The worst so far: this execrable WSJ op-ed by Lieberman adviser Lanny Davis. Can the new term (which is modeled on the success of Godwin's Law) succeed in shaming the nutpickers? Either way, the practice is likely to become more common, especially if the "netroots" actually win some races this November.
posted by TheWash (61 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I like to think of it as 'picking peanuts out of poo'
posted by mk1gti at 10:07 AM on August 14, 2006


nutpicking sounds like something you do when you have crabs.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:08 AM on August 14, 2006


isn't nutpicking essentially the same as a strawman?
posted by raedyn at 10:12 AM on August 14, 2006


Yes, how dare he quote what other people have written. I am outraged!
posted by billysumday at 10:12 AM on August 14, 2006


raedyn - expressions like strawman, can-carrier, scapegoat, muggins, boob, chump, pigeon, mug, sap, mark, goat, whipping boy and fall guy are too anachronistic for our enlightened times.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:26 AM on August 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hey...I'm not a Lanny Davis fan, but it seems to me that the word "execrable" is a little strong for what appears to be a pretty balanced letter absent the "nutpicking."
posted by cyclopz at 10:28 AM on August 14, 2006


It's not the quoting, billysumday... it's the holding them up as exemplars of their communities.

And you know that.
posted by silusGROK at 10:28 AM on August 14, 2006


Points for the use of execrable!
posted by shoepal at 10:29 AM on August 14, 2006


raedyn: I would suggest that nutpicking is a form of a strawman... just as a square is a form of a rectangle. It's still, however, useful to have a more specific term.
posted by silusGROK at 10:30 AM on August 14, 2006


I look forward to being accused of this.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:32 AM on August 14, 2006


Yes, nutpicking is more specific than strawman. It's finding specific quotes and using them to discredit an entire group. A strawman argument doesn't necessarily rely on the use of outrageous quotes, it can just be based on wilful misinterpretation.

Nutpicking has gotten to be common enough that it's well worth giving it its own name. I've seen this tons of times just around Kos for example. People on the right will often quote obscure Kos commenters and imply that the quoted opinions are representative of the community as a whole as well as of Kos himself.
posted by alms at 10:32 AM on August 14, 2006


BIlly, the problem here is that the writer is attaching these outrageous quotes to the candidate (Lamont), tainting him by association. Eg:

Mr. Lamont and all other liberal Democrats should remember the McCarthy era and not fall into the trap of the hypocrisy of the double standard--that it's not OK when Ann Coulter dispenses her venomous hatred, but it is OK when our side's versions of Ann Coulter do.

But Lamont hasn't fallen into this trap. The author proffers no evidence that he or his campaign has. Also, there is a false comparison presented here - Coulter has (for some reason) a national platform; the crap on Kos and Huffington is from angry people who live with too many cats in their moms' basements, not from popular political satirists (or whatever the fuck Coulter is).
posted by Mister_A at 10:34 AM on August 14, 2006


How exactly do you shame a nutpicker?
posted by blucevalo at 10:37 AM on August 14, 2006


it's great to see how much it hurts
posted by matteo at 10:39 AM on August 14, 2006


But Lamont hasn't fallen into this trap. The author proffers no evidence that he or his campaign has.
But Davis never claimed that they had. He says that they shouldn't. That's a very different thing. And in fact, right before the section that you quoted, Davis even says, "Moreover, the support he gets from these haters should not be attributed to Mr. Lamont--nor should he be blamed for their extremism, bigotry and intolerance. But he ought to denounce them."

So now who's using a straw man?
posted by magodesky at 10:40 AM on August 14, 2006


you can pick your friends or pick your nuts but you can't pick your friends nuts.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 10:48 AM on August 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think you're conflicted out of this one, MonkeySaltedNuts.
posted by kosem at 10:49 AM on August 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


He says that they shouldn't. That's a very different thing.

It's not that different at all. The thinly veiled implication here is that if Lamont doesn't denounce them, he'll be tarred as being just as bad as them. He's just laying the groundwork for future sliming.
posted by psmealey at 10:49 AM on August 14, 2006


Nutpicking describes the practice of treating insane comments as if they represent the opposition.

Ain't nothing wrong with mocking people who don't like your joke.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:50 AM on August 14, 2006


So that whole swiftboating thing, the attacks on Murtha (among others), etc, are just standard operation procedure? Why go out of your way to find exemplary displays of hyperbole on the side of your (anonymous, cherry-picked internet posting) opposition when there are such fantastic and concrete examples set forth - not only by "your team" - but its very captains? Weaksauce.

So now who's using a straw man?

Bingo
posted by prostyle at 10:50 AM on August 14, 2006


So now who's using a straw man?

Well mag, why is the writer warning Lamont not to do what he isn't doing? I'll tell you why - because by issuing the warning, he builds the association, in the minds of readers, that Lamont has something to do with this "liberal McCarthyism".

Now I'll make an assumption about you. I assume you don't poison dogs with antifreeze. Fair enough, right? But there are people in Pittsburgh who DO poison dogs with antifreeze!

Magodesky and all other people from around Pittsburgh should not fall into the trap of poisoning dogs with antifreeze, as some people from Pittsburgh do.

Do you get it now?
posted by Mister_A at 10:56 AM on August 14, 2006


I been nutpicking for years and it's never meant this.
posted by Sailor Martin at 11:01 AM on August 14, 2006


It's not that different at all. The thinly veiled implication here is that if Lamont doesn't denounce them, he'll be tarred as being just as bad as them.
Thank you for explaining what Davis meant to say. Because that's not at all indicative of a straw man.

Besides, liberals don't seem to have any problem with that sort of logic when they're arguing that if Mel Gibson doesn't publicly denounce his father, then he must also believe that the Holocaust never happened. For good or bad, people are judged by the company they keep.

Of course, the difference is that it actually makes more sense to make that argument when talking about Lamont, as he is seeking a position of leadership. And as a leader, denouncing any such disreputable behavior on the part of his followers would merely be the responsible thing for him to do.
posted by magodesky at 11:02 AM on August 14, 2006


Somebody open up the windows, it's getting too damn pedantic in here.
posted by boo_radley at 11:06 AM on August 14, 2006


Sure, that's what I'd want my senator to spend his time doing, denouncing individual blog comments. Maybe he can argue with drunks on street corners for bonus points.
posted by boaz at 11:08 AM on August 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


There was an awful Candy Crowley piece on CNN the other day talking about Lamont--she showed a picture of Daily Kos's front page, but pulled a quote from Michael Moore's site.


They never seem to pull up the insane, venomous Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter or Michelle Malkin or LGF or... quotes i notice, when they're talking about GOP officials.
posted by amberglow at 11:11 AM on August 14, 2006


Besides, liberals don't seem to have any problem with that sort of logic when they're arguing that if Mel Gibson doesn't publicly denounce his father, then he must also believe that the Holocaust never happened.

I wasn't aware that Holocaust denial was a left/right issue. I always thought it was a nuts/not nuts issue.

And as a leader, denouncing any such disreputable behavior on the part of his followers would merely be the responsible thing for him to do.

That's utterly ridiculous. After you got done distancing yourself from every, thoughtless, poorly thought out silly thing anyone that ever supported you had said, what would you be left with?
posted by psmealey at 11:15 AM on August 14, 2006


The Davis op-ed is yet another example of the Clintonistas, the DLC-dealmakers' willingness to ratfuck their party and their supposed values, and ultimately their country, in order to please the right people, and retain some vestige of power and authority.

Quislings like Lieberman and his ilk, and the Clintons, would rather risk the GOP taking the show again in '06 and '08, than see a real progressive or *gasp* liberal resurgence of power in the US.

Why? Because war is more profitable than peace.
posted by stenseng at 11:16 AM on August 14, 2006


if Mel Gibson doesn't publicly denounce his father, then he must also believe that the Holocaust never happened.

So wait, you're seriously claiming the relationship between Mel and his father is comparable to Lamont's relationship with a bunch of random commenters on a blog? Wow, Mel must be pretty seriously estranged.
posted by boaz at 11:16 AM on August 14, 2006


A pity. They have so much in common!
posted by Sailor Martin at 11:21 AM on August 14, 2006


So, can we be accused of nutpicking if all we ever do is quote the Bush Administration to exemplify Republican values?

After doing a google search trying to find the original sources of the quotes, it's interesting how the right wing bloggers love, love, love this op-ed. It gives me the same Benedict Arnold feeling that I got when Nader started courting Oregon's right wing talk radio in order to get ill-meaning conservatives to help get him on the ballot in 2004.

I think it's interesting how the first hyperbolic, but not wrong, quote is lumped in with other anti-semitic and potentially anti-semitic quotes. Lieberman receives a lot of money from pro-Israel PACs. Seems pretty relevant to me.

Blood red beard? Are they supposed to be insinuating blood libel or just pro-war aggression?

Also, it's not bigotted to accuse someone else of biggotry, unless your only reason for doing so is because of their race, sexuality or religion. In short, if the author really wanted to go nutpicking, they really should have hit up Indymedia and Craigslist.
posted by Skwirl at 11:21 AM on August 14, 2006


I know, I know. Mel forlornly comments on Fark all day, hoping to get his dad's attention.
posted by boaz at 11:22 AM on August 14, 2006


Can you nutpick and nosepick at the same time? Are there hygene issues involved in pick multitasking?
posted by nlindstrom at 11:23 AM on August 14, 2006


Can you nutpick and nosepick at the same time? Are there hygene issues involved in pick multitasking?

Dunno, but I hear that picking your nuts with your nose carries a risk of spinal injury.
posted by jack_mo at 11:34 AM on August 14, 2006


And vice versa.
posted by jack_mo at 11:34 AM on August 14, 2006


Hey TheWash! Nice post. I dig this term "nutpicking".

Let's stop arguing about who's right (Boaz) and who's wrong (youse), and stay on topic. This thread is about nutpicking. If you're not here for that, you should probably fuck off.

I would love to see MeFi nutpicked - by whom, I don't know. Our enemies I guess - FARK?

Will network news (nutwurk nuws?) be compelled to say "nutpicking" on air? Will some anchorbot trip up and say "nutlick" or something? Will people realize that it is not statistically valid to attempt to represent a data set by taking a small sample of its outliers? Will we ever wake up to the scourge of sampling error/sampling bias?
posted by Mister_A at 11:39 AM on August 14, 2006


Because that's not at all indicative of a straw man.

I never said that it was, only that it was similar in that attempts to accomplish a similar objective: it dishonestly or deceptively seeks to associate or attribute an idea to a person who never expressed it. The tactic is slightly different, but the effect is the same.
posted by psmealey at 11:52 AM on August 14, 2006


While we're here, I'd like to propose a term for gathering all of the fringe elements on one side of the political spectrum and tying them together through insidious rhetorical fallacy: nutsacking. When battle lines are drawn, of course, you can pick your nutsack.

Of course, this will never take off because of the UK English disconnect.
posted by kosem at 12:15 PM on August 14, 2006


Well mag, why is the writer warning Lamont not to do what he isn't doing?
Why would you warn somebody not to do something after he's already done it? A warning, by definition, comes before the act in question.
I assume you don't poison dogs with antifreeze. Fair enough, right? But there are people in Pittsburgh who DO poison dogs with antifreeze!

Magodesky and all other people from around Pittsburgh should not fall into the trap of poisoning dogs with antifreeze, as some people from Pittsburgh do.

Do you get it now?
That's really a bad analogy. For one thing, the hateful commentary that Davis is talking about is hardly an isolated incident. This isn't just one or two crazy people that can simply be ignored. Over the past 3-4 years, there's been a growing trend of increasingly hate-filled vitriol on the left. The comments listed in Davis' article are representative of the sort of talk that has become downright commonplace. And the Connecticut race has been a particularly heated one. So no, I don't think it's inappropriate to warn Lamont against falling into that trap. And I think it would be a good idea for leaders on both the left and the right to denounce the people in their respective parties who engage in such rhetoric.

Also, even if dog poisoning in Pittsburgh was as commonplace as hateful commentary was among liberals, I don't think that my relationship with the dog poisoners is quite the same as Lamont's relationship with his supporters. I have no connection to any dog poisoner, and I'm not in a leadership position. Unless I've been crowned King of Pittsburgh and no one's told me.
Sure, that's what I'd want my senator to spend his time doing, denouncing individual blog comments.
Right, because obviously it's impossible for someone to comment on a trend without talking about every single individual case that makes up that trend. Also, I don't want my senator to be wasting his time denouncing individual racists. So obviously, it was wrong for political leaders to publicly denounce racism against Arabs following 9/11. They should have just continued going about their business and hoped for the best.
I wasn't aware that Holocaust denial was a left/right issue.
Who said that it was? I'm just pointing out that people on the left have no problem with using the exact same argument that they now claim to be illogical whenever it suits their purposes.
posted by magodesky at 12:56 PM on August 14, 2006


I'm not sure about nutpicking; it's a bit too cerebral. I'd prefer something like Nutpunching: The act of lashing out at the candidate's nuts instead of the candidate's record or ideas.

Or how about Nut Goggles: When, after a night of drinking away one's sorrows, you open your eyes and see nothing but nuts.

On preview: But denouncing comments is exactly what Davis is asking for, magodesky, unless people refer to 'a trend' as 'them' in your version of English. Learn basic reading comprehension, then post again.
posted by boaz at 1:06 PM on August 14, 2006


Over the past 3-4 years, there's been a growing trend of increasingly hate-filled vitriol on the left.

Over the past 5-6 years there has been a growing source of things for the left to legitimately and entirely properly hate.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:19 PM on August 14, 2006


Did something happen 3-4 years ago that might have triggered that?
posted by psmealey at 1:27 PM on August 14, 2006


boaz - "Referring to 'a trend' as 'them'" is actually pretty common, and in this particular case, it's quite clearly what Davis is doing. Especially as he starts out by saying, "Here are just a few examples ... of the type of thing the liberal blog sites have been posting" (emphasis added). From the context of the article, it should be obvious to anyone with more than a kindergarten-level understanding of the English language that Davis is calling on Lamont to denounce "these haters" in a general sense. Not each and every individual "hater." So please, learn basic reading comprehension, then post again.
posted by magodesky at 1:27 PM on August 14, 2006


Magodesky, you're off topic again

What's funny to me is the way you're cherry-picking my comments. When you pulled this quote

Well mag, why is the writer warning Lamont not to do what he isn't doing?

you failed to include this important contextual information:

I'll tell you why - because by issuing the warning, he builds the association, in the minds of readers, that Lamont has something to do with this "liberal McCarthyism".

Instead you took the cowardly route and suggested that I did not understand the meaning of "warning", rather than presenting the question in its original (rhetorical) context. You and I both know that rational people do not go around warning others against unethical or immoral behaviors unless these others have demonstrated a tendency for behavior of that sort. And can you not also warn someone against continuing a certain behavior?

Do you think that maybe the writer had an agenda in writing this? Like maybe his boss is running for the senate or something? And he wants to discredit his opponent?

I'd like to end on a positive note, so congratulations on learning the term "straw man" today. I'm sure your friends will think you a right smart feller once you use it in their company.
posted by Mister_A at 1:46 PM on August 14, 2006


The point, magodesky, is that he's saying that Lamont should be denouncing people, some of whom he names, not a trend. In fact, the word trend doesn't even appear once in the article. [/can't believe I have to explain this shit]

The funniest part of the Davis article was when he complained about, of all things, getting mail IN ALL CAPS. Obviously, such a fragile constitution should be protected from our political process at all costs.
posted by boaz at 1:57 PM on August 14, 2006


Points for use of execrable and quislings - nah, straw man's too easy, no points.

As to the new word, great concept but sorry - too much pre-existing meaning to be servicable. Seriously, who can say nutpicking with a straight face?

Now then, I'd suggest the term: "to mefi". You want to research a list of every right-wing and/or religious nut in the world, check here. Oh the memories...

But mefi-ing is kinda awkward, how about nutjobbing?
posted by scheptech at 2:44 PM on August 14, 2006


Magodesky, you're off topic again
I'm talking about an article linked to in the original post. How exactly can that be interpreted as "off topic?"
you failed to include this important contextual information:

I'll tell you why - because by issuing the warning, he builds the association, in the minds of readers, that Lamont has something to do with this "liberal McCarthyism".
I'm sorry. I must have mistaken this for an open dialogue. I didn't realize that you just wanted to answer your own questions. By all means, don't let me get between you and your soapbox.
You and I both know that rational people do not go around warning others against unethical or immoral behaviors unless these others have demonstrated a tendency for behavior of that sort.
That's not always necessarily the case. It's not always about the personal behavior of the person in question. It could be a matter of the situation. My mom tells me to be careful every time she sees me get in the car. Not because she's worried about my driving ability. It's simply because driving is an inherently dangerous situation.

In Lamont's case, he's running for Senate for starters. And that's reason enough to be cautious of his rhetoric. On top of that, the Connecticut race has become a particularly heated one. And in such races, it's very easy to forget yourself and get swept up in the passion of the debate. So no, it's not inappropriate at all to warn Lamont against "falling into the trap." Especially when you look at who some of his "allies" are.

Besides, you're also ignoring the fact that this statement was not directed solely at Lamont, but also at "all other liberal Democrats."
Do you think that maybe the writer had an agenda in writing this? Like maybe his boss is running for the senate or something? And he wants to discredit his opponent?
Ahem.
I'd like to end on a positive note, so congratulations on learning the term "straw man" today. I'm sure your friends will think you a right smart feller once you use it in their company.
I never really considered it all that impressive, and I seriously doubt my friends would either. But I suppose everything is relative. After all, I wouldn't want to disillusion you just because I happened to already be familiar with the term. If it's new to you, that's all that matters. So I'm glad that you, at least, learned something new.
The point, magodesky, is that he's saying that Lamont should be denouncing people, some of whom he names, not a trend. In fact, the word trend doesn't even appear once in the article. [/can't believe I have to explain this shit]
The only thing sadder than this argument is the fact that you actually believe it to make sense. I'm going to try one more time to explain this to you. I'll go as slowly as I can because I know that you have a history of not being able to understand basic English.

Davis gives specific names as examples of the type of thing he's talking about. When he says that Lamont should denounce "these haters" he is very clearly referring to the category of people to which his previous examples belong, not those examples specifically.

That's the best I can do. If you still have difficulty understanding, then maybe you can get help from someone else. Like Hooked on Phonics.
posted by magodesky at 3:01 PM on August 14, 2006


magodesky: Comparing Lamont's relationship with random bloggers to Mel Gibson's relationship with his father is a little absurd.

During the run-up to the senate primary, Lieberman demanded that Lamont denounce various sundry things that annoyed him. What would be the value in denouncing everything that He asked to be denounced? Unless there's a very specific connection, it's absurd to hold Lamont responsible for everything that every person who supports him says. I've never heard George Bush say anything bad about Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh, but they both support Bush whole heartedly. Should bush denounce Limbaugh and Coulter? Should he denounce every LGFer and Freeper who say something crude, every single one? He would never have time to govern.

Secondly the "warning" thing is B.S. The point about the antifreeze is that by publicly warning someone not to do something, you essentially imply that they might do it. If there is no reason to suspect they might do it, there is no reason to warn them not too.
posted by delmoi at 3:24 PM on August 14, 2006


The term "nutpicking" will never gain acceptance in the MSM, because it simply sounds too dirty.

A better alternative would be "netpicking", since most of the crazy talk happens on the internet anyway.
posted by Spacelegoman at 3:25 PM on August 14, 2006


Well, magodesky, if you keep saying it sunshine, it must be so. *wonders what the latin for 'argument from complete obliviousness' is*

Anyhoo, the earlier Washington Monthly post specifically on Davis' column is here:
Comparing this kind of nearly anonymous ranting to Rush Limbaugh (audience: in the millions) and Ann Coulter (audience: in the millions) is the work of a useful idiot, and I'm sure the Journal editors were cackling in their beers when they received it. But still, since he insists, here it is: I denounce all crackpots everywhere. Happy, Lanny?
Personally, I'm not sure owning the 'useful idiot' label is really any better than the 'crackpot' one.
posted by boaz at 3:31 PM on August 14, 2006



Somebody open up the windows, it's getting too damn pedantic in here.
posted by boo_radley at 11:06 AM PST on August 14


No shit. Did you guys seriously just resort to name-calling in an argument over the referent of a pronoun?

Back to FARK, please.
posted by mek at 3:56 PM on August 14, 2006


Also, even if dog poisoning in Pittsburgh was as commonplace as hateful commentary was among liberals, I don't think that my relationship with the dog poisoners is quite the same as Lamont's relationship with his supporters. I have no connection to any dog poisoner, and I'm not in a leadership position. Unless I've been crowned King of Pittsburgh and no one's told me.

Speaking of dog poisoning, how about judge poisoning? Anne Coulter: "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," ...
/nutpicking from a very low-hanging and fertile, yet insane tree
posted by amberglow at 4:05 PM on August 14, 2006


magodesky: Comparing Lamont's relationship with random bloggers to Mel Gibson's relationship with his father is a little absurd.
I think you misunderstand my point. Allow me to clarify.

The liberals who are criticizing Davis' article are pointing out that the lack of denouncement from Lamont does not imply that Lamont supports the comments of these posters. And this is true. However...

Mel Gibson's critics, many of whom are liberals who are angry with him for stirring up the conservative Christians with The Passion of the Christ, have suggested that Gibson does not believe that the Holocaust really happened. They base this claim on Gibson's refusal to denounce comments made by his father indicating that he, not Mel Gibson, believed that the Holocaust did not really happen. This argument is equally illogical, and yet Gibson's critics, many of whom are no doubt the same people calling foul on Davis, are perfectly fine with it, as in this particular case it happens to suit their purposes.

Obviously, the specific circumstances are different in both cases, and I would never suggest otherwise. But the argument is exactly the same.

And even though it may not be logical, people do make judgments about others based on who is supposedly "on their side." So it really wouldn't be a bad idea for Lamont to distance himself from this sort of behavior simply for his own sake.
Unless there's a very specific connection, it's absurd to hold Lamont responsible for everything that every person who supports him says.
I'm not saying that he is responsible. And neither, by the way, is Davis. However, the fact is that there has been quite a bit of hatred coming from the left during this campaign. And as someone who currently has quite a bit of influence in the Democratic Party, it probably would be a good idea for him to publicly denounce the kind of people that Davis is talking about.
If there is no reason to suspect they might do it, there is no reason to warn them not too.
If someone's in politics, there's plenty of reason to suspect that they would engage in hateful rhetoric.
*wonders what the latin for 'argument from complete obliviousness' is*
If anyone would have heard that phrase often enough to know, I was sure it would have been you, boaz. But honestly, if you have to continuously be dense, do you think you could at least do it without all the snarky comments? It might help.
posted by magodesky at 4:11 PM on August 14, 2006


Firedoglake has a good thing on this, regarding Bolton's exclusive interviews with blogger Pam Atlas: ... Over the course of the last couple of weeks the media has made it clear that public officials (or those desiring to be such) are responsible for the opinions of those who support them (if and only if they are bloggers — talk radio shock jocks seem to have some kind of special dispensation). There is evidently a new rule in place that if those supporters express opinions with which those individuals do not agree, it is incumbent upon them to be publicly answerable nonetheless.
Fine. I think we need to see a little consistency here, don’t you? ...

posted by amberglow at 4:32 PM on August 14, 2006


If anyone would have heard that phrase often enough to know, I was sure it would have been you, boaz.

Ah yes, the old I'm-Rubber-And-You're-Glue fallacy, suitable for 6 year olds of any age.
posted by boaz at 5:02 PM on August 14, 2006


magodesky writes "But Davis never claimed that they had. He says that they shouldn't. That's a very different thing."

In the spirit of the poorley-veiled attack, I would like to warn Mr. Davis against the sort of horrific veterinarian injuries caused by sexual congress between man and dog. It is the furthest thing from my mind to accuse him of taking his liberties with the household pooch, of course! I merely mean to warn him that man was just not meant to fuck dog. I am certainly not claiming that he does this on a daily basis!

It's the old "pig fucker" technique. You don't say, you imply, making sure that the the idea has been implanted in all but the sharpest of observers, and then "wait for the fucker to deny it."
posted by clevershark at 5:03 PM on August 14, 2006


* bored *

Look, if all this "hateful rhetoric" comes to within a Scud's launch of being realized in actual terms, tell the bowtie action debating society to let me know. Otherwise you're just making a fetish out of civility.

The point of McCarthyism wasn't that he entertained the idea of putting the hurt on people he disagreed with, it's that he was set on it and in a position to do it. He's not some dude who wrote nasty letters to the editor.
posted by furiousthought at 5:10 PM on August 14, 2006


As one of the (no doubt liberal, and therefore evil!) commenters in that Wash Monthly piece points out, at least one of his five examples is obviously sarcastic, viewed in context. Does tomjones look like a bigot here?
posted by swell at 6:32 PM on August 14, 2006


Also (and I understand that it's difficult to tell all the against-Joementum and therefore EVIL! people apart), he misattributes OldTimer's "beholden to the Israeli lobby" comment to rim, from here.

And ctkeith's (who is a *gasp* BLOGGER!) (and EVIL!) comments are here. Davis runs some seperate comments together, but I don't think he misrepresents ctkeith's position.

Here is the greenskeeper quote. I don't think Davis misrepresents greenskeeper's conclusion, but greenskeeper does explain how he got there.

The "Muffeletta or diaspora"(sic) quote is here, which Davis misattributes to gerrylong. It's by JeffDeVore. Sucks to be you, Gerry! You've been misquoted on the Wall Street Journal's Editorial Page!
posted by swell at 7:43 PM on August 14, 2006


And the muffeletta comment was a humorous intro into DeVore's PRO-ISRAEL point - not how Davis characterizes it.
posted by swell at 7:50 PM on August 14, 2006


Interesting update on why Lieberman supporters voted for him--only 5% of them actually like his bipartisanship--...That means that the main message from the Lieberman camp, that he is above party, is something that even his supporters do not find convincing as a reason to vote for him. ...
posted by amberglow at 3:04 PM on August 19, 2006


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