Speaking of FaceBook, Twitter and social media, thanks to those who are sharing my posts.
Rule #1: Deny, deny, deny.
Rule #2: Attack, attack, attack.
Rule #3: When facts are undeniable, change the subject. This can be done in various ways, for example:
- Introduce irrelevant details on a tangential point.
- Pluck out from what your opponent said an individual phrase you think you can attack, even if it’s one that was just tossed off quickly, and treat that as if it’s the focus of the entire discussion.
- More subtly, try to tie your opponent up in piles of minutia to the point where everyone, including your opponent, loses track of the thrust of their argument.
- Apply Rule #4.
Whenever possible, insist that your changed subject is the “real” one under discussion.
Rule #4: Issue a lengthy, ranting denunciation of “the left” of the form “What about…,” being sure to include the words “hypocrites” and/or “hypocrisy,” thereby arguing that the left can’t legitimately criticize the right, while by using this tactic insisting that the right can continue to criticize the left. (Note: Where possible, include the phrase “you liberals.”)
There are 13 more and they get better as you go down. The ones above are especially true in regards to Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. Where would they be in terms of the ongoing debate without their deep convictions that shouting a lie, a distortion or a half-truth over and over again magically makes it the new reality. #5 seems to have had a dog whistle effect – “Make the particular stand for the whole. Find something offensive or silly some liberal or leftist, somewhere, sometime, said or did and label it as identifying the entire left half of the American political spectrum. Demand that your opponent spend their time denouncing that example rather than discussing the original topic.” PowerLine’s Assrocket joins the on the Glenn Beck pile on. This may be news to many liberals but it turns out that when Woodrow Wilson is not shoving America into Stalinism from beyond the grave, an elderly professor named Frances Fox Piven is part of the all powerful cabal of radical leftists who secretly control everyone’s life, up to and including your taste in Popsicles.
Who is The Left?
The Left is someone in charge of how to discuss shootings in Tucson. Also the Left is in charge of where elected officials sit at the State of the Union address. Also the Left mixes metaphors to profit and is in charge of speech shutdowns.
Many in the center to liberal part of the political spectrum has have co-opted the term “left” to apply to liberalism. A political tradition and philosophy grounded in such classic political philosophers as John Locke and Thomas Jefferson. The far Right likes to use it is a wide net to include everyone who works for a living, thought about joining a union, does not want their children to have to drink water with toxic waste it or thinks the police should be held accountable when they shoot an unarmed man. In other words it has never been easier to qualify as a leftist. AssRocket present this video as his smoking gun that Piven is pro violence so any death threats made by the Right must be justified. There are a few problems with that. In the video her frame of reference is the Civil Rights movement in which far more heads were busted by anti-protesters than civil rights activists. In the end Piven asks, in the way professors tend to do, if violence is something you want to be a part of in addressing social issues. AssRocket, a lawyer, seems to have conveniently forgotten what a rhetorical question is. Add this to the list of rules, not just for liberals, but left of center libertarians, independents and assorted unaffiliated Americans. When asked about any violence under any circumstances, you must always condemn it and advocate absolute pacifism. Any other answer will be twisted by the Right to be a gotcha. All that said I’m not particularly a fan of Piven, but she has hardly earned the designation of “Marxist Machiavelli” who hates the U.S. Constitution, Glenn Beck’s Attacks on Frances Fox Piven Trigger Death Threats
In fact, Piven has never encouraged or celebrated violence in any of her writings or speeches. She’s long been a proponent using the combined power of voting and grassroots protest to bring about change. In her writings, she examines the history of protest and documents how tactics such as pickets, rallies, strikes, boycotts, demonstrations, and civil disobedience – the kind of activism that once catapulted a young Baptist minister in Montgomery to the national limelight, an icon whose birthday we just celebrated as a national holiday – often pressure powerful figures in business and government to pay attention to grievances they had previously ignored and level the political playing field.
As Piven explains in her books, articles, and speeches, protest can give powerless people a voice and lead to important reforms, like the eight-hour day, women’s right to vote, desegregation of public schools and universities, and increased funding for social programs like food stamps and welfare.
When protest turns violent, Piven has documented, it is typically because the police, the National Guard, or private militias and goon squads hired by business attack the protestors with billy clubs and guns.
But sometimes angry people do riot. Piven is hardly the first academic to note that when people are frustrated by the slow pace of change, or by an incident of police brutality, they occasionally resort to civil unrest. Langston Hughes, the celebrated African American writer, made the same observation in his famous poem, “Dream Deferred,” written in 1951. “What happens to a dream deferred?” Hughes asked. “Does it dry up, Like a raisin in the sun?…Or does it explode?”
Neither Hughes, nor Piven, nor the hundreds of other social observers who explored why angry people sometimes explode – southern lynch mobs, Old West vigilantes, and the urban poor – were condoning violence. They were simply explaining it as a persistent reality in American history.
But Piven has also been interested in the other side of that question – why, in the face of much suffering and injustice, do so many people, especially the poor, remain passive, as if they accept their lot in life as something immutable, or blame themselves, or “bad luck,” for their misfortune, rather than channel their frustrations and anger in political action, such as voting or participating in protest?
Hotair is the Right’s Daily Kos according to Alexia traffic figures, so not an out on the fringe place to grab quotes from. This is from a March 8, 2009 post by Ed Morrissey bragging about the tea bagger’s right to do what Piven advocates,
KFI’s John and Ken decided to put a little local star power behind the “tea party” tax protest movement in Southern California, and it succeeded beyond all expectations. As many as 15,000 protesters descended onto sleepy Fullerton to noisily demand an end to tax hikes in California and the nation…
Another episode of Conservative Jeopardy. When is it OK for thousands of protesters to “noisily demand” their agenda be fulfilled immediately. When right-wingers do it. What are they protesting? Taxes. Who had just advocated a tax cut for the middle-class ( one of his first of two)? That would be President Obama with the help of Harry Reid (D-NV) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). So the Right not only thinks their civil disobedience is OK, they are not required to have protests based on real things to protest about.
Another right-wing rule. When you’ve lost the debate – facts have been presented which render the Conservative side of the argument false and irrelevant – wait a while and pretend like the facts never existed. Thus the meme which lives on like a Republican Zombie. Wing-nut Mike Stopa writing at the Boston Globe ( darn that liberal media) states, The reality of death panels – ObamaCare’s end-of-life planning comes down to economics
In December, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a regulation, since rescinded by the Obama administration, that would have allowed doctors to be reimbursed for “voluntary advanced care’’ planning. When the regulation was publicized, it resulted in a renewed outcry that such end-of-life planning provisions presage the inevitable death panels of ObamaCare.
Stopa admits such counseling is purely voluntary. His beef seems to be based on making such counseling available in any form. He wants to take away a patients right to voluntarily get end of life counseling. Having openly admitted he is wrong and tacitly admitting he wants to greatly deter the personal freedom of patients, he asserts one of the more bizarre and sick fantasies as fact as I’ve read,
Moreover, the suspicion that such programmed advance planning conceals ulterior motives is exacerbated by the fact that relatively few patients will ultimately benefit from it. It is mainly of value for those who do not die suddenly, who have no trustworthy relations to maintain their power of decision, and who lose their wits a potentially long time before their death.(bold mine)
Where did he get the “programmed advice’ from? As Stopa is basing his entire argument on pure speculation, we have license to speculate Mike pulled that out of some part of his anatomy through which doctors perform prostate examinations. So a few patients voluntarily request end of life counseling and a few patients benefit. What’s his point? Just because it benefits some people we should not make such counseling available under any circumstances. Stopa obviously flunked logic class. Other than finding that out he does not provide much in the way of insight. Conservatives4palin( isn’t that clever using a 4) thought this essay was the best thing since Cheez Whiz on stale white bread – their intro and part of the excerpt they use, Mike Stopa: The Reality of Death Panels
In a piece at the Boston Globe, Mike Stopa explores Governor Palin’s metaphoric use of the term “death panels” and concludes that she was exactly right, given the rationing required in any socialized health care system. Stopa also describes how the price controls contained in Obamacare will necessarily stifle the innovation required to develop new, life-saving pharmaceuticals. Excerpts follow:
[ ]…To the extent that ObamaCare ultimately succeeds in imposing uniformity on basic health care, it will likely lead to the creation of secondary markets for providing insurance against various health eventualities and access to “heroic’’ procedures to extend life. Water runs downhill and it’s a good thing that it does. First, we need to have people buy the expensive medicines and experimental technologies. Europe has discovered this as its regulated system of medicine has driven its pharmaceutical industry farther and farther behind that of the United States. Capping costs kills innovation.
Lets say for a moment pretend that the Affordable Care Act (health care reform or Obamacare if you like) is a government program. That would kill medical innovation and the development of pharmaceuticals like what? The fifty year old Medicare program or veterans medical benefits guaranteed by the government starting in 1811 should have killed and buried medical innovation a hundred times over by now. If every dime of drug research money comes from drug companies someone needs to get a refund for the American public. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) taxpayer-funded scientists conducted 55 percent of the research projects that led to the discovery and development of the top five selling drugs in 1995. According to another study only 22% of the drugs drug companies brought to market during the 80s and 1990s were innovative drugs that represented important therapeutic gains over existing drugs. And thanks to tax breaks and subsides the drug industry realizes one of the lowest tax rates of any industry. It is no surprise that Palin acolytes would not bother with a little research in order to grab on to anyone willing to defend one of the originators of the death panel myth – voted Politifacts lie of the year in 2009. And a reminder that Republicans were for “death panels” before they were against them,
Yes, that’s right. Remember the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, the one that passed with the votes of 204 GOP House members and 42 GOP Senators? Anyone want to guess what it provided funding for? Did you say counseling for end-of-life issues and care? Ding ding ding!!
Let’s go to the bill text, shall we? “The covered services are: evaluating the beneficiary’s need for pain and symptom management, including the individual’s need for hospice care; counseling the beneficiary with respect to end-of-life issues and care options, and advising the beneficiary regarding advanced care planning.”
Where are conservatives getting their advice on what is or is not Constitutional? Everyone knows the best place to start is to base one’s views on the same folks who remain steadfast in their allegiance to the treason of the Confederacy, Idaho Lawmakers Cite Founder Of Neo-Confederate Hate Group To Justify Plan To Nullify Health Reform
One of the worst examples of the right wing’s contempt for the Constitution is the bevy of unconstitutional proposals state lawmakers have introduced attempting to nullify the Affordable Care Act. The Constitution expressly states that Acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land…anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding,” so our founding document specifically denies the states a veto power over federal laws.
Nonetheless, a group of Idaho lawmakers are drawing inspiration for an unconstitutional nullification bill from an unusual source — a co-founder of a neo-Confederate hate group:
Though a 1958 U.S. Supreme Court decision reaffirmed that federal laws “shall be the supreme law of the land,” Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is promoting the nullification idea, too. In his January 10 State of the State speech, he told Idaho residents “we are actively exploring all our options — including nullification.”
Sen. Monty Pearce, an Idaho GOP lawmaker who plans to introduce a nullification bill early next week, wanted to be the first one to give Otter a recently published book on the subject, “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century.”
But Otter beat him to the punch.
“I took that copy and tried to give it to the governor,” he said, pointing to a copy on his desk. “He already had a copy.” . . .
Thomas E. Woods, Jr., author of the 2010 book “Nullification” that Otter and Pearce have in their Idaho Capitol offices, argues states have the final say on issues as grave as when the government forces citizens to spend their hard-earned money.
Woods is, to say the least, a questionable source of counsel for a sitting state governor and state senator. One of the founders of the neo-Confederate League of the South, Woods once published an article declaring the Confederacy to be “Christendom’s Last Stand.” In it, he endorses the view that the Civil War was a battle between “atheists, socialists, communists, red republicans, jacobins on the one side and the friends of order and regulated freedom on the other,” and he concludes that “[t]he real watershed from which we can trace many of the destructive trends that continue to ravage our civilization today, was the defeat of the Confederate States of America in 1865.”
Glenn W. LaFantasie recently wrote about the Right’s love affair with secession, treason and revisionist’s history of the Confederacy and the Civil War, 150 years later, a campaign to deny that the South’s exodus from the union was a revolution is in full force
If by defeating the Confederacy during the Civil War, the Union did not prove conclusively that secession could not be legally sustained, the point was made emphatically clear in the 1869 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Texas v. White. In the majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase (a Republican appointed by Lincoln), the court ruled that under the Articles of Confederation, adopted by the states during the American Revolution, “the Union was solemnly declared to ‘be perpetual.’ And when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained ‘to form a more perfect Union.’ It is difficult to convey the idea of indissoluble unity more clearly than by these words. What can be indissoluble if a perpetual Union, made more perfect, is not?”