Friday, January 04, 2008

We Don't Drink the Kool-Aid Here

Critical thinking is a foreign notion to some people, especially when it comes to analyzing their own viewpoints. Here at Common Nonsense we believe that all views should be subject to critical analysis, including and especially our own. We believe that the means to an end are important, and that a poor argument in our favor is still a poor argument.

Some people disagree. From FreeRepublic.com:

Did the weakest Dem candidate for the general election won tonight? I think so.

By sending forth Hussein Osama out of Iowa, Democrats have unwittingly weakened their general election prospects.

Hussein’s exotic mixture of radical liberalism, Kwanzaa Socialism, antipathy towards the unborn, and weakness against his jihadi brethren will all come back to destroy him against almost any Republican opponent, even the snake-grope from Hope.

I think we as Republicans should be celebrating tonight at the coronation of Hussein, in whose presence millions of Democrat women, from elementary school teachers to journalism majors to law school grads to dykes on bikes will go weak in their knees.

As defenders of this great Republic, and of the pinnacle of Western civilization that it represents, we should all come together tonight and agree on a common strategy that will keep the White House from becoming a madrassa.

How can anyone write read or write this dreck without being painfully embarrassed? First it is the too-common wishful-thinking everything-is-good-for-us variety of conservative "analysis" -- no doubt if Clinton had won a similar piece would have been written about her. Second and more importantly it's just plain stupid. Kwanzaa Socialism? Hussein Osama? Jihadi brethren? It's one empty rhetorical jab after another, cotton-candy writing at its finest.

Were I a conservative who disliked Obama I would still feel compelled to point out that the piece is poor, that "Kwanzaa Socialism" is an invention and that his name is Obama with a 'b'. The readers of FreeRepublic have no such objections. (Read the comments yourself) They agree with the general point, "grr Obama bad!", and that's good enough for them. There are no other standards in play, including basic accuracy.

Not content to let FreeRepublic monopolize stupidity for a moment RedState.com gets in on the act.

The bad news: our liberal “friends” – you know, the ones who believe so strongly in free speech and open debate – have done what they can to prevent us from making these improvements, so that our influence will be minimized just as we head into the 2008 presidential primary season.

No, our Blue State buddies haven’t succeeded in stopping us from improving our website. But they’ve made it more difficult and more expensive – which is why I’m coming to you for help.

Let me explain …

You see, when we started RedState in May of 2004, we used a website program called Scoop — the same program a lot of similar sites on the left used. But, as the number of visitors to our site grew, Scoop kept crashing on us.

If we’d been a liberal website, we would have been able to fix the problem quickly and relatively cheaply. The online left loves Scoop. Unfortunately, there weren’t really any conservative Scoop developers out there to help us. We kept crashing and were out of money. We had to close down or take drastic action.

This from people who fetishize self-reliance. (I left out the part where they beg for money) Liberals may pretend to be for free speech but since they aren't doing charity work for RedState clearly that's merely pretense. Follow the logic, if you can.

It's so absurd it's impossible to satirize. Even their own technical incompetence is somehow the fault of liberals.

Again an honest person who reads RedState should still feel compelled to point out how incredibly stupid this is, how it goes against the RedState disgust with handouts and opposition to victimhood. But again most RedStaters have no problem with it. To them there is no bad way to blame a liberal.


Crappy writing does not deserve a free pass based on ideology. Common Nonsense is not a liberal or Democratic blog. It's not about our team winning. Our team is the truth as we best understand it and policies derived from factual analysis.

We reject the notion that what you can be sloppy or deceiving in service to a greater good, one of the hallmark concepts of the Bush Administration. Accuracy and precision are themselves greater goods. The process of deriving conclusions matters more than the conclusions themselves.

Places like RedState and FreeRepublic do not attract people who like to think, they attract people who like to agree to a rigid ideology. That is not our goal. That is why we avoid in-group jargon, why we stick mostly to substantive complaints, why we make arguments based on primary-source material. We do not have to stretch the truth, outright invent, purposely misspell names or rely on cheap rhetorical tricks because unlike at FreeRepublic we don't have to. The simple facts are good enough.

1 comment:

Republican said...

Maybe they need to add more sugar to the Kool-Aid.