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November 23, 2009


Michelle Goldberg makes unreasonable criticisms of Palin. You can watch and hear Goldberg's points demolished by Ann Althouse (who is a moderate Democrat) on bloggingheads TV here.

Michelle Goldberg makes unreasonable criticisms of Palin.

That's a shame, since there are so many reasonable criticisms of S.P.

Yes, indeed, daniel. That's what makes it so disgusting.

Here's a person who's obviously unqualified to be President. She lacks accomplishments, education, management experience, foreign policy experience, military experience, etc.

However, pointing out Palin's weaknesses isn't enough for her antagonists. They are also doing whatever they can to brand her as a pathological liar. They don't just want to defeat her in an election; they want to destroy her.

Ann Althouse (who is a moderate Democrat)

You make this kind of claim a lot (I think last time you were arguing that Megan McArdle was a moderate Democrat). I'm not sure why you think this is part of a convincing argument.

First of all, anyone who disagrees with you on that point will simply skip the rest of your post. But more importantly, we define our ideological allies and opponents by what they believe, not by what they call themselves. I doubt you'd find yourself nodding in agreement with my political arguments if I started each post by claiming I was a conservative Republican.

Jinchi, if you watch the linked diavolog, you'll hear Althouse say she doesn't care for Palin. Earlier posts show that Althouse voted for Obama. When a liberal. Palin-opponent demolishes Goldberg's arguments, I think that's more significant than if a conservative, Palin-supporter does so.

Your point about defining your own idoelogical allies sounds a bit like the No True Scotsman fallacy. Suppose someone is a registered Democrat who routinely votes for Democrats, but this person doesn't think Palin is a big liar. Under the NTS fallacy, one would argue that this person's support for Palin on this issue showed that she wasn't a "real" liberal, thus deligitimizing her opinion. Jinchi, I hope that's not where you were going.

Going off topic, I know, but I don't see why not serving in the military ("military experience") should be a disqualifying factor in terms of running for president. Harry Truman (didn't serve in the military) was a much better president that Jimmy Carter (did serve in the president).

Yikes, I was wrong about Truman. My apologies. My initial point still stands though.

you'll hear Althouse say she doesn't care for Palin. Earlier posts show that Althouse voted for Obama.

Voting for Obama doesn't make her a Democrat and not caring for Palin doesn't make her a liberal. Lots of moderate and conservative non-Democrats voted for Obama. That's why he's president today.

Your point about defining your own ideological allies sounds a bit like the No True Scotsman fallacy.

Now you're making an assumption that I'm a Democrat and that I'm creating a litmus test for "real" Democrats to pass. I'm not. I'm simply stating that I put myself ideologically in the same category as people who say things I agree with. Adding "who is a moderate Democrat" to your description of Althouse is no argument pro or con at all.

Know how I judge whether she's a liberal or not? I simply Google her opinions on torture (WaPo vindicates Cheney), health care reform (Buy a $15,000 Policy or Go to Jail), Abu Ghraib (fewer abuses than a typical Arab prison), the Iraq War (George Bush liberates 50 million Muslims in Iraq, Reagan liberates hundreds of millions of Europeans and saves parts of Latin America. Any awards?"), global warming (Climategate), and of course liberals (Is it possible that there might be something really ugly at the core of contemporary liberalism?)

She sure sounds like a hard core conservative to me.

Jinchi, many of the items that you brand "conservative" are factual matters. WaPo did vindicate Cheney. The House Health bill does contain a provision calling for punishmwent including prison for failing to be insured. Abu Graib does treat its prisoners better than a typical Arab prison. Released e-mails do indeed indicate that some key evidence of anthropogenic global warming was finagled.

Apparently, in order for someone to be real liberal, it's not enough to register and vote Democratic and to support typical liberal aims, such as Choice, government support for the poor and for education, expansion of various government programs, etc. To be a real liberal, a person must also hold certain beliefs, including some that are objectively false. Or, at least, the person must never mention orally or in writing that these beliefs are objectively false.

daniel, I don't think failure to serve in the military is disqualifying. However, since the President is Commander in Chief, a military background is a plus, especially when we're at war.

David, doesn't it occur to you that since you and Ann agree on so many issues, you and she share the same ideology?

Despite your perspective on the world, the Washington Post did not vindicate Cheney and that was a single post among many in which she defends the use of torture (using every talking point of the right). The health care post I mentioned was an explicit reference (with link) to Republican talking points (republican.waysandmeans.house.gov). The defense of Abu Ghraib is absurd and certainly not a liberal or moderate one. (Why not say "George Bush, better than Attila the Hun"?) And, at the risk of diverting this discussion completely, the hacked emails don't show any evidence of doctored data.

What you get from a casual perusing of her work is a list of every Republican obsession from Terry Schiavo to "death panels", written from the Republican perspective with approving citations of Newt Gingrich, Antonin Scalia, Limbaugh, Instapundit and the WSJ editorial page. She's not a liberal and as far as I can see, has never even described herself as one.

Being a registered Democrat doesn't make you a liberal (Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott and Zell Miller were all Democrats at one point). And conservative Republican presidents have advocated programs for the poor and for education (NCLB ring a bell?) and expansion of government programs (Bush's prescription drug bill?).

Yes, you do need to have liberal views in order to be a liberal. The fact that you think those views are "objectively false" is simply evidence that you're a conservative.

Somerby addressess a dispute over what Palin said regarding lowering the income tax on capital gains. What Palin apparently didn't say, or at least it's not quoted there, is that concern that capital gains rates will be raised in the coming years also retards the recovery. I'm dealing personally with this concern in my own decisions today.

Another tax move that I believe would dramatically help the economy would be reducing or eliminating corporate income tax. That would encourage international companies to expand businesses in the United States and stop encouraging them to move work offshore.

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