Thursday, August 06, 2009

Reductio Ad Hitlerum

As defined by Wikipedia:

"Reductio ad Hitlerum is rationally unsound as guilt by association (a form of association fallacy), it illogically attempts to shift culpability from a villain to an idea regardless of who is espousing it and why."

Apparently Nancy Pellosi has not heard of this or Godwin's Law. Again, citing Wikipedia:

"For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress. This principle itself is frequently referred to as Godwin's Law."

Speaker Pellosi recently accused the "AstroTurf" protesters of showing up at town hall meetings carrying swastikas.

What????????? I've seen a lot of American flags but no swastikas. And I wouldn't really think the Nazi Party or any of their symbolism would get any kind of love or understanding from a Tea Party type of crowd. However it does make for a pretty wide brush to smear your opponents with, now doesn't it?

And you know, I wasn't going to put up a copy of the poster that is taking L.A. and the Internet by storm - until I ran into an article in The Washington Post that contends the poster is racist.

Edgy? Yes. Racist? Give me a break. The tortured logic (if you can call it logic) employed by the writer doesn't stand up to even casual scrutiny. But it sure is effective when it comes to quelling that viral poster and branding anyone associated with it.

This is already ugly and it's going to get worse.

UPDATE - Frank J. Fleming weighs in:
"In reality, it’s up to the Republicans to stop Obama. And as they try to work with him and make some compromises with him, I have something to tell them: some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like bipartisan support. They can’t be influenced by polls, reasoned with, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

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