Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thomas Sowell and Owen Robinson

Owen commented on the Wisconsin Joint Finance's expansion of unemployment comp bennies, which started a discussion with the occasionally-rational "Capper," who is an AFSCME official.

Here's the thread.

Did you catch "capper"'s commentary? Good.

Sowell described the technique (as outlined by the Winning McCain here.)

In The Vision of the Anointed, Thomas Sowell describes how liberals employ "mascots" and "targets" to advance their policy aims. By positioning themselves as defenders of "mascots," liberals set a rhetorical trap whereby any attack on their policies is denounced as an attack on the (allegedly) victimized and downtrodden people whom those policies are supposed to benefit. Ergo, anyone who criticizes the cost of Medicare is accused of wishing to deprive the elderly of health care, and anyone who criticizes affirmative action is accused of hating women and minorities.

The problem, of course, is that this prevents rational discussion of policy.

Like I said, 'the occasionally-rational.' Since "limited resources" are not in the vocabulary (nor weltanschauung) of the Permanently-Employed-By-Taxpayers class, irrationality rules.


Other Side said...

The Vision of the AnointedThat's rational.

John Foust said...

If we were really smart, we'd recognize rhetorical tricks no matter which side was using them.

You know, like the trick of saying only liberals do this.