September 14, 2012

Rhetoric of the Post-Fact World

This will be a short post because there’s really not much to analyze. In a post-fact world, argument can be as simple as crossing your arms and refusing to budge after making a post-fact claim. One can also stick one’s fingers in one’s ears and screech “I don’t hear you” a dozen times, but that doesn’t play well on TV.

So, yeah, there’s just not enough evidence of President Obama’s natural-born-citizeniness to suit three “top elected Republicans” in Kansas:

The State Objections Board comprised of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer postponed until Monday action on a complaint filed by a Manhattan resident pending review of a copy of Obama’s birth certificate from Hawaii.

“I don’t think it’s a frivolous objection,” Kobach said. “I do think the factual record could be supplemented.”

Requests were to be sent to officials in Hawaii, Arizona and Mississippi in an attempt to secure copies of the president’s birth records. Obama released a copy of his birth certificate last year, but detractors persist in advancing “birther” arguments that the Democrat lacked standing.

In a culture in which facts have meaning as facts, because, well, they’re facts, this kind of nonsense would be hooted off the civic stage by the people and the press.

September 6, 2012

When Nazi Rhetoric Is OK

So here’s what South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian said about South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley:

Harpootlian made the comments in question in addressing Haley holding apress conference in a basement studio at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. amid the Democratic National Convention.

“She was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun,” Harpootlian said, according to The State.

I think we’d all be better off if we let the conservatives own the Nazi invective (or their singular, and idiotic, combination of Nazi-socialist invective re: Obama). We’d be better off because such language would be easier to isolate and hoot off the civic stage if only one side were doing it. When everyone does it, well, it starts to sound normal.

Comparisons to Nazis — and any allusion to anything Nazi equals a comparison — is only appropriate if the person in question is 1) a fascist, and 2) engaged in an active program of ethic marginalization or cleansing. If those two things do not obtain, then using any kind of Nazi rhetoric ought to be out of bounds.

Haley may be a lot of things, but a Nazi is not one of them. Nothing she does is remotely Nazi like.

So shut up.

September 5, 2012

This Would Be Funny If

If it were not so indicative of our age of willful ignorance…

It didn’t take long for the Internet to start buzzing with conspiracy theories after the Social Security Administration posted a notice that it was purchasing 174,000 hollow-point bullets.

Why is the agency that provides benefits to retirees, disabled workers, widows and children stockpiling ammunition?

“It’s not outlandish to suggest that the Social Security Administration is purchasing the bullets as part of preparations for civil unrest,” the website Infowars.com said.

Another site, The Daily Caller, said the bullets must be for use against American citizens, “since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens.”

A few years ago my first thought would have been: Why is this news?

Today one could make a beat out of covering the crazy.

On a cheery side note, as of this posting, no one has commented on the article, which means no one has given it a good ol’ “hell yeah!”