Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In which I get pissed off again by the same Kilgore post

OK I read on and got to " if, on the other hand, she just doesn’t think HRC is progressive enough, or anti-Wall Street enough, or “passionate” enough to get the job done in the White House, she might want to spend some time wondering why Clinton is so popular among Democrats, " and then "if no one has a prayer of beating Hillary Clinton, it’s probably a pretty good sign she’s not the grossly inappropriate nominee Ball makes her out to be." I comment. On the actual substance, I should start by saying I cringed when I read (a bit about) what Ball said. I plan to vote for Clinton in the primary and (of course) the general. But I don't think detect any logic in the argument that Clinton is way ahead in polls of Democrats and so must be an appropriate candidate*. The argument seems to be that the majority is always right so the minority should shut up. Sorry, I mean to write that if there is any reasoning at all behind your argument, it must be that the majority is always right so the minority should shut up. In contrast, I think debate is healthy and questions of what should be done are not finally answered by polls (or elections). The argument that we are more numerous than you so shut up, is inconsistent with liberalism (by which I mean the set of opinions shared by Bernie Sanders and Friedrich von Hayek). Your argument that Clinton is a good Democratic candidate implies that you think that Reagan was a good presidential candidate in 1984. To be consistent, you must argue that if he weren't an appropriate choice for US president, he wouldn't have had such support. Of course you don't accept that absurd illiberal argument. But it is exactly the argument you made. *update: Only a posting the comment and then cutting and pasting context here did I notice that the claim is that the opinions of poll respondents who intend to vote in Democratic primaries mean that Clinton is not a "grossly inappropriate nominee." I think I could just update and ask Kilgore if he thinks that Reagan wasn't a grossly inappropriate candidate for president. It is a bit delicate to stress this even more having just misquoted Kilgore, but I notice that he puts words in his opponents mouth again (as I did and I just admitted it). This is the named opponent Krystal Ball, but did Ball use the words "grossly" and "inappropriate" ? Crap now I have to read Ball to check. OK I was unfair to Ball -- the essay is very reasonable. It includes "To be clear, I would back Clinton with all my heart against any Republican, and I would even support her over most Democrats. But she is much less than ideal." That is just not consistent with Kilgore's false assertion that Ball said that Clinton would be a "grossly inappropriate nominee" I assume no one has read this far. I have a worry. I generally ignore reading Kilgore,find his arguments reasonable and nod my head. He is usually criticizing Republicans. I now fear that I enjoy reading him, because he critiques a made up caricature Republican. I have no particular opinion of Krystal Ball (I just checked the spelling of her first name although, come on, you don't expect me not to know that there is a famous political reporter who does, among other things horse race reporting whose name rhymes with chrystal ball). Kilgore attempted to critique her post by asserting that she had written something grossly massively inconsistent with what she actually wrote. It is easy to win arguments if you feel free to claim that someone said something different from what they said. I now fear that I enjoy reading Kilgore, because I generally agree with his conclusions and his willingness to make shit up makes the debate fun and easy to read him so long as one agrees with his conclusions.

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