Sterling Ambivalence (sterlingnorth) wrote,
Sterling Ambivalence

Last Refuge...

Instapundit obviously never heard of or fully understood the Samuel Johnson quote that "patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." There are several postings from last month where he suggests to President Bush to question the patriotism of his critics. Yes, I've read his clarifications, but they all belie the underlying assumption that an attack on the President or the Administration -- or specifically, the accusation that "Bush lied" -- is not patriotic. In other words, it is an act against America. Glenn Reynolds has conflated this Administration with the country, so that any criticism of one is criticism of the other. That's a nasty knot to untangle, but Reynolds is committing, at the very least, an ad hominem. George W. Bush is not "America". Yes, he sets America's policies, but even cursory glances at current polling shows that the American public (a group that can just as easily be granted the collective now "America") disagrees with most of all of Bush's policies. That's a quick way for me to try to stop people from making George W. Bush the externalization for the abstract concept that we like to think is embodied in America. (Though, there's nothing stopping them from corrupting it. See torture debate.)

Here is what was a good takedown of Reynold's follies of that week in middle November.

I'm going to have to bookmark this page of logical fallicies for use.
Tags: internet, politics
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