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The damnation of false equivalencies, part one zillion

by: Eric B.

Sun Mar 11, 2012 at 11:14:43 AM EDT

Normally, when I see a column mugshot involving an American flag, I run like hell away from it, since it's a traditional calling card for mindless rightwing idolatry involving Americana, and that would be especially true at the Detroit News. Normally. Not this time.

First, it should be noted that Rush didn’t just say two unkind words about Sandra Fluke. He leveled over 20 personal attacks (jokes) on her and her family. One of the big things that those who are rationalizing the comments by Rush seem to be missing is that 99% of women have used birth control, so when Rush calls Sandra Fluke a “slut” for using birth control that is covered under insurance, he is essentially calling every woman who uses birth control covered by insurance a “slut.”

It's not an exact cut, but it'll do. Last week, one of the nitwits at Henry Payne's Museum for Half-Formed Thoughts compared Rush Limbaugh's three-day binge of noxious bullshit to a headline TMZ wrote about the time Sarah Palin wrote speech prompts on her hand. That's TMZ, the celebrity news website that takes its political commentary half as seriously as Gawker does. I also see this morning that Louis CK, who spends half his time talking about his own masturbation, got dragged into this by Fox News. Taken to its obvious conclusion, the next time some racist redneck posts a photo of Obama with a noose around his neck, we'll have to endure the Right insisting that there is no difference between that and Louis CK's bit about how if you're going to say, "n-word," you ought to just go ahead and say, "nigger," because that's what pops into everyone's head, anyway.

And, just so we're clear on this.

But Limbaugh's last comment on the matter: "What is it with all these young single white women, overeducated -- doesn't mean intelligent," he said. "Tracie McMillan, the author of this book, seems to be just out of college and already she has been showered with awards ... for social justice journalism."

It hadn't even been a week and he was out attacking someone else, not for the point she was trying to make but for being a woman. There isn't any equivalent in the world of poltical commentary or straight entertainment to this. This is an odious human being who has problems with uppity women, and for whom an entire political ideology is providing cover by pretending that the things he says are the same thing as things that are said by stand-up comedians.

P.S.  Just to be really clear on this ... these are the same people that gave us Sen. Rick Jones, who thought there was nothing wrong with calling Kelly Rossman-McKinney a "hooker" and suggesting that the reason why Gretchen Whitmer thought stupid anti-bully bill language was stupid because he is a hysterical person (i.e. a woman, given entirely over to emotionalism).

Eric B. :: The damnation of false equivalencies, part one zillion
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False Equivalency
I hate that term.  I know the point you're trying to make, but "false equivalency" sounds really effete, y'know?  

Anyone who utters the term "false equivalency" runs a very serious risk of losing the listeners' interest.  

It's just not a very compelling argument.  

False equivalency
When you take a basic logic class, it's the actual term associated with it. I realize that book-larnin' is itself an effete pursuit, what with what it might tell us about the downsides of pickup trucks and NASCAR, but it's also something that anyone who thinks they want to write opinion ought to familiarize themselves with.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
I honestly don't know what to say.  False equivalency is just a plain 101 definition.  You make it sound as if he's speaking some foreign jargon.

Really, let's not get so picky and petty, because it's concern trolling to be honest.

[ Parent ]
Concern troll is concerned
Fine.  Call me a concern troll.  Say "false equivalency" three times in as nasal a voice as you can and then tell me with a straight face that you expect me to give a shit.

[ Parent ]
If you're that shallow, that's not my problem.  Of all of the replies I could have imagined this thread, trolling over the use of the plain term "false equivalency" was not one of them.

[ Parent ]
He's got a point
It does have certain femme-y, almost French-like quality to it. Alas, however, we can't redefine logical fallacies to make them more manly, only inherit what smarter generations bequeathed us.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Echo chamber
Sorry to bring an opinion from outside the echo chamber into this.  

False equivalency is a real thing.  Yes.  False equivalency is an obnoxious tactic by the Right Wing Noise Machine.  Yes.

Come up with a better tactic for responding to it than just pointing and yelling "false equivalency."  

Thank you.  

[ Parent ]
I didn't write this for the benefit of the rightwing
The rightwing doesn't appear to me to give the first shit about logical consistency and avoiding informal fallacies. The rightwing appears to me only interested in double standards when they can use them as weapons. The rightwing to me appears happy to argue anything in any way it thinks will help them carry the day.

So, this wasn't written for the rightwing.

This was written to dispel, for every other normal human out there, the idea that attacking Rush Limbaugh's three-day bender of hate and vitriol while not paying much attention to stupid shit Bill Maher has said (and while I'm a fan, Maher has a habit of occasionally saying really stupid things) is some form of double standard.

I wish there was a more manly way to express this so that the rightwing would make better arguments. I'm not seeing one, however, and the false equivalence is still the term taught in basic logic courses.

But, no, by all means offer up dissent on this site. I did give this some thought. I just disagree.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]

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