The Corner

Presto Change-O

A reader writes in response to today’s column on Keyes:

I’ve got to remember this one:

“Now, just as with the Keyes candidacy, each of these irregularities may be justified by no shortage of good arguments. But so what? That just demonstrates the political and cultural pressures driving efforts to rewrite the written and unwritten rules of our system.”

This is the rhetorical equivalent of waving a magic wand: “watch me make contrary arguments disappear!” This trick suggests the mindset of conspiracy theorists. The more evidence you show which is contrary to the conspiracy theory, the more convinced the theorist becomes. To him, it’s just more evidence of how deep the conspiracy goes.

Meanwhile, back in the world of logic, you have to defeat those “good arguments” on the merits (or lack thereof), not by using the (unproven) point you’re trying to make.

BTW, big fan. I tease because I love.

Me: Sorry, I don’t buy it. To use an example Ramesh brought up before, I’m in favor of tort reform, but I’m also in favor of fighting the war on terrorism and cutting taxes and government. What if we were talking about Republicans who were good on all of those things, but not tort reform? Couldn’t I make the same sort of argument about the dismaying trend of the GOP abandoning tort reform? If Alan Keyes were actually from Illinois, but opposed tort reform couldn’t I write that there were good arguments for supporting his candidacy even though his candidacy would represent a continuation of this disturbing trend?

Most Popular

Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Culture

New England Journal of Medicine Pushes Reparations

Reparations would grant African Americans government benefits not paid to other Americans to rectify the awful sin of slavery and the "peculiar institution's" residual harm. It is a favored policy of hard progressives, so of course, the New England Journal of Medicine -- which regularly promotes left-wing causes ... Read More
Culture

New England Journal of Medicine Pushes Reparations

Reparations would grant African Americans government benefits not paid to other Americans to rectify the awful sin of slavery and the "peculiar institution's" residual harm. It is a favored policy of hard progressives, so of course, the New England Journal of Medicine -- which regularly promotes left-wing causes ... Read More
White House

A Justified Pardon

President Trump’s pardon of retired General Michael Flynn, who fleetingly served as his first national-security adviser, was a justified act of clemency. You don’t have to be a fan of how Trump has wielded his pardon power (often recklessly and on behalf of friends and supporters) or believe that Flynn was ... Read More
White House

A Justified Pardon

President Trump’s pardon of retired General Michael Flynn, who fleetingly served as his first national-security adviser, was a justified act of clemency. You don’t have to be a fan of how Trump has wielded his pardon power (often recklessly and on behalf of friends and supporters) or believe that Flynn was ... Read More
Books

Three Cheers for the Quiet Ones

People often dismiss shy, quiet characters in literature. Readers prefer to identify with Jo March, Elizabeth Bennett, or Anne Shirley -- those delightful, bold, and charming characters who made a deep impression on us when we first encountered them. While there’s nothing wrong with emulating or admiring these ... Read More
Books

Three Cheers for the Quiet Ones

People often dismiss shy, quiet characters in literature. Readers prefer to identify with Jo March, Elizabeth Bennett, or Anne Shirley -- those delightful, bold, and charming characters who made a deep impression on us when we first encountered them. While there’s nothing wrong with emulating or admiring these ... Read More