Patterico's Pontifications

3/11/2009

Survey: What Are the Two Most Important Factors in Making a Persuasive Argument?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:42 pm

I wanted to reduce it to one factor, but I believe there are two equally important factors. I can’t say one is more important than the other.

So tell me: in your opinion, what are the two most important factors in making a persuasive argument? What MUST you have going for you in order to convince your audience?

One of them, I bet most of you will figure out. The other, very few will get. Maybe only the trial lawyers.

I will likely refer to this post again and again in the future.

Your thoughts below.

UPDATE: My answers here.

Carville Didn’t Want Bush to Succeed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:46 pm

Such is the speed of the Internet that one can stumble across a great story at noon, post it around 9 p.m. — and the story is old news. Still, I can’t very well fail to post this delicious bit of irony:

James Carville, February 25, 2009:

As I point out the most influential Republican in the United States today Mr. Rush Limbaugh said he did not want President Obama to succeed. So at the very top of the Republican Party, he’s not being wished well here.

James Carville, September 11, 2001 (just before hearing about the attacks):

I certainly hope [President Bush] doesn’t succeed.

Heh.

Allah’s analysis here, including what Carville said after the attacks.

Obama and the “Too Much, Too Soon” Syndrome

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:56 am

A mere 50 days into his administration, Pres. Obama is rejecting the suggestion that he is trying to do “too much, too soon” — a criticism from Obama supporters like Jim Cramer and Warren Buffett that is resonating at outlets like the L.A. Times, ABC News and an article by William Galston at The New Republic.

Pres. Obama retorted that FDR “didn’t have the luxury of choosing between ending a depression and fighting a war,” while White House flack Robert Gibbs gave the extended dance remix of FDR’s “burning house” argument for Lend-Lease at Monday’s press gaggle.  Putting aside the evidence that FDR’s policies prolonged the Depression, which was only reversed by WWII, Galston’s TNR piece recounts how Roosevelt in fact delayed most of the programs that did not bear directly on the economic emergency.

As a warning, Galston notes a different historical example:

After a week in office, another newly minted president mused in his private diary, “Everybody has warned me not to take on too many projects so early in the administration, but it’s almost impossible for me to delay something that I see needs to be done.” That president was Jimmy Carter, who–true to his word–sent a flood of proposals down Pennsylvania Avenue, so many that Congress soon bogged down in near-gridlock. By the end of his first year, American were beginning to wonder whether Carter could get things done and–worse–whether he was up to the job.

Galston could have added Bill Clinton as another example of the “too much, too soon” syndrome, as BusinessWeek observed in May 1993.  For that matter, the Clintons had a track record of blaming their failures on trying to do too much, too soon.  Obama can take comfort in the fact that Clinton was reelected, though his ambition was a big factor in the Democratic midterm Congressional losses of 1994.

That President Obama seems to be following the “too much, too soon” path of Carter and Clinton should not be a big surprise.  Obama’s election continues a 16-year cycle favoring relatively inexperienced Democrats preaching the gospel of Hopenchange.  Victory apparently breeds hubris in such presidents that causes them to ignore the lessons of history — or get just plain get them wrong.

Update: CNN reports: “With the White House seemingly comparing the nation’s economy to a house on fire, some congressional Democrats are asking, where’s the fire truck?” (h/t Allahpundit)

Update x2: The president before Carter on the 16-year cycle was JFK, who also had trouble getting his ambitious agenda through Congress.

–Karl

Famous Yakker Revels in Financial Crisis

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:43 am

Recently, a man famous mostly for speaking was quoted saying something that makes it sound like he’s happy about the fact that we’re in a deepening financial crisis.

Well, he and his supporters are only saying what they believe:

“Rule 1: Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told the New York Times right after the election. “They are opportunities to do big things.” Over the weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told members of the European Parliament, “Never waste a good crisis.” Then President Obama explained in his Saturday radio and Internet address that there is “great opportunity in the midst of” the “great crisis” befalling America.

These people really should wipe the drool off of their mouths before they speak in public.

Quote of the Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:42 am

“These options exist: 1) Seek buyer. If no buyer, then 2) Go digital, or 3) Close. No decision has been made.


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