Patterico's Pontifications


An Analogy for What Cruz Was Doing

Filed under: — Patterico @ 7:36 am

Let’s say a Cruz detractor tells me: “Cruz lied about his support for legalization and I’ll stop at nothing to make you admit it!” and I counter by saying: “I’ll admit Cruz supported a kind of legalization if you admit he didn’t lie about it and also pay this charity for orphans $500 million dollars.”

If that person went around bellowing: “PATTERICO SAYS HE IS WILLING TO ADMIT CRUZ SUPPORTED LEGALIZATION!!!1!” would he be telling the truth?

Not really. Because we both know that my opponent, the Cruz detractor, is not ever going to satisfy the conditions I set out.

Now let’s say my opponent said to me: “You’re being insincere, Patterico. Your offer is just a cheap attempt to kill any deal between us.” I could say: “Hey, I am being sincere here. I want to reach some kind of understanding about what he said, and this certainly would resolve everything if you accepted it.” Then some journalist contacts me and says: “Hey, so if he actually agrees, will you go through with it?” and I say: “It’s a hypothetical.”

Have I sincerely agreed to admit Cruz supported legalization? We’re kind of getting into angels dancing on the head of a pin territory, aren’t we? I think I could certainly deny that I did and be on solid ground.

And yet — if my opponent actually did take me up on it, and I went through with the deal — I would have gotten a great deal that nobody ever would have thought possible. By offering something I know they won’t accept, I’m showing two things. First, they didn’t really mean it when they said “I’ll stop at nothing” so I can say with a clear conscience that my offer was really about showing that. But second, if they want to say: “BUT YOU SAID YOU WERE BEING SINCERE!!!1!” I could say, with a straight face: “Well, sure I did. And if you took me up on it, the issue would be resolved in a reasonable way and some orphans would get some financial help.”

Because I would be willing to admit Cruz was supporting a kind of legalization if it were placed in the proper context that shows he really wasn’t lying, and if some orphans got millions of dollars. That would be great.

That’s kind of what Cruz was doing. He proposed something nobody ever would accept — but if they had, it would have been a good deal that would have actually fixed immigration. But the Democrats didn’t want it because they want millions of new voters — citizens. And Cruz showed that.

He’s not lying.

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