Patterico's Pontifications

6/18/2010

Ace on How Joe Barton Should Have Approached The Topic

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:00 am



The usual suspects are making this another Purity Test. Either you support what Joe Barton said, and the precise way he said it, or you Have No Principles and you are not a Genuine Conservative. For example, there was Josh Trevino on Twitter calling Allahpundit a “useful idiot” because Allah was bemoaning the way that the Democrats have used Barton’s statements to completely refocus the debate away from Obama’s failures.

But the Purity Test crowd says we MUST support Barton — even if he no longer supports himself.

Because the best rhetorical approach is always to unburden yourself of your gut emotional reaction without regard to how your rhetoric will be perceived.

Ace has a suggestion for a different approach — one that might work better in the real world, for those who care about such things. (A hint: it helps to leave the house on occasion and experience said real world. This sometimes helps people realize the importance of valuing something besides masturbatory rhetoric.) He calls it an “Alternate Reality Transcript of Joe Barton’s Questions for Tony Hayward.” Here is a sample:

1. Was the escrow your idea? If not, who proposed it to you? If it was, why is it being reported Obama got you to agree to it?

2. What were you told might happen if you didn’t set up the escrow? What were you told would happen if you did?

. . . .

4. Were you informed in advance the attorney general would be in attendance? What were you told his function was? Did his presence seem intimidating to you? Did he speak at the meeting? What did he say?

5. Did the attorney general at any time explain to you what theory of governance he felt supported his right to be present at this meeting? Did the president?

Ace’s theory: Barton should have collected more facts.

Arguments don’t change minds. Theories don’t change minds. Rhetoric doesn’t change minds.

Facts change mind. Facts.

Much more at the link.

This seems like a much more effective way to make the point.

You know: in case anyone actually cares about being rhetorically effective . . . as opposed to just venting, in as cathartic a manner as you muster.

P.S. In other words, even if you thought Barton was right — and maybe he was — there was a smarter way to do this.

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