Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Rachel Maddow, Demagogue

I know, I know. Why am I wasting time on her? Good question. But I can't let this get by me.

The other night she and state-socialist congressmen Anthony Weiner had a good laugh because all the Republicans on a congressional committee voted against his trick amendment to end Medicare. What hypocrites, they sneered. Republicans say they are against socialized medicine, but when their political careers are at stake, they won't vote to end the socialized medicine we already have for retirees. (Clip here.)

I am the last person to want to defend the Republicans. The charge of hypocrisy is easy to make, and no doubt Maddow and Weiner are right about many or most of them in this case. But they were engaging in demagoguery, and they must have known it. The principle of charitable interpretation is worth applying not only because it's decent but also because it forces oneself argue against your opponent's strongest possible case. Going for the weakest case is a wimpy thing to do--a confession you lack confidence in your own.

Someone can nonhypocritically and coherently say, "I'd vote against creating Medicare today. But since after 44 years people on fixed incomes have come to rely on it, I would not just kill it in one shot now. I favor some kind of gradual transition to a private system."

Agree or disagree with that position, it shows that voting no on an up-or-down vote to kill Medicare is not necessarily hypocrisy for one who opposes government-controlled medical care.

Maddow's schlocky program is little more than a series of conversations with guests who agree with her so she can distort the positions of those she diagarees with. She might have brought on a someone to argue the point I make above, but she wouldn't know what to do with someone who intelligently disagrees with her. That speaks volumes about her intellectual heft or confidence, or something.

1 comment:

voluntaryist said...

As far as I can tell Maddow is the "liberal" answer to Bill O'Reilly. It perplexes me that either are as popular as they are.