Sunday, January 03, 2010

Circular Reasoning

Steve Singiser at Daily Kos posts the following

A question that every journalist should be prepared to ask Peter Hoekstra, Peter King, and the rest of the GOP terror bloviators: how is it possible for the outgoing president (Bill Clinton) to have been responsible for one early-term terror incident, but for the incoming president (Barack Obama) to have been responsible for the other early-term terror incident?

But clearly he misses the fundamental principal of Conservative politics, namely circular reasoning. You see, it is a given that Conservatives do a better job on national security, so the 9/11 attack must have been the fault of Bill Clinton (just as the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 was Bill Clinton’s fault, not George H. W. Bush’s fault) and the attempted attack by Richard Reed, must also either have been handled perfectly well, or been Bill Clinton’s fault. But the underpants bomber this Christmas was a massive security failure, and Obama’s fault. Then when you see that Democrats are doing a bad job against terrorists (we’ve blamed them for all attempts whoever is in charge when the attack takes place) and Republicans never fail to protect against these attacks you are supposed to conclude that Republicans are better at national security thus justifying the original assumption and completing the circle. You need to understand the conclusion you are shooting for and then analyze the data so as to support the conclusion. This idea of deriving your conclusion from the data is just so liberal. There is no way conservatism could survive if we’re going to use that kind of linear reasoning.

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