If one is going to go after sacred cows, one should really go after sacred cows. Most of the people in our society who get credit for "going after sacred cows" are just going after unfashionable ones. At least ones that are unfashionable in the circles they want to appeal to. We live in a world of iconodules posing as iconoclasts.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blogchair Psychoanalysis

I'm not getting a soft-spot for the current Administration, far from it, most of my opinions of it I don't post here, but I still hold it in a minimum of high regard.

That said, some criticisms are just mindless. People on the Right such as myself and, I presume, the fine people at American Thinker, properly despise it when the Left subjects conservatives (either politicians or as a whole) to distant armchair psychoanalysis. So why are they engaging in it?

It doesn't seem to be along the lines of what I admit is one of my favorite strategeries, that of hoisting them on their own petard, subjecting them (the President in this case, the Left in general) to the same standards they subject everyone else to to demonstrate how fail and inconsistent the standards are. No, that piece seems perfectly earnest on its own terms. Right down to concluding "adult children of alcoholics... keep them out of the White House"

Well, a good Liberal, Left, Progressive, whatever writer could - and should - use my aforementioned favorite tactic in response to that: Does the author really mean Ronald Reagan should have been kept from the White House? Reagan was also an adult child of an alcoholic, and, unlike Obama, experienced it up close.

Criticisms of these sort, blogchair psychoanalytics, are insipid and self-defeating regardless of who engages in them. They do nothing to advance the debate, and a lot to poison it. I mean, c'mon, who is fooling who here? Nobody is fooling anyone but themselves. People who think Obama or Reagan should have never been President don't do so because they're the product of alcoholic households or any other psychoanalytic reason, and nobody who does think either were or are fine Presidents are going to be convinced otherwise by bogus arguments of this sort. The psychoanalitic deligitimization comes after already deciding they don't like their policies. It's never "you know, I really like what this guy's trying to accomplish and support his policies, but he's probably got this deep-seated mental disorder I attribute to him. He might be unfit for office by reason of crazy."

You know what would be a fun experiment? Find 1000 people who approve of the President, have them read that article, and see how many changed their minds and now think he's unfit for the office. Would there be one such person?



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