Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Reductive Reasoning

I'm not sure why, but I've become slightly obsessed with RedState now that McCain picked Palin as VP. And so I was naturally curious to see what they were thinking about all the negative news about Palin now that they've had time to think about it. Needless to say, they're quietly shitting themselves while pretending they hold all the cards; as usual.

But one of the funniest posts has to be this one by RedState founder Erick Erickson, in which Erickson attempts to use deductive reasoning to prove that Obama's campaign is behind all the Palin baby stories. And it basically breaks down to this:

The story started with a Daily Kos blogger
Obama once used Daily Kos to help him
Obama has blogged on Daily Kos
Obama has the Daily Kos on RSS feed
Obama says he reads Daily Kos
Democrats are pushing a different story against Palin
Obama says he'd fire any staffer involved in this

And with that, Erickson concludes: "The pattern is clear: Obama's campaign pushes information to Daily Kos. Daily Kos then spreads it and gets it into the media (probably because a lot of reporters are also diarists there). Given all the other ever changing statements from Obama, how exactly can we really believe his denials now, given his pattern and the connections?"

A clear pattern, indeed. Honestly, what the fuck is this guy talking about? I mean, I've read Daily Kos and posted on Daily Kos, yet I haven't had anything to do with this pregnancy story. And yet to Erickson, this is somehow a clear pattern that Obama is lying about this. Shit, there isn't even a line of reasoning here. It amounts to: Obama uses Daily Kos, therefore he must be behind a story posted there. Hercule Poirot would be proud.

Blog Operatives

And what's really sad is that this is exactly how Republicans use blogs. Republican operatives push news to conservative blogs which promptly report it as if it was their own research. And to make this work properly, there can't be a direct line from the operative to the blogs. I'd be truly surprised if Erickson wasn't a recipient of such research. I'm sure it appeals both to his top-down authoritarianism, as well as his inner sneak. And so it just makes sense for him to assume that liberals do the same thing, as he feels guilty about what he's done and rationalizes it by asserting that his enemies are doing it too.

But the main point of using such duplicitous methods is to allow a smear to take place without any link to anyone official. So why would Obama use a blog that he's openly associated with and has even blogged on? That'd defeat the purpose. For as much as Erickson is pretending there is some nefarious connection of Obama feeding Kos stories, everything he found is above board and would suggest that he wouldn't use Kos for such purposes. The idea that Erickson imagines that he's got clear proof of some conspiracy is all too laughable.

And the real point is clear: These people are shitting themselves. Sure, they imagine they're putting up a good front, but it's obvious that they're having big trouble trying to figure out some way of regaining the offensive on this one. Their homepage currently shows fifteen stories and eight of them are defending Palin; and seeing as how I believe Republicans happen to have some sort of convention going on right now (which accounted for five posts), it seems that they're a bit obsessed with these stories right now.

And that's just not how Republicans like to do things. They don't play defense...ever. And if the best offense they can muster is to struggle in vain to find some way to link Obama to these stories (which they're confident exists), then we can be assured that they're not happy campers.


Broadway Carl said...

The most bizarro thing about this baby story is that it wasn't leaked or rumored to the press. The campaign had a fucking press conference about it for Jeebus' sake!

And even if it were some nefarious Democrat that opened up that can of worms, what part about the story isn't true? Is Bristol Palin NOT five months pregnant? Is she NOT 17 years old? Is she actually married but they're hiding that fact?

And ultimately, who cares? I don't care that the girl is pregnant. Good for her, go forth and multiply. What I DO care about is that Sarah Palin purports herself to be a Pro-Lifer but said she's glad Bristol "made the decision" to have the baby. What decision? I thought there was nothing to decide for these people. A decision, by the way, that Sarah Palin would deny any one of us, given the chance.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Actually Broadway, according to the National Enquirer (which is the most reputable source in the world) the reason they made that announcement was because the Enquirer had uncovered the secret and had told them that they were going to run the story. And so they made the big announcement as a way of getting out in front of the story and denying the Enquirer the scoop.

They also said that they've been digging around in Alaska and are uncovering more dirt. And while it's possible they're lying, that sounds in keeping with the nature of this story. The Palins really are different than the typical politician and probably aren't very good at keeping their dirty laundry to a minimum. And for whatever reason the tabloids smell blood and are going in for the kill.

As for the baby, to me, the bigger issue isn't the abortion choice. It's the abstinance-only issue. Palin doesn't think we should tell the truth about the effectiveness of condoms and birth control, and her own daughter is a natural outcome of that stupid attitude. Perhaps if Bristol had been given a proper sex ed lesson, she wouldn't be in this mess. Teens will have sex even if we lie to them about it, so it'd be best if they knew the truth.

Broadway Carl said...

I agree with your abstinance-only issue, good Doctor. As far as the National Equirer, some would call it digging around and uncovering more dirt, others would call it vetting.