Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rebutting an Angle Apologist

You'd think that Harry Reid's victory over Sharron Angle would have made the Nevada Senate election a dead issue to her apologists. Quite to the contrary, they remain as angry as ever.

Here is a Facebook debate I had with one of them (believe it or not, it DIDN'T begin at my profile). As always, it is complete and unabridged.

Cheryl Dawn Dearborne

HARRY REID WON... yes, now let's pray him safe, those shit crazy republicans have threatened violence. Oh yes... IN YOUR FACE YOU CRAZY RACIST #SharonAngle

Zach Golden

"He [Reid] was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.'"

Come on now. Harry Reid is just as crazy and racist too. That guy is the Senate Majority Leader and honestly sounds so uneducated when he talks about economic and international matters. Both candidates sucked, but at least Angle wouldn't have been in a leadership position.

Matthew Rozsa

1) Harry Reid's comment, though loathsome, was made in private; this is important because, while it is arguably a reflection of his personal views regarding African Americans, it was clearly not intended to cater to the baser instincts of racist Nevada voters.

Angle, on the other hand, has created campaign commercials that blatantly cater to racist opinions regarding African Americans and Latinos. This makes her actions far worse for the simple reason that, while Reid keeps his venom to himself (except when it is inadvertently leaked), Angle openly attempts to spread it to the people of her state in the hope of winning votes. This makes Reid despicable but Angle a far greater evil.

2) In addition to that, Sharron Angle has openly appealed to violence in her rhetoric, a low to which Harry Reid has never stooped (or, for that matter, 99.9% of the Democratic and Republican parties).

3) Sharron Angle has also proposed slashing programs like Social Security and Medicare, all of which would wreak havoc on the lives of non-wealthy Americans.

Zach Golden

Nice comeback. Angle is more racist than Reid. Nice. Honestly, they both suck. Neither one of them is very smart nor do they bring any new or good ideas. Nevada would have been better off having everyone vote the "neither" option and leaving the senate seat empty.

Just to play devil's advocate, if she is inded racist, Angle is upfront and honest about it. Harry Reid, however, lies about it and keeps it private while shaking your hand and smiling at you. Which one is more trustworthy?

Oh and by the way, if you don't think we need to slash or reform programs like SS and Medicare, then you are delusional. It is simple math. This country can't afford the current programs of SS and Medicare. I'm not debating whether they are a good thing or needed, what I am pointing out is that we literally cannot afford them in their current setup. Google it. We are borrowing money from China to pay for these things because we have so many other unnecessary expenditures.

Europe is cutting across the board. Europe is socialist and they are doing the math to realize money in does not equal money out and changes have to be made. We, on the other hand, continue to borrow from China, and spend because we fear it will cause havoc if we change things.....good long term strategic planning.

Matthew Rozsa

1) You deliberately mischaracterized what I said in order to faux rebut it (a tactic known among logicians as the straw man fallacy). My point wasn't merely that Angle is more of a racist than Reid; it is also that Angle, unlike Reid, has actively pandered to racism in voters as a means of getting elected.

2) It's not an issue of trustworthiness; it's an issue of which one attempts to whip up bigotry in order to get elected.

3) While I agree that our budget deficit and debt to China are out of control, I marvel at how conservatives always believe that the way to cut spending is to do so at the expense of the working classes. If we were to legalize marijuana and other illicit drugs, significantly reduce the scope of the military-industrial complex, and raise taxes on the wealthy back to Eisenhower-era levels, those three measures alone would more than suffice to deal with our budgetary needs. Yet right-wingers refuse to even consider those options; instead they assume that the poor and the elderly must be sacrificed at the altar of fiscal responsibility.

4) Europe is indeed cutting across the board, but with disastrous effects on their economy. What's more, they spent far more on social welfare programs than we ever did.

For more on why deficit hawks are scum, see my appropriately named blog articles:

Zach Golden

I'm no logician. And you can not like my point all you want, but it is a valid point. Reid, by your count, is a racist behind closed doors. Not good. Angle, by your count, is an out in the open racist. Still not good but you know what you are getting.

And you're right. Elected officals shouldn't be about trustworthiness.

At the expense of the working class.....who do you think employs the working class? Cut back on defense spending, I agree with you, but where are all those soldiers going to work? What about all of the companies that supply the defense department. They lose business and more workers without work. Go ahead and raise taxes on the wealthy. Do you think they have to live in the US? They can easily go elsewhere with their money and invest their money over there. And legalizing marijuana would cause a whole host of costs related to regulating it, collecting the taxes, not to mention Mexican cartel supplied gangs fighting to keep their profit stream going.

It is all about unintended consequences.

As far as Europe goes, what are these disastrous effects you speak of? The union riots in Greece or France because now they have to retire at 62 instead of 60. Please. And do you really have any idea how much we actually spend on our welfare and social programs? Do you have any idea what the projection in the future of those expenses will be? Google it.

Also, the more you tax and the more money government is spending, the less economic activity that will be created. Look at Japan. Look at Europe. Their economic growth has slowed to a crawl over the last couple of decades as money has been funnelled to the government instead of being put into entreprenuers hands to create new businesses. That is unsustainable as government has to get it's money from those businesses that it is suffocating. Unless you want state owned enterprises like in China, and then the profits of companies just goes to the government....

Deficit hawks are not scum. They just look at numbers and point out when they don't add up. They don't take into account the human costs, social costs, or emotions which can be good or bad. But at the end of the day, the numbers have to add up.

Matthew Rozsa

1) Once again, you are intentionally using the straw man fallacy - i.e, mischaracterizing what I said and distorting it into something you can defeat due to your inability to rebut the actual contents of my argument. I never said that elected officials shouldn't be about trustworthiness and I never said that what mattered about Reid versus Angle was that he was only behind closed doors whereas she was out in the open. What I said was that Angle used racism as a political tactic in order to create support, which naturally has a much greater potential to harm innocent people than Reid's approach, which - though contemptible for existing in private - isn't as damaging as whipping up bigotry among the populace.

Your deliberate obtuseness here betrays the fact that you know you're wrong. People don't ignore what another person is trying to say unless they know that acknowledging would work to their disadvantage.

2) Much of the military-industrial complex's spending comes from waste and excess, as it has throughout history (see The Truman Commission for just one example). Similarly, much of it comes from unnecessary military campaigns, such as the extremely costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These trillions upon trillions of dollars of expenditures have nothing to do with giving people jobs or keeping soldiers in employment and everything to do with fiscal affronts that provide no positive services for taxpayers while lining the pockets of individuals at the top of the socioeconomic ladder.

3) Did the wealthy abandon this nation en masse when taxes were significantly higher during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower? Give me a break... or at least crack open a history textbook and look at precedent before you make such stupid predictions.

4) You clearly have done zero research on the costs of regulating marijuana compared to the revenue we would receive from taxing it and the money we would save from not having to spend hundreds of billions of dollars fighting a "war" against it. If you did, you'd realize how ridiculous your position there is (condescending statements about "unintended consequences" notwithstanding).

5) Do you have any ideas as to the disastrous consequences on Europe's economy by their cuts in social welfare spending or on the comparative costs here versus there? Why don't you Google it, since based on your arguments, apparently you don't.

6) Actually, the problem with Japan and Europe is that deficit hawks limited the amount of stimulus primed into their economy, thus propping it up while preventing it from fully recovering. The same mistake was made by Obama in America; the GDP made it clear that the stimulus needed to be $2 trillion in scope to take effect, and yet instead only $500 billion was spent on stimulus (the remaining $300 billion or so was wasted on tax cuts), with the result being that while unemployment stopped rising (it would have been between 16% and 17% now instead of 9% and 10% had it not been for what Obama did pass), it didn't fall (it would have been between 6% and 7% now instead of between 9% and 10% had the stimulus amounted to $2 trillion). In short, the examples you cite to prove your point about the dangers of spending actually are wonderful ways of proving mine.

7) Deficit hawks are scum because, rather than looking at the numbers and pointing out where they don't add up (as you claim), they instead look at the numbers and insist that they don't add up so that they can find ways to maximize the profit margins of the groups of which they are a part (the upper-middle class and wealthy) at the expense of everyone else.

To repeat what I wrote at the end of my last rebuttal* to you (and then I have to leave for class, so I'll be out of commission for three hours):

I go to graduate school. I debate tons of people, liberal and conservative, every day. If there is one thing I've learned, it's how to tell the difference between people who are intelligent and have something to offer and those who talk about how intelligent and expert they are but can't put together a cogent argument to save their life. Your swagger may fool lesser minds who are persuaded and/or cowed by your bullshit, but they aren't fooling me... and that isn't because I am some great shake. I suspect that you aren't fooling nearly as many of the people in your personal life that you think you've managed to fool either.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Golden hasn't responded to my last post. I find that calling fools out on their foolishness, and bullies out on their intimidation tactics, usually causes them to slink off.

If there is one thing that Sharron Angle supporters all have in common, it's that their zest for fighting is matched only by their reluctance to engage in a fair match.

* - The comment about a "last rebuttal" refers to a debate I had with Mr. Golden about Propositions 19 and 23 in California. It can be found in the post preceding this one.


Matthew Laszlo said...

PS: Daniel "Sharron Angle" Golden DID reply to my last post, presumably after he had grown tired of being taunted. Unfortunately, virtually everything he said was a repetition of comments he had made earlier, so I'm not going to indulge him by reposting his parrotings here. That said, one remark of his - the ONLY one that was original or new in his voluminous diatribe - was especially telling:

"You are compromised by your democratic support. I'm a libertarian leaning independent. I'm objective."

That says all that needs to be known about the two major problems with Sharron Angle supporters and other members of the Tea Party movement.

1) When confronted with facts that contradict their point-of-view, they simply ignore what the other party has said while repeating their old argument ad infinitum (even as, naturally, they accuse their opponents of engaging in precisely that tactic).

2) They believe, as Daniel "Sharron Angle" Golden makes clear, that they and they alone can possibly have valid opinions because of their ideological perspective. Tea Partiers, despite their obvious right-wing views, like to classify themselves as "libertarian", and then in turn claim that that vaunted vantage point grants them a certain degree of critical immunity. Whatever faults liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans, and all other manner of ideological groups may possess, they usually are willing to concede at least the POTENTIAL validity of other perspectives. Tea Partiers, like my Sharron Angle-loving acquaintance here, do not make that concession. In their eyes, the mere fact that they associate with a given ideological perspective makes them "objective" and thus naturally correct, while naturally everyone who identifies with a different point-of-view is "subjective" and thus naturally wrong. That belief is obnoxious in its own right, although it becomes even more so when one debates (as I just did) an individual whose attitude writes checks that his brainpower can't cash.

Matthew Laszlo said...

PPS: Here is what I wrote in reply to Daniel "Sharron Angle" Golden:

"I had begun to write a reply to your last post, but as soon as I saw that it wasn't just breathtakingly stupid, but brazen in its determination to merely repeat every point you'd made before without addressing anything I had said (while, ev...en more boldly, accusing me of the exact same thing that you were in the process of doing), I decided that enough was enough. I have a real job and a real life. My thoughts on your fatuous faux intellectual masturbation can be found in the comments section of my blog. If you want to debate by actually bringing up something new, fine, but if you're just going to keep repeating yourself, you can't reasonably expect me to waste my time with you."

For the record, normally I don't like to refrain from posting what other people write in response to my comments. That said, I've gotten many complaints about these blog articles being too long, and while I'm willing to tell the complainers to get over it if each paragraph contains a new and valid idea, I have to concede that they're right if one party simply keeps saying the same old thing without adding anything new. If Daniel wants to continue to debate me, he is welcome to do so here - but ONLY if he doesn't continue to use repetitiousness as his debating strategy.

Christina said...

Lmao, loved it Matt. Sometimes I think that people dont realize that they are just stubbornly repeating themselves, apparently thinking that we cant read or that somehow the meaning is different now. I also enjoy his whole "Google it" as if Google is a valid reference. You want to make a point, cite it your damn self, with a reputable citation I might add. Dont expect others to do the leg work for your wild claims. That being said, you still refutted him on every single unsupported (by his own fault) claim. Well Done.