Sunday, November 8, 2015

Civility Watchdog Digest: November 8, 2015

A few examples of rhetoric worth looking at from the past week:
"Make no mistake about it, the right wing in this country is continuing its war on women".
-- Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), November 7, 2015.

Comment: This is "war" rhetoric.

"What you all did with the President Obama doesn't even come close -- doesn't even come close to what you guys are trying to do in my case. And you're just going to keep going back, trying to find, he said this 12 years ago. You know, it is just garbage."
-- Republican presidential contender Ben Carson, November 6, 2015, referring to the media investigating his claims about being offered, in 1969, a scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Comment: Carson is accusing the media as a whole – rather than specific people in the media, as he doesn't mention any – of being hypocritical in investigating his accounts of his past compared to the lack of attention (as Carson sees it) to President Barack Obama's claims about his own past. Even if Carson is correct about the hypocrisy, that doesn't mean the media's attention to Carson's past is wrong (that would be ad hominem reasoning).

"Anybody that hits me, we’re gonna hit them 10 times harder".
-- Republican presidential contender Donald Trump, November 3, 2015.

Comment: This is "get tough and hit back" rhetoric.

KOCH: I would love to have the government stop this corporate welfare. That's what I want. I want the government to let companies – require that companies only profit by helping make other people's lives better.

HAYES: That's Charles Koch expressing his commitment to ending corporate welfare. Do you buy that, Senator?

SANDERS: And "making life for people better" – no doubt. Look, you know, in 1980, Chris, and we don't talk about this enough, David Koch ran for Vice President of the United States on the Libertarian Party ticket. What his agenda was, it was not to cut Social Security or Medicare, but to end Social Security, end Medicare, end Medicaid, end the EPA, end the concept of the Environmental Protection Agency, basically he wanted to eliminate virtually every program developed since FDR designed to help working people and the middle class. That is their agenda. And to tell you the truth, you know 30 years have come and gone, I don't think that agenda has changed at all. What these guys are doing is spending unbelievable sums of money, some $900 million on this campaign cycle, to support right-wing candidates who are going to war, big time, against working families in the middle class. No, I do not think the Koch brothers want to make life better for ordinary people.
-- Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), November 3, 2015, with Chris Hayes of MSNBC, responding to a video clip of activist Charles Koch.

Comment: Sanders is demonizing Koch, saying that Koch doesn't want people's lives to improve. Just because Koch doesn't believe these programs do a good job of helping people doesn't mean he is opposed to making life better for others. Sanders is also using "war" rhetoric.

Calls U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota Andy Luger "loogie", and says he is "disgusting".
-- Pundit Mark Levin, November 3, 2015, during the 2nd hour of his radio program.

Comment: Levin is using the language of disgust to deride Luger.

"This man hates the military and he hates his country."
-- Pundit Mark Levin, November 3, 2015, during the 1st hour of his radio program. His remarks referred to President Barack Obama.

Comment: Levin is demonizing Obama by accusing him of being unpatriotic.

"Did you ever notice that a global warming catastrophe is never predicted for next year or next month? Have you noticed that ever since Hurricane Katrina, they've been hoping for more of them, so that they can use that to prove it, and there haven't been any more? We haven't had a major hurricane strike the country in 10 years, and yet they claim that Katrina was evidence galore of global warming? I go through all of these things that you've heard for years, just the common-sensical ways of rejecting this premise."
-- Pundit Rush Limbaugh, November 3, 2015.

Comment: Limbaugh seems to be accusing people who believe in global warming – though he doesn’t name anyone in particular – of rooting for failure. He's also claiming that it's common sense to disbelieve global warming.

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