Sunday, January 24, 2016

Civility Watchdog Digest: January 24, 2016

A few examples of rhetoric worth looking at from the past week:
Wacko @glennbeck is a sad answer to the @SarahPalinUSA endorsement that Cruz so desperately wanted. Glenn is a failing, crying, lost soul!

Word is that crying @GlennBeck left the GOP and doesn't have the right to vote in the Republican primary. Dumb as a rock.
-- Tweets from Republican presidential contender Donald Trump, January 21, 2016, and January 23, 2016, referring to pundit Glenn Beck.

Comment: Trump is resorting to name-calling of the "stupid" variety.

"So from the get-go, the Republican establishment as well, mystifying me from day one, started making fun of and ragging on the Tea Party, right along with the Democrats. The Democrats led the charge on it along with the media. A bunch of hayseeds, bunch of hicks, you know, the usual ad hominem attacks."
-- Pundit Rush Limbaugh, January 21, 2016.

Comment: Calling people "hicks" and so forth is name-calling, not ad hominem reasoning. Limbaugh appears to be conflating the two.

"I don't think Sarah Palin signed up with Trump because he's conservative. I don't think Sarah Palin's doing what she's doing to advance conservatism here. I don't want to put words in her mouth, and this is probably gonna be misunderstood. But what has -- I don't know. In trying to explain -- and I'm not trying to justify anything. I'm just trying to explain to you people, and I touched on this yesterday, there are a lot of people that tried to do great damage to Sarah Palin, and some of them are Republicans, and some of them call themselves conservatives."
-- Pundit Rush Limbaugh, January 21, 2016, discussing former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) and her endorsement of Republican presidential contender Donald Trump.

Comment: Limbaugh is drawing a distinction between explanation and justification.

"So, the Republicans can do what they do best: they distract, divide, and demonize. Leave no smear behind."
-- President Bill Clinton, January 19, 2016, during a campaign event for his wife, Democratic presidential contender former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Comment: Clinton is accusing Republicans of resorting to distractions, divisive rhetoric, and of demonizing. He is potentially leaving the impression that this something that Republicans (but not Democrats) normally do, which is the "only my opponent" caricature.

HAYES: Michael [Brendan Dougherty], writing about the Trump campaign, says, "What so frightens the conservative movement about Trump's success is he reveals just how thin the support for their ideas really is. His campaign is a rebuke to their institutions. It says the Republican Party doesn't need all these think tanks, all this supposed policy expertise. It says look at these people calling themselves libertarians and conservatives, the ones in tassel-loafers and bow ties. Have they made you more free? Have their endless policy papers and studies and books conserved anything for you? These people are worthless. They are defunct. You don't need them, and you're better off without them." What do you think of that, Rick?

WILSON: Well, look, first off, I think that`s absurd. I think that there is definitely still a very significant portion of the party that is a limited government conservatism based faction of the overall coalition. Now, the screamers and the crazy people on the alt-right as they call it, you know, who love Donald Trump, who have plenty of Hitler iconography in their Twitter icons –

HAYES: They sure do. I can back that up.

WILSON: Who think Donald Trump is the greatest thing, oh, it`s something. But the fact of the matter is, most of them are childless single men who masturbate to anime. They`re not real and political players. These are not people who matter in the overall course of humanity.
-- Republican strategist Rick Wilson, January 19, 2016, being interviewed by Chris Hayes of MSNBC. At issue was an article written by pundit Michael Brendan Dougherty, discussing Republican presidential contender Donald Trump.

Comment: Wilson is name-calling, deriding Trump supporters as being inconsequential and sexually deviant.

"You defended New Yorkers after Senator Cruz said that you embodied New York values. You were insulted. Governor Cuomo said he was insulted. Some New York pundits, including from FOX and FOX Business Channel, said they were insulted. There are some observers out there who think that when Ted Cruz talks about New York values, he's invoking something else. He's talking about, in their view, ethnics, Jews. What do you think he means?"
-- CNN's Jake Tapper, January 15, 2016, interviewing Republican presidential contender Donald Trump.

Comment: Tapper is suggesting Cruz may be using code words, and bigoted ones at that.

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