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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Night Card Game (Joan Walsh's Epistemic Opening)

This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

Joan Walsh at Salon.com sought to atone for her prior use of the race card, in this observation (h/t James Taranto) in this column, Asking the wrong question about Rand Paul:
I'm coming to regret using the term "racist" about the Tea Party. "Racist" is a personal insult, and it's almost as impossible to prove it as to disprove it. It's not a terribly illuminating term, either: If you call me a racist, you haven't really described anything I've done that's objectionable. You've just somehow designated me, and my so-far unchallenged arguments, outside the pale, so to speak.
If we are to call people our for the false accusation of racism, then we should credit them for recognizing the error of their ways.

Walsh's observation (not necessarily anything else she says in the column) pretty much is the point of the Saturday Night Card Game series.

The accusation of racism is the liberal mechanism for ending the debate on an issue, to put an argument outside the pale without addressing the merits.

The race card is the most common symptom of the disease of left-wing epistemic closure.

I like Taranto's description:
But we have argued for years against the pernicious practice of falsely imputing racism to one's opponents in order to discredit them--a practice so common among liberals that entire academic subspecialties are devoted to it. It is tremendously encouraging to see someone of Walsh's persuasion acknowledge the point.
More from Taranto in this audio podcast on Rand Paul and Joan Walsh.

Now I'm waiting for the other people highlighted in this series to admit the error of their ways, so we can have honest policy debates without the trash talk which is the race card.

Come on, Charles Blow, Norah O'Donnell, Chris Matthews, Max Blumenthal, Sheldon Whitehouse, Harry Reid, Joy Behar, Matt Taibbi, Jesse Jackson, John Cole, Digby, Southern Poverty Law Center, Jesse Taylor, DownWithTyranny, and Oliver Willis.

If Joan Walsh can do it, so can you. At least try. Pretty please.

Related Posts:
Saturday Night Card Game

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  1. You aren't holding your breath, are you?

    And this is only because we on the Right have begun to make fun of their overuse. If we were still cowed into silence, they would still use it.

  2. You're kidding, right? Either that or you were never a liberal (heh). She sums up her motivation for this "apology" and "regret" very neatly: "But the more Tea Partiers are expected to explain their actual political beliefs, and what they would do if they held public office, the more, I believe, their point of view will be exposed as marginal."

    Translation: Let's stop silencing the Tea Party and let them hoist themselves with their own petard. That our views are mainstream does not occur to her, but what has occurred to her is a "tactic" for further (in her fantasy scenario) marginalizing us. You know, sort of like poking a bear with a stick to get it to show its "true colors." So tell me, Tea Party person, what exactly would YOU do about [insert your favorite liberal pet cause]? Oh reeeeeeeally? I see. How quaint.

  3. Political correctness allows its possessor to be completely intolerant while professing complete tolerance: "We are open to all ideas but of course we cannot tolerate the intolerable, you racist, homophobic, male-chauvinistic, right-wing nut."

  4. Wasn't Al Sharpton also one of your Saturday night card-game players? Seems to me he was.....

    The Conservative Right is finally getting the hang of how to fight these poseurs - expose them by letting them feel free to expose themselves. Their TRUE selves. Then everyone can see what they really are, behind the "help the little people" facade.