Thursday, April 18, 2013


National Review's Kevin Williamson:
A Note about Gabby Giffords

While Ms. Giffords certainly has my sympathy for the violence she suffered, it should be noted that being shot in the head by a lunatic does not give one any special grace to pronounce upon public-policy questions, nor does it give one moral license to call people "cowards" for holding public-policy views at variance with one's own. Her childish display in the New York Times is an embarrassment.
"Her childish display in the New York Times is an embarrassment." Let's see: We have that. We have Glenn Reynolds telling Giffords on Twitter, "Try more respect and reason, less emotional bullying next time." More generally, we have (via Whiskey Fire) Reynolds favorably quoting a couple of posts by Reason's Jacob Sullum:
Of course they have a right to speak their minds. But no, their emotions are not relevant when it comes to empirical questions such as the impact of background checks, "assault weapon" bans, and limits on magazines. Their pain tells us nothing about the effectiveness or constitutionality of such measures. To the contrary, it obscures those issues with an impenetrable emotional fog.
Passion may have a place, but it is not a substitute for rational argument.
And we have Limbaugh, from his Web site:
When President Obama used Air Force One to ferry around parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, he understood the politics of emotion. Democrat operatives understood, when they arranged for the parents to lobby 25 senators for a new assault weapons ban.

... playing on emotion is their only hope. Logic, reason, truth, and the Constitution, are not on their side.
All this is working the refs. If righties say this repeatedly and forcefully, maybe Gabby Giffords and the Sandy Hook families won't be able to come back and influence the 2014 elections, or the 2016 elections, because the right will have gotten the press to conclude that the truth lies between the Democratic and Republican points of view, and most likely closer to the Republican point of view -- as always.

So if the righties are successful, the press will ask, "Gabby Giffords: Too Emotional to Be a Good Gun Control Spokesperson?" and "Are We Being Manipulated When Relatives of Shooting Violence Speak Out?" Because heaven knows the "respectable" right can't possibly be beyond the pale.


Nefer said...

This is an excellent summary of what the obvious republican game plan will be. Demeaning, belittling, condescending, play the 1950s manly man who has manly reason and logic and intelligence on his side, while the silly little 1950s woman has only emotions, fog, childishness on her side.

I don't think there is any doubt this is being played as a very very stereotypical male/female gender role issue (because it will work for their base).

So what we can't do is be defensive. let's play offense. How dare they belittle and demean and attack their opponents using emotions? They are the ones not using logic, who are being childish, who are using emotion, and we need to throw it right back at them using facts and logic and the constitution, because as usual Rush had it exactly backwards.

Nefer said...

Oh and by the way, Kevin Williamson, Gabby's statement was not childish. You know what was childish? McConnell's disgraceful, puerile facebook post sneering and laughing, and gloating over the results of the vote. There was nothing adult, or dignified or mature or civilized about that.

Palli said...

By all means, let's take the emotion out of gang land-style murder. Is there a difference between these mass murders and the St. Valentines machine gun massacre in Chicago last century?

Sorry, Republican NRA propagandists, if I can't take the emotion out of primary classroom deaths.

Anonymous said...

The only legitimate emotion is fear. Every LaPierre statement about guns boils down to making people fearful so that they decide they have to be well armed to defend themselves. That's not reason, that's pure lizard brain.

Victor said...

One might suspect that the righties wouldn't go this route.

But, one would, as always, be wrong.

There literally is, nothing that's beneath them.

Ya know, I think having a bullet slammed into your brain - and surviving, or having a child shredded by bullets - and burying him/her/them, just might give these folks a tad more gravitas than you elitist sociopathic imbeciles, whose target audience is the brain-and-soul-damaged peckerwoods and wanna-be peckerwoods, hoping to keep making money as your target market is dying off, by keeping your brand at inbred-goober eye-level, and within knuckle-dragging arm's reach, in the "STUPID, EVIL & Sundries" aisle of the Raw Red Meat Store.


Philo Vaihinger said...

Ah. Let cooler heads prevail. Good advice.

Did they say that back when GW was rushing us into wars with Afghanistan and Iraq, I wonder?

During the campaign of 2004?

he who scoffs at danger said...

Prior to the Tuscon shooting, Gabrielle Giffords was despised by the progressive grassroots as a DINO who they planned to primary. DailyKos had a map of "targets" marked with bullseyes. Giffords was on it.

Progressives didn't suddenly come to love Gabrielle Giffords. They love the bullet that penetrated her skull.

Glennis said...

being shot in the head by a lunatic does not give one any special grace to pronounce upon public-policy questions

Who the hell does she think she is, an experienced legislator or something?

You mean you have to have special grace to pronounce upon public policy questions? Grace like writing for a right-wing rag?