Several of the regulars here at the CC Roadhouse and Car Wash got into it earlier, discussing the concept of debating in "bad faith." In my not-so-humble opinion, there are a number of distinct examples of that sort of thing, but one of the most annoying is what I call the deliberate misunderstanding of your point. You all know exactly what I mean. It's when your opponent clearly goes out of his way to misinterpret what you said or wrote so that he or she can criticize something that isn't even remotely your point of view.
Case in point: my recent post here. Go read it slowly, and convince yourself that you understood the argument I was making. Seriously, make sure you appreciate the point I was attempting to drive home, because that's critically important to what's about to happen.
Done? Good. Because now it's time to witness teh overwhelming stoopid:
Let's Talk "False Equivalence", Shall We?
The hypocrisy -- predictably -- is astounding
Good ol' Canadian Cynic. Whenever there's a slow news week, one can count on his unrepentant hypocrisy to provide something to blog about.
The predictable stupidity this week swirls around Bill C-10, a piece of legislation that has proven utterly offensive to those who think the Canadian government should be obligated to fund every Canadian film that asks for a tax credit.
All right, then -- apparently, Twatrick is going to take exception with my musings on Bill C-10. This should be good, if only for the entertainment value for the simple reason that you just know Twatrick is going to argue in bad faith exactly the way I just described. It's what he does. So let's just skip ahead over all the irrelevancies to get to the good stuff:
So then it could be considered oddly ironic that, just over a year later, he himself is resorting to a false equivalence to try and push his narrative regarding Bill C-10, when he compares Charles McVety's Calgary Herald article noting that tax dollars supported pornographic films to McVety using the internet to solicit donations for the Canadian Christian Coalition.
Sadly, you can already see that poor Twatrick's argument is veering wildly off the rails since my diatribe was entirely unrelated to how McVety solicited donations. The fact that he happened to be doing it "using the internet" was entirely irrelevant to my argument, as most of you can see. And, not surprisingly, given that egregious misrepresentation by Twatrick, what follows is predictably nonsensical:
Of course, there's a difference between using tax dollars -- the tax dollars paid by all Canadian citizens -- to subsidize pornographic films -- like Bubbles Galore -- and asking people for a voluntary donation.
The fact that the donor in question has a choice in one example (McVety) and no choice in the other (production grants).
And there you have it. Twatrick has taken what I thought was a fairly obvious example of hypocrisy and mangled it so that he could respond, not to the argument I made, but to the one he wishes I'd made, which is the only one he can actually refute.
My objection was, of course, not to McVety asking for voluntary donations. It was, rather, to the fact that those donations were tax-deductible, the consequence of which is that McVety's religious organization is partially funded by Canadian taxpayers. That is, you and me. That was obviously the point I was making, so how is it that Twatrick could go so wildly off track?
It would be tempting to just call Twatrick a moron and leave it at that, but that would let him off too easy. I don't think Twatrick was being an idiot here, oh no. Instead, I think he was arguing in bad faith. He knew exactly what my point was, but he chose to misrepresent it for the simple reason that he had no comeback to the argument I made, so he simply mangled what I wrote into an argument I didn't make that he could rebut. (It's like the old joke of the drunk who lost his keys a block away but insists on looking for them under a street lamp because the light's better there.)
And how can I prove that Twatrick was arguing in bad faith? Easy. Now that I've explained what I actually meant, someone who was genuinely interested in dialogue would acknowledge the flawed interpretation and proceed to address what I actually meant. On the other hand, someone who was arguing in bad faith would do no such thing, but would continue to dish up the same plate of dishonesty, despite having been corrected.
And I'm fairly comfortable in betting which way this is going to go.
RED TORY IS RIGHT, it's really not a good investment in time to keep spanking Twatrick in public, but poor Twatsy's ability to mangle every argument he comes in contact with is truly breathtaking, isn't it? One is reminded of a piece I link to on occasion, in which writer Matt Taibbi takes it to Tom Friedman, pointing out one of Friedman's screwups but not stopping there:
This would be a small thing were it not for the overall pattern. Thomas Friedman does not get these things right even by accident. It's not that he occasionally screws up and fails to make his metaphors and images agree. It's that he always screws it up. He has an anti-ear, and it's absolutely infallible; he is a Joyce or a Flaubert in reverse, incapable of rendering even the smallest details without genius. The difference between Friedman and an ordinary bad writer is that an ordinary bad writer will, say, call some businessman a shark and have him say some tired, uninspired piece of dialogue: Friedman will have him spout it. And that's guaranteed, every single time. He never misses.
And so it is with Twatsy -- it's not that he goes off tilting at the wrong windmill only on occasion; it's that he does it consistently, perpetually, even relentlessly. Over the months, poor Twats has managed to misaddress every single issue he's tackled. It's astonishing -- an absolutely Friedmanesque record of utter failure.
When it comes to Twatsy, it's hard to choose between entertaining and depressing. Or just downright dull.
GOD ALMIGHTY, THE BURNING STOOPID: I swear, just one quick towel snap to the nads and it's over. Here's Twatrick's jaw-dropping response, or at least part of it:
First off, the post in question (referenced again, just so we can be sure everyone actually reads it) never said anything about the tax-deductibility of donations to religious organizations.
Now let's examine closely the graphic that represented the majority of that very post:
Why, yes, right down there at the very bottom: "All donations are tax deductible." Everyone else managed to notice that, but not Twatrick. Never Twatrick. Then again, Twatrick is the mullet-headed imbecile who ... oh, Jesus, just go read for yourself. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall at Twatrick's first job interview. Lord, the pants-pissing entertainment that would represent.
I think we're done here, and it's time to pick on more intellectually-challenging targets. I hear Denyse O'Leary is available.