Best rhetorical question I read today - Macleans.ca
 

Best rhetorical question I read today


 

Courtesy of Joe Klein:

How can you sustain a democracy if one of the two major political parties has been overrun by nihilists?


 
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Best rhetorical question I read today

  1. Surely the proper rhetorical answer would be "who cares?"

  2. The ONLY right answer – kick the bums out!

  3. Nihilists!

    Say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

    • so is nihilism

  4. Better question: How can you legitimately call a two party system democracy?

  5. I think you need to read more today, Andrew, if this is the best that you've come across.

    Republicans are 'nihlists' because they don't want to give up control of their bodies/health to faceless bureaucrats? I would argue giving up control of your body to others is the nihilist position in this argument. Klein and/or his father can't face uncomfortable truths and Klein wants to involve bureaucrats who don't know his dad to decide his father's fate because it is difficult to talk to his dad.

    Libs/progs are just projecting their own neurosis onto conservatives when they make these types of accusations.

  6. I think you need to read more today, Andrew, if this is the best that you've come across.

    Republicans are 'nihlists' because they don't want to give up control of their bodies/health to faceless bureaucrats? I would argue giving up control of your body to others is the nihilist position in this argument. Klein and/or his father can't face uncomfortable truths so Klein wants to involve bureaucrats who don't know his dad to decide his father's fate because it is difficult to talk to his dad.

    Libs/progs are just projecting their own neurosis onto conservatives when they make these types of accusations.

    • >Republicans are 'nihlists' because they don't want to give up control of their bodies/health to faceless bureaucrats?

      This is not as good a rhetorical question as Joe Klein's.

      • Why is it that only morons get the attention of MacLean's bloggers?

        And no, I don't feel left out.

    • I smell a birther.

    • Actually, the thesis of the article is that Republicans are nihilists because they are unable to have a rationale debate about the issue you cite.

      Nowhere did the author argue that they are nihilists because of the policy position they hold. You inferred that, rather without reason, yourself.

      The logical counter argument to the author's actual thesis is to raise evidence of how the Republican's have attempted to hold a rational debate, if such evidence exists.

      Not every argument being made about this debate is an arugment about the relative benefits of public versus private health care.

      • The debate is being held and Klein/Democrats just don't like how it's going so far. For some reason, the Dems and Obama have been surprised by the fact that not everyone is as indifferent to their granny's health as they are.

        I think whether it is 'rational' or not is in the eye of the beholder. Many people don't think Obama's argument that health care will stay the same, or improve, while cutting tens of billions $$$ from the budget is very 'rational' either.

      • The debate is being held but Klein/Democrats just don't like how it's going so far. For some reason, the Dems and Obama have been surprised by the fact that not everyone is as indifferent to their granny's health as they are.

        I think whether it is 'rational' or not is in the eye of the beholder. Many people don't think Obama's argument that health care will stay the same, or improve, while cutting tens of billions $$$ from the budget is very 'rational' either.

        • What Klein is referring to – and you know this – is the deliberate tactic of interfering with the debate.

          As you know, thousands/millions of people are being whipped into a frenzy of fear based on lies: death panels, taking away doctors, health care for illegal immigrants, abortion and euthanasia. They are being instructed in tactics to disrupt town hall meetings. None of these efforts are aimed at participating in, much less winning, a policy debate. They are tactics designed to prevent the debate from happening.

          There's no need for a test of rationality or a measure of the validity of arguments presented. One side is participating in a good-faith discussion, the other side is not.

          • Don't forget the lack of any Republican efforts to come up with a healthcare plan of their own. Until this summer, the Democrats had been trying to work with them, get them to propose something, anything that they could work with. But jugular politics trumps the health of Americans.

          • "I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess." Barack Obama

            I am curious to know how you 'interfere' in a debate or what your definition of a debate is. For many libs/progs, see quote above, debate seems to be when they tell you how it is and everyone else has to listen and accept. Or they make assertions about who is arguing in good-faith, libs of course!, and who isn't.

            Once again, the debate about health care is happening but Dems are losing. Instead of making claims about who is arguing in good faith and who isn't, maybe they should join the debate and tell people why they are wrong to think health care services will decline.

          • Is that Obama quote supposed to be damning? Politicians slamming those fatcats in Washington is the oldest rhetorical trick in the book.

            Here's how you 'interfere' in a debate: convince people show up in huge numbers, ginned up on fear and lies, packing heat, and shout down anybody who tries to speak. Check the papers, it's happening all over the US.

            The Republicans aren't even hiding their goal in this: their goal is not to get to better health care for American citizens, it's to cause a political defeat for the Democrats. That's the nihilism that Klein was writing about.

            Surely even you can't deny that. Talk about who isn't arguing in good faith…

          • My definition of 'better' is obviously different than Dems, and you I assume, because rationing and saving hundreds of billions of $$$ over the next decade or two is not going to improve health care. Fewer tests and meds, while hobbling medical innovation, is not 'better' or at least not how I understand the word.

            Dems should be honest and just say they want to reduce the majority of people's health care options, and eliminate medical innovation, in order to cover the minority of people who are uninsured.

          • "Dems should be honest and just say they want to reduce the…"

            Well that wouldn't be "honest" at all, that would be repeating Republican/your spin. Whether or not you think their approach will work, that's not the outcome they're targeting and you know it.

            The point – and again, you know this – is that regardless of their definition of "better", the Republicans aren't interested in a policy debate that leads to "better" healthcare. They want a political victory by driving the failure of healthcare reform.

            That's not good faith execution of their duties, that's nihilism. And you know it.

          • Just for the record: this is the point in the debate at which Jolyon has done all his harrumphing, polished the turd as vigorously as he could, and quietly bails.

            The guy definitely has an M.O.

          • aren't interested in a policy debate that leads to "better" healthcare

            When you make statements like that, you've conceded defeat.

        • My point was that your first comment did not engage with the thesis of Klien's article whatsoever; which you seem to have indirectly acknowledged since your subsequent comments have focused on arguing about the quality of the debate – which was what Klien's article was actually about.

          • I only changed what I was writing about because I was responding to you and TJCook. My first response was specifically to the quote Potter highlighted.

        • no one thinks that anyone's granny is in danger besides those most stridently dedicated to ensuring that they are not contributing anything valuable to the conversation. congrats on joining that club.

      • See, your mistake there Matthew is that you think jolyon read the article before declaring it tripe.

        Silly, silly Matthew.

        • …or that he gives a rat's ass about presenting an intellectually honest argument.

    • Oh, we all hate insurance industry bureaucrats. They're so awful.
      And we pay their salaries and everything like that. Gawd.

  7. Who's behind it all? Rupert Murdoch as set out in Alter.Net

  8. It's interesting that during a time of war the GOP would denounce their President as a Nazi, Marxist, racist, etc. They have become the party of anti-patriotism, anti-Americanism and continue to defile the memory of millions upon millions of people who died at the hands of and fighting the Nazi's.

    Millions of American's have died defending free speech, even for those who intentionally spread false information. Thankfully those who willfully spread such lies are protected by the constitution…

    The constitution being upheld by the one they denounce as Hitler.

    What a truly ridiculous nation America has become; warped and festered by those desperate to rationalize their hate. And those in the GOP unwilling to speak out against such lies and fear mongering.

    • I'm sorry, I must have missed the press release from the RNC calling Obama a Nazi. I mean, there is one, right? Since the institutional party has officially denounced him as such?

      Now, if what you meant to say was that individuals whom you identify under the broad rubric of "enemies" – which may include Republicans, conservatives, independents, libertarians, and just plain crazies – have said things to that effect, then you're surely right. But I would sincerely hope you're not trying to play "Your crazies are worse than ours," given how easy it is to cite photographic evidence of Bush being similarly depicted as a Nazi, racist, unpatriotic, and such in protest signs, giant puppets, performance art, and editorials, for a good seven years or so.

    • I'm sorry, I must have missed the press release from the RNC calling Obama a Nazi. I mean, there is one, right? Since the institutional party has officially denounced him as such?

      Now, if what you meant to say was that individuals whom you identify under the broad rubric of "enemies" – which may include Republicans, conservatives, independents, libertarians, and just plain crazies – have said things to that effect, then you're surely right. But I would sincerely hope you're not trying to play "Your crazies are worse than ours," given how easy it is to cite photographic evidence of Bush being similarly depicted as a Nazi, racist, unpatriotic, and such in television, film, protest signs, giant puppets, performance art and editorial cartoons, for a good seven years or so.

    • I'm sorry, I must have missed the press release from the RNC calling Obama a Nazi. I mean, there is one, right? Since the institutional party has officially denounced him as such?

      Now, if what you meant to say was that individuals whom you identify under the broad rubric of your political opponents – which may include Republicans, conservatives, independents, libertarians, and just plain crazies – have said things to that effect, then you're surely right. But I would sincerely hope you're not trying to play "Your crazies are worse than ours," given how easy it is to cite photographic evidence of Bush being similarly depicted as a Nazi, racist, unpatriotic, and such in television, film, protest signs, giant puppets, performance art and editorial cartoons, for a good seven years or so.

    • I'm sorry, I must have missed the press release from the RNC calling Obama a Nazi. I mean, there is one, right? Since the institutional party has officially denounced him as such?

      Now, if what you meant to say was that individuals whom you identify under the broad rubric of your political opponents – which may include Republicans, conservatives, independents, libertarians, and just plain crazies – have said things to that effect, then you're surely right. But I would sincerely hope you're not trying to play "Your crazies are worse than ours," given how easy it is to cite evidence of Bush being similarly depicted as a Nazi, racist, unpatriotic, and such in television, film, protest signs, giant puppets, performance art and editorial cartoons, for a good seven years or so, and in much greater volume.

      • It was as hyperbolic and dishonest when people on the left did it to Bush. And when it happened to Clinton, and Bush Sr., etc.

        It also is hardly justification for a loser on the GOP ticket to help take it to the next level. I would think it is pretty unprecedented in any modern Western democracy that the loser of an election would accuse the democratically elected winner of trying to establishing death panels.

        You do see the difference in fringe groups attacking Bush through hyperbole and mainstream groups/media attacking Obama through hyperbole, right? Deluded thousands versus deluded millions…

        I'll refine "GOP" to "many in the GOP"… there have been some in the party speaking out against the insanity; just not very many…

        • Deluded thousands versus deluded millions…

          I eagerly await your evidence that "millions" have called Obama a Nazi.

          I would think it is pretty unprecedented in any modern Western democracy that the loser of an election would accuse the democratically elected winner of trying to establishing death panels.

          This interpretation is either monstrously dishonest or incredibly dim.

          "Death panels" have quickly become shorthand for "an unaccountable group of government bureaucrats somewhere, far away, who might choose on the basis of societal usefulness to deny medical care to the elderly or otherwise non-contributing, in a publicly funded system." You're the first person I've seen infer that Palin was suggesting not that such a philosophy might deny publicly funded care to disabled persons such as her son, but instead that she was accusing Obama of establishing South American dictatorship-style execution squads.

          • "I eagerly await your evidence that "millions" have called Obama a Nazi."

            I'm still waiting for Nich to assert that. He said nothing of the sort. Nice try.

        • Deluded thousands versus deluded millions…

          I eagerly await your evidence that "millions" have called Obama a Nazi.

          I would think it is pretty unprecedented in any modern Western democracy that the loser of an election would accuse the democratically elected winner of trying to establishing death panels.

          This interpretation is either monstrously dishonest or incredibly dim.

          "Death panels" have quickly become shorthand for "an unaccountable group of government bureaucrats somewhere far away, who might choose on the basis of societal utility to deny medical care to the elderly or otherwise non-contributing, in a publicly funded system." You're the first person I've seen infer that Palin was suggesting not that such a philosophy might deny publicly funded care to disabled persons such as her son, but instead that she was accusing Obama of establishing South American dictatorship-style execution squads.

        • Deluded thousands versus deluded millions…

          I eagerly await your evidence that "millions" have called Obama a Nazi.

          I would think it is pretty unprecedented in any modern Western democracy that the loser of an election would accuse the democratically elected winner of trying to establishing death panels.

          This interpretation is either monstrously dishonest or incredibly dim.

          "Death panels" have quickly become shorthand for "an unaccountable group of government bureaucrats somewhere far away, who might choose on the basis of societal utility to deny medical care to the elderly or otherwise non-contributing, in a publicly funded system." You're the first person I've seen imply that Palin was suggesting not that such a philosophy might deny publicly funded care to disabled persons such as her son, but instead that she was accusing Obama of establishing South American dictatorship-style execution squads.

        • Deluded thousands versus deluded millions…

          I eagerly await your evidence that "millions" have called Obama a Nazi.

          I would think it is pretty unprecedented in any modern Western democracy that the loser of an election would accuse the democratically elected winner of trying to establishing death panels.

          This interpretation is either monstrously dishonest or incredibly dim.

          "Death panels" have quickly become shorthand for "an unaccountable group of government bureaucrats somewhere far away, who might choose on the basis of societal utility to deny medical care to the elderly or otherwise non-contributing, in a publicly funded system." You're the first person I've seen imply that Palin was suggesting not that such a philosophy might deny publicly funded care to disabled persons such as her son, but instead that she was accusing Obama of establishing banana republic-style execution squads.

        • Deluded thousands versus deluded millions…

          I eagerly await your evidence that "millions" have called Obama a Nazi.

          I would think it is pretty unprecedented in any modern Western democracy that the loser of an election would accuse the democratically elected winner of trying to establishing death panels.

          This interpretation is either monstrously dishonest or incredibly dim.

          "Death panels" have quickly become shorthand for "an unaccountable group of government bureaucrats somewhere far away, who might choose on the basis of societal utility to deny life-saving medical care to the elderly or otherwise non-contributing, in a publicly funded system." You're the first person I've seen imply that Palin was suggesting not that such a philosophy might deny publicly funded care to disabled persons such as her son, but instead that she was accusing Obama of establishing banana republic-style execution squads.

          • Who said anything about executions? Or that I said millions called Obama a Nazi?

            Polls have shown that large numbers of American's (mainly a majority in the South) question whether Obama is a natural born American (or beleive he isn't). Support in the beleive of 'death panels' has followed a similar trend. Many cheerleaders have used the Nazi moniker, but hardly millions… millions agree with the position of these cheerleaders however.

            A government insurance plan would apply to those that participate (mainly those without insurance); it's optional, not required. They would probably be more accountable than insurance companies as their first responsibility is funding health coverage, not making profit.

            Every argument you make about 'far away', 'bureaucrats' and 'social utility' applies to every single function a government undertakes. The unaccountable aspect you assign is really without base and a fallacious way to begin your interpretation of the legislation. By your own words, government bureaucracies such as infrastructure, military, education, etc., would be equally unaccountable…

            From the same 'death panel' logic, we could arrive at crazy things like;

            – unaccountable infrastructure mandarins will stop building new highways in red states
            – unaccountable bureaucrats will deploy the military to make republicans wear silly hats on Thursdays
            – unaccountable government employees will create a homeland security team of vampire budgies

            The basis of the 'death panel' argument is fear; not reality. It is about 'what ifs' that are guarded against by constitution, law and level-headed citizens of all political stripes.

            Fear doesn't make for rational discussions, and there are a lot of scarred American's right now… not including those without any health coverage.

    • I'm sorry, I must have missed the press release from the RNC calling Obama a Nazi. I mean, there is one, right? Since the institutional party has officially denounced him as such?

      Now, if what you meant to say was that individuals whom you identify under the broad rubric of your political opponents – which may include Republicans, conservatives, independents, libertarians, and just plain crazies – have said things to that effect, then you're surely right. But I would sincerely hope you're not trying to play "Your crazies are worse than ours," given how easy it is to cite photographic evidence of Bush being similarly depicted as a Nazi, racist, unpatriotic, and such in television, film, protest signs, giant puppets, performance art and editorial cartoons, for a good seven years or so, and in much greater volume.

  9. Perhaps a better adjective to describe the Republicans would be obstructionists or rejectionists (sic). The United States congressional system is so utterly dysfunctional that as an institution it has already entered a state of irreversible decline. And when institutions don't adapt to social reality, they die. Republicans seem to be hastening this process all the more.

  10. Is it only me or does the hypocrisy drip off the page. I always love the political argument from one party that proposes, from a completely objective and rational premise of course, how those in opposition are nihilistic raving lunatics destined to destroy your way of life but their own foibles are completely understandable and no where near as serious it is only the oppostiion that is threatening to foundation of the very democracy they advocate. Give me a break because what I see are the same old and I mean old diatribes that one party lables the other with, in otherwords a typical bunch of wing nuts on both sides of the fence being equally short of sandwiches in their picnic baskets!

    • Having grossly misrepresented what Klein said, Wayne heroically slays that strawman and congratulates himself.

      Well played, sir.

  11. The right to choice your own fate is not Nihlist.

    The fact that Joe Klien can't talk to his parents about issues like this is both sad and tragic.
    Hard conversations happen all the time, this is no exception and I wouldn't want the state involved in making decisions like this.

    Its crazy how many do though.

    Also that wasn't the point of the death panel argument.
    In fact Sarah Palin was asking people to create living wills as governor.

    The problem most republicans have is in rationing healthcare.
    When Obama talks about the youth have a right to better care then the elderly.
    These are the "death panels" that she is concerned about.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052970204
    But why look at the issue from both sides.

    • For the love of Christ man do you have ANY idea how an HMO work?

      • What does that have to do with the fact that Klein's argument is flawed.

        The statement that the death panels are about living will consultation is false.

        As for HMO's what does that have to do with the government choosing the amount of coverage someone gets.

        People in the US can actually shop for coverage so if your HMO plan doesn't cover it buy more insurance. Much like in Canada.. This will be limited or totally erased in the Congress and senate plans.

        http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2009/July

        • Hey, I get all my information about health policy from insurance companies too.

          • Wow, Mr. Snarky! Too bad research is beyond you.

            Did you read the Newsweek piece? It said that insurance companies may change their coverage over time and some businesses may buy different insurance under new conditions.

            Is that even remotely controversial? It happens today all the time, often to the detriment of the hapless insured. So if the new health insurance regulations set a higher standard, some things may change over time.

            That's a long way from "Barack *Hussein* Obama is going to take away my health insurance!!! ZOMG!!!"

            As for your other "research", you may want to look beyond Wall Street Journal and Kaiser (as in Permanente) Institute for your material. Honestly, the quality of your research is clear in the quality of your arguments.

          • You obviously didn't read what I read.
            The point of the article was that under Obama's plans many people would have their insurance dropped. With some getting worse insurance

            As for not being able to change your insurance. Look into insurance exchanges as proposed by the Democrats. There was a trial of this in New York and in California in the 80's and many people got locked into insurance that they couldn't change. Also the exchanges went broke.

            From Newsweek-
            * Furthermore, some firms are likely to buy different coverage for their workers than they have now, or simply drop coverage and pay a penalty instead, leaving workers to buy their own private coverage or go on a new federal insurance plan.

            The legislation is a moving target, and projections of how many employees would be switched to a federal plan are wide-ranging—from near zero to a high of 56 percent of all covered workers under the most extreme assumptions. We sort through several scenarios.

  12. Is an anonymous someone pretending to be Joe Klein ?

  13. Like my momma always told me, "Beware media claiming George W. Bush is philosophically supple".

  14. politics the way it is these days IS nihilistic…