One of the unintended consequences of the Internet, talk radio and cable "news" is that people can spend all day following only the news that reinforces their current views. This is called confirmation bias. Naturally, some columnists get lazy and only make arguments that appeal to their base. There's not a lot of work in that. That's why I was so impressed with this column in which Joanna Allhands pointed out "The Lunacy of an Assault Rifle Ban." Not only was the article well reasoned, but it was not what I expected. It's one of the few columns that actually surprised me.
Contrast that with the Republic's EJ Montini who has given up trying to make actual arguments and simply blows whatever dog whistle appeals to what's left of his readership. In Montini's most recent column he quotes John McCain's reaction to the Orlando attack.
“He (President Obama) pulled everybody out of Iraq, and I predicted at the time that ISIS would go unchecked, and there would be attacks on the United States of America. It’s a matter of record, so he is directly responsible.”
That's certainly and provocative statement, but it reflects a widely held view and very few people are as expert on foreign policy as Senator McCain. I look forward to reading Montini's counterargument.
That's going to be a long wait. Montini doesn't even bother to make a counterargument. He simply uses an Ad Hominem fallacy and ridicules McCain.
It's an embarrassment that a senior American politician would say such a thing.
Well there you have it...not much of an argument. Montini goes on to call McCain "petty" and "small".
What's really embarrassing is that the Republic has a six-figure columnist who either doesn't understand that insults are not a form of argument--or who has simply given up on actually making arguments.
After all, that dog whistle isn't going to blow itself