Thursday, April 13, 2017

Chris Matthews: Hitler Didn't Use Chemical Weapons

   Anyway, as I was saying: it is not (and, so far as I know, has never been) a "rule" that you can't make comparisons to Hitler.
   The very fact that some on the left fabricated this rule out of thin air in order to have another stick with which to beat the Trump administration tells you a lot about where the vanguard of the left end of the spectrum has gone of late.
   When confronted with the undeniable fact that their rule is totally goddamn fictitious, some people I was conversing with online the other day (by which I mean: I was trying to reason with them, they were shrieking at me...) sputtered out something roughly like: nuh can't make comparisons to Hitler if your job is to speak for the administration!!!!111
   Now...that's a pretty specific rule right there...and obvious bullshit...but despite its specificity and obvious bullshittiness, counterexamples are still readily available.
   The "no Hitler" rule is just made up. This criticism of Spicer does not work. I hereby declare that case closed.

   There are less terrible criticisms. Like: it was a really dumb mistake; so dumb that it constitutes intolerable incompetence.
   See? That's how we formulate a passably cogent criticism of someone, kids!
   In my opinion that criticism is unsound...but it's cogent. I don't think it's a very big screw-up, and I don't think it's indicative of intolerable incompetence, for reasons I've already yelled about. I've heard a lot of people say things like "chemical weapons weren't used in WWII." It's a pretty common observation to make. What people mean is they weren't used in the field. Nobody is forgetting about the death camps (or "Holocaust centers" as some might say...eesh...I didn't say it wasn't cringeworthy...), nor about Zyklon B. They're just speaking with a tacitly restricted universe of discourse, as we do all the time.
   But, hell, at least that part is a conversation worth having.


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