17 July 2007

Hyperbole Weakens Debate

From Josh Marshall, via Shakesville, I read the following:

“I must say this really does make my day. ‘None of the Above’ has surged into the lead in the new GOP primary poll out from AP/Ipsos. The only thing funnier is that this is even surprising. McCain’s campaign has imploded. Giuliani’s the fading pro-choice contender, which is sort of redundant. People seem to be catching on to the fact that Fred Thompson is a one-term senator and lobbyist not Reagan 2.0. And that leaves you with Mitt Romney, the avatar of transcendent phoney-baloneyism. Okay, I’m done.”

Melissa adds a clip of Nelson's (from the Simpsons) signature "Ha ha!". While I join in the laughter most wholeheartedly, and it is most satisfying to see the discord and dissatisfaction in the GOP, I must object to the misleading wording of the quote.

From the actual poll, (page 9 of the pdf) we find that "None" is actually only 8%:

Other 2
None 8
(DK/NS) 15
(once again, I apologize for my inability to align a table in my posts)

You may say that I'm picking nits here, but the wording is an exaggeration. I highly respect Marshall and Talking Points Memo (and read it every day), but by using hyperbole in his posts he is, IMHO, lowering himself to the level of the Faux Noise Channel.

I understand the temptation, but what we need in this country is more reason and less emotional reaching.

While I'm on the subject, I find the same tactics being employed by many people and websites that are left-leaning (and even totally fallen over to the left). A prime example of this is Robert Scheer - both on his website Truthdig and in his regular role as a commentator on the NPR program "Left, Right and Center". Scheer's arguments are less dissuasive because of his propensity to rant. I find it personally bothersome when I can more readily agree with the (in my opinion) far right Tony Blankley - whose positions are often antithetical to my own - simply because he puts forth reasoned arguments. I find myself feeling the same way when watching "The McLaughlin Group", which is even more disturbing because I sometimes find myself in agreement with none other than Pat Buchanon. Ick.

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