Fighting fair: is it an issue?

Patterico Pontificates about David Horowitz Is Right — And Also, Terribly Wrong and hits a powerful insight about personal intellectual integrity.

Now that our guy is out of power, we have to decide: did we hate those tactics because they were wrong? Or only because they were used in service of the other guy?

David Horowitz and others worry that the right will exhibit the same behaviors that Krauthammer labeled as ‘Bush Derangement Syndrome’ (BSD). This worry illustrates a difference between schools of thought. Such concerns did not seem to be of an issue for those who opposed the previous administration. They do seem to be a concern for those who oppose the current administration. The difference is a sensitivity to the problems of ‘ad hominem’ debate and how it poisons viewpoints.

The key here was illustrated by the Limbaugh expressed desire for failure. Limbaugh was after a failure of policy and ideology but it was misrepresented as a desire for personal failure. Those prone to BSD seem to be after the person while the current opposition is trying to stay focused on the policy and ideology. The misperceptions about Limbaugh’s statements worry Patterico. It seems he wants to ‘fight fair’ in the old school manner where cheating and distortion was not considered appropriate.

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