Political cheap shots: assault at any cost

There are several cases of character assassination in the news recently. The White House attacks on Fox News have generated some comment. Liz Cheney’s Keep America Safe website and Rush Limbaugh’s bid for an NFL team provide other examples. Here’s what DJ Drummond thinks in Limbaugh and the Left’s Loser Litany at Wizbang.

the attacks on Rush only reinforce the fact in voters’ minds that the Left is not only immature, but malicious, and cannot be allowed to continue direction of the national policy. This is just one more reminder to the voters that, while the Right may be disjointed and bicker among themselves, the Left is actively pursuing plans meant to destroy anyone who stands in their way, and that the Left is willing to be deceitful and malicious if that gets it the power it wants.

Jennifer Rubin discusses Liz Derangement Syndrome using a Maureen Dowd as a foil.

There is no better temperature gauge of the Left’s derangement syndrome — the object of the hatred is irrelevant — than the New York Times’s liberal op-ed columnists. So when Maureen Dowd goes into full-rant mode over Liz Cheney (and her political-consultant sister), you pretty much know the object of the next spasm of liberal venomous paranoia. And as it usually is, the rant is more revealing of the ranter than the intended victim.

A first step in evaluating any argument is to consider its manner of presentation. These examples highlight a significant attention to the person rather than the issues and to judgment rather than opinion. Very little effort is needed to find that the basis is often ignorant if not downright dishonest. This is why MichaelW at Q&O thinks Limbaugh should seek legal relief (Should Rush Sue?)

Now, despite being an attorney, I’m actually pretty non-litigious. Most people don’t understand how expensive, invasive and stressful being involved in a court case can be, even when they have ironclad circumstances in their favor. In Limbaugh’s case, he would have it even tougher because, thanks to Times v. Sullivan, he would have to prove actual malice (i.e. that the libelous statements were made with knowledge that they were false or with reckless disregard of whether they were false or not), which is harder than it seems. Even so, he has an excellent case to punish the MSM for its routine malpractice, and if he’s willing to spend the money I think he should go for it.

That highlights the problem of accountability to intellectual integrity when peer pressure tends to go the other way and personal integrity fails. It can be costly, both in terms of finance as well as in terms of emotional turmoil, and difficult to seek relief.

Comments are closed.