Is “rhetorical knot” another name for a lack of intellectual integrity?

Dean noted Detroit News political blogger Libby Spencer as an example of “rhetorical knots” that are so typical of the left.

Someone should tell Libby that when you call someone a “liar” when he may have simply come to conclusions you disagree with, that isn’t just cheap partisan politics. It is itself a form of dishonesty. It is also not “liberal,” because you have effectively shut down all debate: once you’ve called the other side a liar even if you can’t prove it, you’ve signaled something loud and clear, “I don’t care what the evidence is, I know the truth!”

In short, meaningful discussion simply stops.

It’s fine to criticize your own, or even to have reservations about the Iraq conflict. But if you are not willing to put our people’s actions into perspective, to compare them appropriately to the actions of our enemies, or to set partisanship aside and just be honest about why we went and what we need to while we’re there, you’re saying a lot more about yourself than about anyone else.

Now consider the Senate minority leader’s apologizing for calling the President a “loser” but not for calling him a “liar.”

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