Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Moral Equivalence Argument

Since the explosion of the Obama hate pastor scandal, his defenders have continued to use the moral equivalence argument to defend Obama. Moral equivalence is simply the use of examples of garbage from your political opponent's camp to justify your own stupid shit. Examples:

In the Obama case, hate speech from John Hagee and even Bob Jones University has been raised.

When trying to justify our continuance of the war in Iraq, opponents equate our kills with terrorist attacks.

In defending Bill Clinton's creative use of interns, every Republican who was currently or previously poking someone other than his wife was exposed.

In some cases, these arguments may have some merit. However, if you're not exposing the rank hypocrisy of the person you're arguing with, you're an idiot for even trying to use the argument. Do you understand why you are an idiot? Read on:

Moral equivalence has been used far too often in recent years to justify abominable behavior. I see this far too often whenever I (or any of the bloggers I regularly visit) point out someone's bad behavior. The stupidest form of this is to list all the political opponent you can when trying to argue a point. Here is part of a comment from one of my prior posts. If you want, read the whole post for more context:
A.Ann Coulter: Both a cunt and ugly
B.Ted Haggard smokes meth and has sex with gay prostitutes and actively campaigns against gay causes.
C.David Vitter has sex with prostitutes
D.Mark Foley tried to bone male pages
E.Dan Burton tried to bang every female in the Indiana Legislature
F.Oreilly sexually harassed Fox employees
G.Rush Limbaugh talks about values/family values yet has been divorced three times and also had his maid score sythetic heroin for him
Simply put, you can't justify bad behavior by pointing to someone else's bad behavior. So learn how to argue a point or forever prove yourself an ignorant slut.

And remember, I'm not calling you that. You take that title on yourself by your own behavior, dumbass.


Toad734 said...


"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

You'll stop getting those reactions when you start posting Republican scandals and stop only posting democratic scandals.

So you don't see the hypocricy in Newt Gingrich and Tom Delays affairs while prosecuting Bill Clinton?

Republicans try to play the moral police and point out that anyone who isn't bombing abortion clinics is somehow evil while they are doing the very things they preach against.

All I am doing is pointing out the hypocricy of the right wing.

Now, if you want to talk about how at least Spitzer took responsibility for what he did but Vitter and Craig did not, then that isn't moral equivalence. And it's not morqal equivalence with people like Limbaugh becuase he is routinely attacking people on the left who have more family values and decency in their right thumb than he does in his entire fat ass. Im not saying Limbaugh isn't human and that he should be perfect but he should stop attacking others for making the same kinds of mistakes he has or risk being called a hate mongering hypocrite.

Again, I'm not justifying Spitzers actions by pointing out the gay infedelity of Republicans, I am just pointing out that he took responsibility for his actions and many Republicans, Rush included, have not.

I just don't know why you think it's ok for the pot to call the kettle black and not expect someone to put a mirror in front of the pot.

If you want to be neutral when talking about cheating politicians try not just mentioning Clinton whilst forgetting that there are many more freaky Republicans out there and its typically the ones who are on top of the mound preaching the loudest.

By the way, Who gives a shit what Obamas preacher said? 2 Weeks ago you were pissed because you thought he was a Muslim and now that hes a black Christian who goes to a traditional black church on the South Side you attack that as well. Did Obama say any of those things or did his preacher? WHo's running for President?

Patrick M said...

When it's news, I point it out. However, all the scandals you have highlighted (with the exception of Larry Craig, who should not be in office) happened years ago. So you continually drag up shit from prior years on people who aren't related to the story.

And I'm not quoting anyone else, it's just me. And I haven't cheated on anyone, bought whores, done drugs, or anything. So unless you want to point out any of my perceived hypocrisy, you just missed the whole point of the damned post!

Shaw Kenawe said...

Barack Obama has belonged to a church where the pastor has given incendiary speeches against America’s treatment of its black citizens and even promoted a batshit crazy conspiracy theory on the AIDS virus and the black community.

Let’s consider this:

Pastor Francis Schaeffer was a very influential Evangelical and the single most important Christian pastor responsible for the rise of Evangelical influence in Republican politics. His son, Frank Schaeffer, has recounted how he and his father crisscrossed this nation in the 70s and 80s, denouncing America and became darlings of the Republican Party. They were rewarded for their efforts to evangelize America by people such as Congressman Jack Kemp, the Fords, Reagan and the Bush family. The top Republican leadership depended on preachers and agitators like them to energize their rank and file. No one called them unAmerican.

Pastor Schaeffer compared the United States of America with the Soviet Union, our then enemy. Why? because teachers were forbidden by US law to lead children in prayer in taxpayer funded public schools. He denounced America and compared her to the Soviet Union.

In his best selling book “Whatever Happened to the United States?” he denouncd the United States and compared it to Hitler’s Germany,

He also encouraged the overthrow of the government of the United States because God’s law was not being implemented in the public schools. That’s called treason.

This is not being brought up as a moral equivalency. I’m going to point out that many of our esteemed politicians and presidents embraced Schaeffer and said not one word against his ideas. Not one. Mike Huckabee, a presidential candidate, and Evangelical minister, has called Schaeffer’s book one that he would take, in addition to the Bible, to a desert island.

What I try to point out here is that pastors of many denominations make wild, inappropriate, intemperate, and un-American statements when they are preaching to their congregations. They also preach soothing, uplifting, and inspiring sermons.

What Pastor Schaeffer said in the past (20 years ago, when Obama first joined Pastor Wright’s church) was not seen as anti-American, but, in fact, embraced by Republican political leaders. I would also point out that at no time do I recall the Republican leaders advocating what Pastor Schaeffer wrote about in his manifestos.

Now there’s Pastor Wright’s claim that the American government was responsible for the spread of AIDS in the black community. Obviously nonsense.

Yet when Falwell and Robertson blamed Americans for 9/11, not one political leader on the Right paid a political price for continuing their relationship with these two Pastors. No great hue and cry rose up to demand that these men never visit the White House or be allowed to continue to spread their idiotic theories on why 9/11 happened. President Bush continued to be a good, good friend to both of these nincompoops, and even declared a national day of mourning when Falwell died. What an incredible honor!

Barack Obama spent 20 years in Wright’s church. And according to his speech yesterday, all of his sermons were NOT angry, anti-white, anti-American screeds. Also, there is not one iota of evidence that Obama is anti-white (he’d have to be at war with himself) or a militant black. If there is, I would like you to link to it and show me how, and then connect it to the ranting and ravings of his pastor.

Life is a bit more nuanced and complicated than most people understand. There are reasons that we’ll never understand why Obama has stayed with his pastor. It would have been more politic for him, when he started his political career, to leave. He didn’t. He’s paying a price for his loyalty.

This is not moral equivalency. This is injustice.

And it is staggering hypocrisy to watch the mainly conservative Right pile on Obama and imply he is unpatriotic because of his association with Wright, when no one accused Republican pols of being unpatriot for accepting and embracing the friendship and support of pastors who preached insane ideas and anti-American sermons.

Where were the the critics when conservatives pols listened to the idiotic and un-American preachings of Messrs. Falwell, Robertson, Hagee, and Schaeffer.

Staggering hypocrisy.

Patrick M said...

Mike Huckabee, a presidential candidate, and Evangelical minister, has called Schaeffer’s book one that he would take, in addition to the Bible, to a desert island.

I'll add that to reasons not to vote for Huck-a-duck.

But that still doesn't answer my point. If you have someone who praises Schaeffer, then comes out against Obama, then you can smack the hell out of them for hypocrisy. But I, as well as most of the people you bring this argument up with, are not subscribers to that philosophy, thus are not hypocrites.

So it comes back to a moral equivalence argument.

As for Obama staying with his pastor, I doubt we've heard the whole truth on the matter, and I doubt we will. Because while many people would be able to accept the truth, even more people, with their inability to reason, would immediately take it the wrong way.

And I can't answer for others, I can only answer for me.

Shaw Kenawe said...

This is not about you, Patrick. I don't believe you are a hypocrite.

This is about the political establishment supports Pastors Schaeffer, Falwell, Robertson, and Hagee's idiotic statements and blame-Americans-for-disaster statements .

I have no recollection of anyone on the Right who came out and denounced any conservative politician for supporting and accepting the support of those nincompoops.

I don't recall any outrage over a conservative politician who kept his or her friendship with these idiots.

That is why I see this whole controversy as hypocrisy.

Patrick M said...

Damn, I thought everything was about me.

I have no recollection of anyone on the Right who came out and denounced any conservative politician for supporting and accepting the support of those nincompoops.

I'd have to do some research, but I suspect there is someone repudiating something.

Nonetheless, there is this tendency for the political establishment to play to their kook fringe. Both sides have their haters. And too often, the politicians on both sides do a tightrope walk to please their base, appeal to the middle, and avoid getting involved in a scandal.

The problem is that, unless, for example, John McCain, who initially accepted John Hagee's support(he then repudiated him after his advisers alerted him to the problem) then go on a holy crusade to condemn Obama, the hypocrisy argument is weak at best. And so we come back to moral equivalence.

Also, in some cases, the same three names get trotted out every time. If I searched the comments for any of the list of hat pastors, I bet I'd find them, in some cases, brought up in every blog on every subject.

I know you see some hypocrisy in the Republican ranks, as we see it in the Democrat ranks. But this constant recitation of the same list is beginning to stifle the discussion and simply polarize and limit the ability to have a discussion.

Either way, I just want to stop talking about this shit. I'm getting tired of it.

Dee said...

I forget who said it but a conservative once pointed out that both Republicans and Democrats have sleazy politicians in their party. The difference is Republicans kick their trash to the curb whereas Democrats praise and embrace theirs.

Patrick M said...

Not always, Dee. That's the problem.

Toad734 said...

Vitter happened a couple months ago and I remember you calling Clinton a rapist in a post from a couple weeks ago. If you bring up stuff from the Clinton era Ill bring up all the hypocrites who were preaching the loudes about morals at the time.

Toad734 said...


What planet are you from?

Again, Vitter and Craig remain in office, Libby was pardoned by Bush. Spitzer has resigned. What do you not get about that?

Patrick M said...

Toad, I had just started blogging around the time of Vitter, and it got under my radar at the time.

As for my comments about President Clinton, you are clearly taking me out of context. I was quoting myself from 2000, explaining why that's not the way I should think.

Do you just like screaming the same mantra no matter what, or is it the Kool-Aid?

Dee: As much as I hate to say it, Toad does have a point.