Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Our criticism and theirs: what to say when you hear "Hussein"

Progressives need to criticize Obama unrelentingly for his corporate ties, his incompetent incrementalism, and his cowardice in the face of the minority GOP.  But we also have to distinguish our criticism from theirs.  The mark of an intelligent, thoughtful left is the ability to criticize Obama's ruling class ineptitude and liberal naivete while simultaneously condemning any racist, nationalist, or other right wing attack on the president. 

So, when you hear people refer to him as "Hussein," be aware that it's an enthymeme, and a powerful one.  And here's what you can publicly say (in person, on social networking sites, etc.) when you hear it:

"Hey righty--The only reason to call him "Hussein" is to evoke an "enthymeme" (look it up) equating him with what you are not gutsy enough to come right out and say. We don't refer to presidents by their middle names normally. Such language is irresponsible and deliberately provocative. It also reveals that you are a reactionary crank rather than a serious political critic."

Because they're not helping us.  Just hurting the president's credibility is not enough.  Hitler's arguments against the liberals were not the same as the socialists' arguments against the liberals.  The difference is worth dying for, and you can be sure that the right will be willing to kill for it soon enough. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you also criticize the people who called President Bush "W"?