Man Overboard!

– posted by thehim

Holy sweet Jesus, the nutty professor is having a five-alarm meltdown. This is fantastic.

The “mind” of a liberal blogger
By Mathew Manweller

There’s so much other shit I want to do this week, but I just can’t resist.

In the past few days, I have had the opportunity (or misfortune) to visit the sites of a few liberal blogs in Washington State.

I hope you enjoyed your visit, Mathew. I cleaned up the place just for you.

Although each site has its own “shtick” I was taken by how similar the argument styles are for each blogger.

The use of facts must have been disorienting for him.

It seems as if they have all taken some class on “blogger rebuttal” and now use it on their sites.

WhackyNation is required reading in Blogger Rebuttal 101.

I use the term “rebuttal” because I rarely came across any unique IDEAS on any of these blogs sites.

We don’t ideate enough.

Almost to the man, every one of these liberal bloggers limits themselves to challenging the ideas of other people, but appear to have no ability to craft original ideas of their own.

With all of the incredible stupidity that came down the pike last week, I was mostly limited by time.

My original point, however, is that they all engage in arguing in the same way.

Yes, we do. By relying on facts and logic.

They take the words of others, and then interject on a line-by-line basis, their responses.

So does Pudge. Who cares?

Sometimes their responses are relevant to the lines of text they have pulled out, but more often than not, they set up straw men, put words in the mouth of the author that were never made, go off on some tangent unrelated to the argument they can’t win, or simply call people names.

So how does Manweller demonstrate how us mean liberals set up straw men and put words in the mouth of the author that were never made? He ends the post by creating a fictional rebuttal from me and Gordy (?) to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, of course!

I’m sure they think this makes them look detailed, intelligent and witty.

Don’t forget clever.

In truth however, it makes them very myopic.

Interesting. I’ve now asked Dr. Manweller three times to point me to his defense of his ridiculous post from last week that he says I “don’t understand” and I still don’t see it. I guess I need glasses.

Often, they get so caught up in refuting some minor point that they completely lose sight of the big picture.

This was the comment I left at the last post, to which he has still not responded:

This makes absolutely no sense at all. Whether or not a bill passes has no relevance to whether or not the bill was smart or whether or not it will be effective. You’re making a gigantic assumption that just because the bill passed and that it had bi-partisan support that it’s not ideological. That’s a terrible assumption. And as I pointed out above, the war on drugs is a great demonstration of how that’s often been the case. Over the years there have been numerous bi-partisan bills passed that were extremely ideological and they’ve led to the disaster that we now have today.

That’s not a “minor point,” genius. The complete basis for your entire argument was absolutely wrong. Just because a bill passes does not mean that the bill is responsible, effective, or non-ideological.

It reminds me of the old adage “Can’t see the forest for the trees.”

It reminds me of the old adage, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

They get so flummoxed debating whether one tree is there or not, they forget, or are unable to see the huge forest they are standing in.

Except that in this case, you’re standing in a barren desert telling everyone there are trees around.

In the end, the back and forth that ensues on their sites ends up debating something completely unrelated to the original post.

Is there any way I can get Manweller to argue with Pudge over whether or not Pudge is a blogger?

All this got me thinking. How would a modern day liberal blogger respond to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address? Below, I have taken the liberty to play out the scenario.

I’ll stop here. No need to do the play-by-play on this legendary strawman exercise. I’m now completely floored at the lengths that Manweller is going solely to avoid having to provide a simple rebuttal to my last comment above. And yes, this man is a Professor of Political Science at Central Washington University. Holy. Fucking. Shit.

15 Responses to “Man Overboard!”

  1. Spokane Moderate says:

    Manweller must be a really crappy academic. He’s complaining about nitpicking critiques? Has he ever attended a conference? Ever delivered a paper? Ever written and defended a dissertation?

    If your specific points don’t stand up to scrutiny, your big picture isn’t worth a plugged nickel. I’m sure “Gordy” would agree with me.

  2. tensor says:

    I’m wondering where guys like Manweller were, back during the dozen or so years between the rise of hate-talk radio and the internet. Mr. Limbaugh and his many wanna-bees rarely let facts intrude upon their bellowed assertions; they spewed venom at duly elected officials, attempting to run decent persons out of office; and they never, ever admitted to any of their lies and deceits. Yet, they were (correctly, I think) ‘credited’ (if that’s the word) with altering the outcomes of elections. (Bill Bennett’s “The Death of Outrage” was the most ironic title any book ever carried.)

    Yet, once a few liberals fight back — ooh baby, it’s an outrage!

  3. bma says:

    I cannot understand how someone can be a professor and not be skilled with old-school academic rhetoric.

  4. bma says:

    (Oh, and I bet that name-calling goes over remarkably well at academic conferences!)

  5. Thehim says:

    Manweller must be a really crappy academic.

    Have you ever seen the show “The Riches”? It’s about a family of travelers who steal the identity of a lawyer who dies in a car crash while moving his family from Tampa to Baton Rouge. The father has no background in law but tries to show up at the law firm and do the deceased man’s job. I’m on the verge of being convinced that the person who is calling himself Mathew Manweller is an impostor and the man who actually has a PhD is lying dead in a ditch in Eastern Washington somewhere. That’s how absurd this is getting.

  6. Spokane Moderate says:

    They take the words of others, and then interject on a line-by-line basis, their responses.

    Perhaps he could put his awesome research powers to work and explain 1) why this style is referred to as “fisking” and 2) which side of the political aisle coined the phrase?

    I’m on the verge of being convinced that the person who is calling himself Mathew Manweller is an impostor and the man who actually has a PhD is lying dead in a ditch in Eastern Washington somewhere. That’s how absurd this is getting.

    You may be right. It’s got to be a big put-on. It’s hard to believe he could be this bad at debate and discussion if he is who he says he is.

  7. Thehim says:

    Yep, he emailed me AGAIN last night (I got it right after I left the comment above). And I tried once again to explain all of this to him and I still haven’t heard back. Here’s the text of the emails:

    He wrote:

    Keep re-reading everthing in the post Lee…including the embedded links. You’ll find it all by yourself. I’m sorry if I used words with more than two syllables.

    But seriously, IF YOU CAN SHOW ME where I indicated the following I might take you a little more seriously.

    “Whether or not a bill passes has no relevance to whether or not the bill
    was smart or whether or not it will be effective. You’re making a gigantic
    assumption that just because the bill passed and that it had bi-partisan
    support that it’s not ideological.”

    If, however, you can’t see that your point has NOTHING to do with my
    argument, then there really is nothing more I can do for you. Seriously.

    Here was my reply:

    In one of your emails to me, you wrote the following:

    “But again, I would point out that I was not arguing that the bill was a good one. I was just arguing that in the end, both parties will become less ideological about the war on terror once they both been responsible for fighting it.”

    The reality, as I pointed out to you in my comment, is that when Democrats became more responsible for fighting the war on terror, they’ve actually become MORE ideological, not less. That’s why your argument is meaningless. You’ve assumed that the Democrats have voted against the wishes of civil libertarians because they’re being rational, but the reality is that they’re being cowardly. Many of us knew that even after the Democrats retook Congress that many of them would still struggle to find the courage to stand up for basic civil liberties. The values that our founding fathers fought for were nuanced, like the belief that giving up liberty to achieve security leaves you with neither. Just because these beliefs don’t always play well at the ballot box and that politicians of both parties often shy away from them does not mean that they’re invalid.

    We understand your point, Mathew. I’ve read through the links several times. You’re just dead wrong by equating giving unlimiting spying powers with “responsibility.” And the fact that Democrats have caved and gone along with much of it is far from being proof that it’s “responsible” either.

  8. Carl says:

    I like to think if I was criticizing Gettysburg it would be funnier than that. I would have also made fun of Honest Abe’s beard and maybe the way he was planning to have Nevada join the union like a week before the election. That one still bugs me.

  9. Tlazolteotl says:

    I think you guys overestimate what it takes to get a Ph.D. Half of these boys can’t write worth a damn. Wonder who his advisor was, and if he was such a pain in the ass his advisor called in some favors to get his whiny butt a pass on his dissertation. It’s a possibility.

  10. Tlazolteotl says:

    Oh, and you will love this:

    “ELLENSBURG, Wash. – The man dubbed “Washington’s initiative king,” Tim Eyman, and Shannon Sullivan, the mother who led the recall of Spokane Mayor Jim West will participate in a panel discussion on the First Amendment’s right to petition as part of Central Washington University’s yearlong First Amendment Festival. The free public forum, titled “Meet the Activists,” is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) Pit.”

    Guess who’s moderating?

  11. Tlazolteotl says:

    Assistant Professor; BA in Economics from Whitman College; MA in Political Science from the University of Montana; PhD in Political Science from the University of Oregon in 2003. Matt’s research interests focus on constitutional law, democratic theory, and political economy. His more important skills and interests include fly fishing, backpacking, and ultimate frisbee.

    No doubt. He doesn’t have a picture with his bio, though. So sad.

  12. DWB says:

    Hes got hisselfs oneathem website thingy … wif pics!

  13. correctnotright says:

    I’ve been to Matt’s website (whackynation) containing such literary and political giants as Lou Guzzo (who thinks liberals are the cause of most of the worlds problems and that global warming is a hoax) and Mark (the idiot) Gardner who writes continuously on global warming but doesn’t understand a bit of science (for instance his stupid physics question about melting ice not expanding in a glass – Hey idiot Mark – how about all the ice ON TOP of Greenland melting and causing a rise in the sea level – fool!).

    Matt is actually somewhat well intentioned but prone to literary overstatement (liberals think like….) and somewhat sophomoric. He is incapable of defending his ideas – as noted above – and gets quite huffy and claims that “you don’t understand…” when, in fact, he has no counter argument. I actaully think he is more likeable than the other characters on whackynation and probalby less dogmatic – but he has been infected by the “liberals are the scourge and think this way” argument of the other simpletons on the site.

  14. rhp6033 says:

    I received my degree in Political Science in the mid-1970′s. At the time, I found the subject to be a bit of a strange combination of other fields: part sociology, part government & public affairs, part law, part philosophy, part history.

    Most of us in that particular major chose classes which were more difficult, because we were actually interested in the subjects. So we studied Political History & Theory (a three-quarter series covering from ancient Greece through the 20th century, including reading Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Marx, Hegel, Hitler, Sarte, etc.). We also studied at least two quarters of Constitutional Law, which had us reading lots of court decisions and writing papers on the evolution of legal theory amoung particular justices on the court, from the 1930′s through the 1970′s. In short, it wasn’t easy, and for many of us, attending law school was a natural progression.

    But there were quite a few others who took the easier route, taking only classes in “sociology & politics”, “politics & the media”, etc. , and still getting a degree without infringing upon their social commitments or fraternity partys. They also received the same degree as the others.

    So whenever I see someone has a “Political Science” degree, I wonder: which route did he/she take to get that degree? Was it the hard route, or the easy one?

  15. Thehim says:

    Interesting perspective. Thanks. An old roommate of mine changed majors from engineering to political science after he failed 3rd level calculus for the 3rd time. He intended to go to law school as well, but I have a feeling that he took the easy route too, so he runs a catering business now.

    I can’t remember, did you say you went to a Big Ten school, or was that someone else?