Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The old double standard trick

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is taking a lot of criticism because he recently suggested that anyone questioning our prisoner transfer policy in Afghanistan was really maligning Canada’s soldiers.

Lawrence Martin calls this tactic “intellectually infantile”; Andrew Coyne, using less elegant language, calls it “trash” and Liberal MP Bob Rae stated “To argue that some are stronger supporters of our soldiers than others I think is frankly reprehensible ... to label what we are doing as somehow unpatriotic is quite frankly beyond the pale."

And to be sure, Prime Minister Harper is using an emotion-laden charge to make his point.

But isn’t that politics?

Indeed isn’t this exactly the sort of ploy the Left routinely uses when attacking conservatives?

Consider, for instance, this typical exchange between a conservative and a liberal:

Conservative: I think we need to cut taxes and make government smaller.

Liberal: Aha, your true agenda exposed! All you care about is helping the rich. You’re a heartless monster with no compassion for the poor or downtrodden. You want to close down our public schools, throw orphans into the streets and condemn our seniors to lives of poverty and misery. Oh and you probably want to bring back slavery, since you are also clearly a racist.

Conservative: We also need to increase funding for our military and help our allies in the war against terror.

Liberal: War monger!

Conservative: In my view it's time to inject some sort of free market principles into our costly and inefficient health care system.

Liberal: Oh I get it. You want to transform our hospitals into profit making factories which will heal only the rich and which will use poor people in diabolical medical experiments designed to help the rich live longer. And furthermore: rich, rich rich.

Conservative: I am sceptical about some of the global warming hysteria going on.

Liberal: OK you are clearly a pawn of the big oil companies. Why else would you want to murder those cute polar bears?

Conservative: The long-gun registry was a bad idea.

Liberal: Shut up you stupid redneck. You’re responsible for every murder in the past 100 years. In fact, you probably have all sorts of guns hidden in your basement and are just waiting to go on a mindless shooting spree. Umm … please don’t shoot me!!!

Of course, when left wingers make these sorts of arguments nobody calls them “infantile” or “trash.”

It’s what you call a double standard.

And by the way, if you don’t like this posting, then it means you must be some sort of Marxist.

Crossposted at Libertas Post


Some Guy said...

Good thing I like the post!

rightful said...

I like it too ............. the left is always using the smear as their own, and is furious when the tables are turned even slightly
- let their wee heads explode - and let the msm pundits expose their bias

dougf said...

I'm sorry but I have LONG felt that 'most' of the concern for the poor abused 'suspects' IS in fact cover for an argument against everything that the troops are doing.
I don't like playing the 'patriot card', but when 'issues' are brought up in an atmosphere of intellectual bad faith, playing that card is a perfectly legitimate response.

It's the same as most of the critiques of the Iraq Conflict. They were made less to 'improve' the conditions on the ground, than to hamstring, limit, and eventually halt the efforts on the ground. That was bad faith. And arguably that was why 'corrective reassessments' took so long to germinate. It became impossible to separate REAL analysis from POLITICAL analysis, and so every critique lost its potential effectiveness.

Criticism can be used to 'improve' the results or 'preclude' the results, and in most cases where 'abuse issues' are raised, it's preclusion that is the actual intent behind the efforts.
IMAO ,only of course. :-)

Bec said...

I am just raging right now! Double standard, indeed!

I just heard an interview with Maria Minna and Dave Rutherford where Minna is demanding that the government apologize to Italian Canadians for WW2 because 'they set the precedent by apologizing to others'.
She goes on to claim that the Chretien/Martin govts, apologized to NO ONE but because the Harper govt apologized to First Nations etc that they now MUST apologize TO EVERYONE!
What a complete goof, honestly!

Calgary Junkie said...

HAHA ... Good stuff Gerry !

My sense is that, at this point in the detainee debate, each side is basically preaching to the converted. So it's probably a wash, as far as moving votes is concerned--at least from the left to the right, and vice versa.

However, there MAY be a movement of votes WITHIN the left side of the equation. It's hard to tell. If I were the LPC, I wouldn't trust the Bloc and Dippers to "play fair" and only pound Harper, at election time. Indeed, the Dippers have already brought up Iggy's "torturous" past.

Anonymous said...

Well HM PM Harper is standing with our troops, who are being accused of handing over "poor farmers" etc.. the jails in Afganistan don't have squash-ball courts and wide screen TV!?? The horror!
The opposition or their Lamestream media pals do not give a rat's ass what happens to the "poor farmers"
it's just more "gotcha" we should just give each "scandal" a number this one could be "72" so we know what the Lieberals have their panties in a bunch about. The whole thing is as "real" as glo-bull" warming, shriek!
Cheers Bubba

Ted Betts said...

Yet by giving Harper cover for his reprehensible un-Prime Ministerial remarks, Gerry, you legitimize the very leftist dialog you are attacking there.

It was offensive when Paul Martin campaigned on "Canadian values" and claimed Harper didn't like Canada because he doesn't share the progressive values common to most Canadians, and Canadians showed him what we thought of him.

It is no less offensive for Harper to get up on a world stage and claim the opposition doesn't support the troops because they have some follow-up questions about our government's conduct in the wake of some very serious allegations and clear evidence of government cover-up. It's worse in fact because Harper uses our troops for political cover whenever his competence is under question.

When the government screws up or even appears to screw up, it is the JOB of the opposition to ask questions.

Most Canadians are not partisans or affiliated with a party. For the PRIME MINISTER to dismiss in such a spurious way serious issues and serious concerns, which from the polling so far Canadians clearly have here, just because some lefties at some point were oppressive idiots is juvenile and show really poor leadership.

What's good for goose is good for the gander type arguments result in the kind of bad governance we are getting. But if that is how he wants to play it... we cooked the goose already, now we'll have to cook the gander too.

Anonymous said...

In case anyone missed this...

Go to CJOB's audio vault, click on Nov. 27, 1:00 PM, and start at about the 6 minute mark.

Charles Adler wraps up this entire detainee issue like no other could.

Damn near bring ya to tears...and there's no doubt of his own emotions.

Awesome! And I couldn't add a single word to it.

Roy Eappen said...

Excellent post Gerry.

liberal supporter said...

Gerry, why don't you get your own material?

The "If a conservative sees _____, he (does something reasonable).
If a liberal sees ____, he (does something silly and laughable)." routine was seen elsewhere six weeks ago. Of course there was no attribution given there either.

Just because Harper plagiarized a speech doesn't make it ok for you to plagiarize.

KEvron said...

conservative: watch me beat the stuffing outta this scarecrow!

liberal: go pound straw.


Anonymous said...

This post is awfully childish, Gerry. You really need to grow up.

Anonymous said...

This just makes me soooo mad it could...spit!!!!

Jon said...

Really? This is the best defense you could come up?

Though, kudos for so smoothly combining a strawman and a diversionary tactic!

Eaglewolf said...

I dislike rhetoric within politics. I wish the left and the right could discuss honestly instead of using every debate to try to score political points from a non-discerning public. Occasionally the left and the right have great ideas but if today I agree with a "right-wing" policy and tomorrow I agree with a "left-wing" policy, I have somehow betrayed one side or the other.

Great ideas don't come from one side or another. Unfortunately, if you are wearing your side's hat, you can never publicly accept the other side's idea, so you lash out and say anything to discredit the other side.

And giving the left a taste of its own medicine can only go so far, it feels great but it reinforces cynicism from a population who has not sided with the left or the right.