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Need To Question The Authority

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Hilzoy has more on Anne Applebaum’s crazy strawman-building tactics. Personally, perhaps because I’m more cynical, I didn’t check the empirical claim because I wouldn’t have been shocked had no Democratic politician had been fully candid; it wouldn’t be unusual for politicians not to point out the potential downsides when choosing among a bunch of bad policy options created by someone else’s catastrophic blunder. (People not running for office can, and should, be criticized for not being honest about the downsides.) And yet, at least 3 Democratic candidates including Barak Obama did to this, making Appelbaum’s silly point also factually false. It seems pretty clear that this was bullshit in the classic Frankurt sense; Applebaum seems to have been indifferent about her claims were true or not, but just needed some assertions to fit her evasive high-Broderite framework.

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