Masking interest-group politics with ideological rhetoric

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., discusses how New York City mayor Bill de Blasio tried, unsuccessfully, to block the online taxi service Uber from the Big Apple.  He points out how the Democratic mayor used “progressive” rhetoric–to the point of comparing Uber to the hated Wall Mart–as a cover for old-fashioned interest group politics, namely, advancing the agenda of the current New York City taxi industry, which has strong ties to the Democratic Party establishment.

What interests me especially in that column, excerpted after the jump, is his point about how ideological rhetoric is used to mask interest group politics.  The author says Hillary Clinton is doing this, though I’m sure both sides are guilty of doing so.   Can you think of other examples of this sort of thing? [Read more...]

New rhetorical strategies for the anti-gun crowd

Opponents of the Second Amendment, inspired by other rapid changes of public opinion, are formulating new ways of framing their arguments against the ownership of firearms:

  • Make gun ownership a public health issue, as with tobacco and drunk driving
  • Make gun ownership morally problematic, as with the Confederate flag
  • Adopt the language of  “liberty,” as in civil liberty, and “rights,” as in gay rights.  Freedom from guns.  The right not to bear arms.

See a columnist making all of these suggestions after the jump. [Read more...]

The mother of all attack ads

I was 12 years old when I watched Lyndon Johnson’s campaign ad that showed a little girl picking daisies followed by the mushroom cloud of a nuclear blast.  Even at the time, I understood the message:  Don’t vote for that extremist Barry Goldwater!  He will start a nuclear war!

Yes, the ad, if you thought about it was utterably lame (a little girl? daisies?), but it had to have contributed to LBJ’s landslide victory.  Drew Babb analyzes the political commercial, which aired as a paid advertisement one time only on September 7, 1964 (after that, it was endlessly re-run by the three networks who covered the ad itself as a piece of news).  He calls it the “mother of all attack ads.” [Read more...]

Abortions for men

A Texas pro-abortion organization, Fund Texas Women, has announced that it is changing its name to Fund Texas Choice.  This is because the reference to “women” excludes trans-sexual individuals who now identify as “men” but who still have female reproductive organs and who may thus get pregnant and “need” an abortion.  This is from the announcement:

In order for our organization to provide quality abortion services, we have to make sure that everyone who needs help traveling for their abortion is able to get it. But with a name like Fund Texas Women, we were publicly excluding trans* people who needed to get an abortion but were not women.

[Read more...]

Hobby Lobby hysteria

Critics of the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Obamacare contraceptive mandate must include exemptions for business owners whose religion does not permit them to purchase birth control pills and possible abortifacients are howling with indignation.  Women are going to be prevented from having access to birth control!  The ruling will result in more unwanted pregnancies and thus more abortions!

But the ruling itself simply makes the remedy already given to churches and religious organizations available to religious individuals who own businesses.  Those who claim the religious exemption will not have to pay for contraceptive coverage in the insurance plans they make available to their employees.  But the insurance companies will have to provide a separate policy that does so at no extra charge to the employees.  Thus, as the court said, all women will still get free birth control.  Even the employees of Hobby Lobby. [Read more...]

Our Orwellian government

Victor Davis Hanson writes about the “Orwellian” language and attempts to rewrite the past that characterize the current administration. [Read more...]