… gets pretty twisted, when you’re looking for excuses for Michelle Bachmann’s attack on Huma Abedin.

Did you know that half a ham sandwich is better than the love of God?

I can prove it.

If B > C and A > B, then A > C.  Right? The transitive principle.

Well, let C = the love of God, B = nothing, and A = half a ham sandwich

What is better than the love of God? Nothing. So B > C.

But half a ham sandwich is better than nothing. So A > B.

So A > C: half a ham sandwich is better than the love of God.

If that logic appeals to you, you’ll love Andrew McCarthy’s column about Michelle Bachmann’s attack on Huma Abedin. No, he says, there isn’t any actual evidence that Abedin is anything but a  dedicated public servant. But that’s no reason not to publicly imply that she’s a traitor and call for an “investigation.”

Someone remarked that it was just too perfect that the New York bus driver who caught the falling child was named “St. Bernard.”  But “McCarthy” as the name for someone making false accusations of disloyalty isn’t too shabby.

Footnote Nor could there be a more fitting outlet for this garbage than National Review. William F. Buckley acquired an undeserved reputation as a rational, moderate conservative by disowning the John Birch Society. But he was an active supporter of Joe McCarthy as well as a stone racist who explicitly argued that it was OK for Southern whites, as the “advanced race,” to “take such measures as are necessary to prevail,” in a time where “such measures” included not only illegal voter suppression but also acts of extreme violence.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

4 thoughts on “Logic”

  1. I pretty much agree with Mark on Buckley. But to give Buckley credit, he also purged the antisemites out of the conservative movement. Modern Movement conservatism has no problems with Jewish individuals, although its stereotype of “the liberal” seems cribbed from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    1. I think you mean “loud-mouthed overt antisemites”. As with some of the racism, they’ve mostly gone over to dog whistles. (It’s not just “the liberal” — it’s the “east coast liberal” who is “not a real american”.)

  2. People often give Buckley credit for renouncing his overt racism in the 1960s. What I’ve never found anywhere is any proof of him doing so except via statements of friends several decades later. From Buckley’s mouth, the most I’ve found is a half-hearted statement in 2004.

  3. There’s a great bit down in the comments about “Imagine if it came out that Karl Rove’s parents had been in the Klan,” to which someone replied that if that were true, Rove would never have been any more than a white trash truck driver. Very rarely does a conservative admit that class mobility and up-by-your-own bootstrap-ism for the very poor are extremely difficult if not impossible. Someone must have missed a memo.

    Abedin, btw, has now had to get a security detail placed with her, after having threats made on her life.

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