April 13, 2012 7:15 AM

The latest offering from WWJD University: PoliSci 101, or "You know you're losing when...."

It should be enshrined as the Maddow Rule on Inverse Political Proportionality. In October 2008, Rachel Maddow posited something akin to Godwin’s Law, which holds that the longer an online debate continues, the likelihood of a Nazi analogy being employed approaches 1. Speaking of Republicans and their approach to political debate, the Maddow Rule is as beautiful, elegant, and spot on as Godwin’s Law.

Simply stated, the Maddow Rule states that the sooner Conservatives recognize that they’re losing- whether it be an argument or an election- the greater the likelihood that someone will be accused of being a Communist or a Socialist. As a corollary to the Maddow Rule, I’d like to put forth…oh, what the heck, I’ll claim it…the Cluth Corollary. This is the theory that smug arrogance makes for a damned poor argument. The Cluth Corollary comes into play when a Conservative, realizing that they can’t win an argument because the facts aren’t on their side, resorts to the “Nyah nyah; you’re a clueless Lib” tactic. Then they stop, secure in the self-satisfied knowledge that they’ve “won” the argument. This is usually where I try to end my participation in the discussion, because, by virtue of employing the Cluth Corollary, they’re out of ammunition, leaving them with only name-calling and insults in their quiver. Not much fun having a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent, eh? (Apologies to Winston Churchill for stealing his line.)

Trust me, smug arrogance really IS a damned poor excuse for an argument. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, and I’ll generally cop to it. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. At least I’m willing to face the music…which is more than I can for a lot of Conservatives. Argue if you must, but please come armed with enough facts to cobble together a reasoned, coherent argument…and if you’re wrong, at least have the decency to own up to it. Resorting to smug arrogance only confirms how intellectually bereft you are.

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This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on April 13, 2012 7:15 AM.

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