A Warning Or A Threat?   

The Decembrist

Elizabeth Anderson of Left-to-Right had a good summary the other day of recent uses of the rhetorical strategy she calls, "Issue a threat, call it a warning,."Her example was Bush's "warning" that the Social Security Trust Fund would be plundered.

As Matt Yglesias points out, this is obviously applicable to Senator John Cornyn's statement that the recent killings of judges are the inevitable reaction to a judiciary that doesn't respect his theories of constitutional interpretation. Matt compares it to Samuel Huntington's argument in the atrocious Who We Are that Mexican immigration is a problem because it will bring about a white nativist backlash.

Now whenever you think you've found the most outrageous thing these folks say, there's something else, and Cornyn's statement reminded me of one that tops even his. Last year, the Weekly Standard publishedan article about Mussolini that ended as follows:

You can file the lessons of Mussolini's rise under "H" for Hegel, the idea that extreme movements always beget extreme counter forces. It was the far left, by relentlessly chipping away at the foundations of Italian life, that gave birth and power to the far right--as it did a decade on when Hitler rode nearly the same path under similar circumstances.
This is what seems most pertinent today, as "activist" groups like Moveon.org and demagogues like Michael Moore and angry men like Al Gore and George Soros rail so irrationally against both the president and the structures of daily American life, including the legally adjudicated Supreme Court decision that ultimately decided the 43rd presidency in advance of a tedious recount that would've yielded the same outcome.

... Either this November or in four years, George W. Bush is going to be turned out of office ...Someday, though, a populace provoked by the left's constant fire-breathing may look for a dragon slayer who won't go quite so easily.

I'm sure there are even more bizarre examples of this rhetorical strategy, but you may have to enter David Horowitz's airspace to find them.

 

The Pope      an article about Mussolini that ended as follows:


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You can file the lessons of Mussolini's rise under "H" for Hegel, the idea that extreme movements always beget extreme counter forces. It was the far left, by relentlessly chipping away at the foundations of Italian life, that gave birth and power to the far right--as it did a decade on when Hitler rode nearly the same path under similar circumstances.
This is what seems most pertinent today, as "activist" groups like Moveon.org and demagogues like Michael Moore and angry men like Al Gore and George Soros rail so irrationally against both the president and the structures of daily American life, including the legally adjudicated Supreme Court decision that ultimately decided the 43rd presidency in advance of a tedious recount that would've yielded the same outcome.

... Either this November or in four years, George W. Bush is going to be turned out of office ...Someday, though, a populace provoked by the left's constant fire-breathing may look for a dragon slayer who won't go quite so easily.

I'm sure there are even more bizarre examples of this rhetorical strategy, but you may have to enter David Horowitz's airspace to find them.

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