Thursday, September 20, 2007

Know Better

[posted by Callimachus]

Captain Ed, who usually knows better, falls into a Manichaean fallacy:

The Senate passed the Jon Cornyn amendment condemning the ad that called General David Petraeus a liar and potential traitor, 72-25. All 25 Senators who voted in support of these smears against an American military commander that they unanimously promoted to four stars came from the Democratic Party. It includes two declared presidential candidates and the top leadership of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

No, and as someone on the right side of the political aisle, he ought to know that. To vote against a negative resolution is not automatically to support the thing being condemned. There are all manner of good reasons -- sound conservative reasons, even -- to vote against such a resolution, including the one that it ought not to be the job of Congress to condemn advertisements or public political speech.

It's the same bad logic that says a vote for tax cuts is a war against poor people, or a vote against a gay-marriage bill is homophobia.

This, after all, is a Congress that couldn't be bothered to vote on a declaration of war -- one of the things it is supposed to do.