How To Be Right: The Art of Being Persuasively Correct (2015)

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FILL-INS FOR LIBERALS

The “if it were Bush” argument already seems horribly tired, this is true—but that’s because it suffers from no rebuttal. That point exists precisely because it cannot be refuted. So you can keep using it over and over, because it’s correct. The only problem now is, what was once timely and incisive has become very boring.

Even when I use this argument, I get sick of hearing my own voice (you can imagine how my wife feels). “Yes, but if this had happened under Bush, you’d be screaming for impeachment.” If I had a buck for every time I’ve said that, I’d have enough to buy a used Jetta (a 2011 with minimal bloodstains goes for a little over ten grand), which means I’ve said that a whole lot.

But before we address its overuse, let’s admit that it’s real. President Obama has gotten away with more shit than a Bronx sewer main—simply because the media is willing to overlook his minor foibles and his major incompetence. He’s their favorite child—he never gets grounded, receiving only gratitude for just being himself. And as with any favored child, it has spoiled him.

WHERE YOU SEE OBAMA, BLAME BUSH!

(A Tip Sheet for the Establishment Media)

•The IRS targets and investigates political groups it feels are critical of President Obama.
Blame: Bush for creating an atmosphere in which such cavalier intolerance can occur. The IRS is still recovering from that reckless era.

•The Secret Service scandal erupts under Obama.
Blame: the previous president’s frat-boy persona, which allowed this sleaziness to fester.

•A high-level flack under Obama called a world leader “chickenshit.”
Blame: Bush for encouraging that Texas-style slang during his eight-year reign. Seriously, you don’t pick up that kind of talk at Columbia.

•Under Obama, economic inequality got worse, as the stock market surged past 18,000 (as I write this). The rich got richer. Sorry, not just the rich…the really rich.
Blame: President Bush—as a proponent of the evil web that is capitalism and which President Obama has only begun to untangle. We realize that this transformation to a more compassionate model of redistribution could take decades. We may need to elect Michelle, then Chelsea.

The media only does their job when there is someone in office who doesn’t mirror their progressive assumptions. So even though this cranky complaint appears repetitive, it’s only because they want you to feel that way. They want you to stop pointing out this fundamental truth because, in their hearts, they know you are right—and they are hypocrites.

The solution is to present their hypocrisy creatively. It’s not enough to say, “What if it were Bush?” The real question is, “Why is it okay now…and not then?” And leave personalities, that is, the presidents, out of it.

That forces them to reveal the weakness in their beliefs. They cannot face the reality that the Chosen One is really a teacher’s pet with a fan club. That the person they had been waiting for actually showed up, and walked all over them—in golf cleats, no less. (Which actually feels pretty good, I’m told.)