Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Vouchers -- Let the Ad Hominem Arguments Begin

It started a few weeks ago, with a local article where SLC's NAACP chief Jeanetta Williams equated Utah's voucher program with segregationism. Today, Rob over at Utah Amicus took the ad hominem arguments another direction. In Rob's post today he posted a video of Friedman arguing for the legalization of drugs with the caption, "Does this mean PCE will start a group called, Parents for Choice in Drug Legalization?"

I had been hoping that these type arguments wouldn't become part of such an important debate. However, I guess I was naive in my hopes. The one bright spot in hearing these poorly crafted arguments coming from the anti-voucher corner is that ad hominem attacks have always (at least to me) been a sign of someone being on the losing end of an argument.

BTW, I agree with Jeremy who commented, "I bet they would if they watched this whole video. Friedman was exactly right in arguing against our wasteful "War on Drugs". We've incarcerated a higher percentage of our population than any other nation on earth because of our government's foolish and obsessive focus on our idiotic drug policy. If you are trying to marginalize Friedman you should choose a different video of him. He's absolutely right in this one." Point is -- marginalizing voucher advocates like Friedman with poorly crafted ad hominem attacks does nothing to meaningful contribute to the debate, it makes those using these type arguments, like the argument in Rob's post, look like dirty mud slinging politicians. I hope people see through this crap.

UPDATE: Judging from the tone of comments it appears that readers think I am beating up on Rob too much. Rob's post was being used as an example. There are poorly crafted ad hominem attacks from the pro-voucher side as well. (i.e. the ridculous assertions of a 4th "education" branch of government and the charges of legislating from the bench after the Utah Supreme Court gave the same people making the afore mentioned assertions the decision they requested (not what they wanted)) I hope this levels out the post so that fans of Rob can stop feeling jaded.

P.S. I apologize if this seemed like a personal attack on Rob. I hold Rob in the highest regard.


Rob said...

Thanks for giving me a bath.

pramahaphil said...

your welcome.

J-Man said...

So you accuse Rob of being a dirty mudslinging politician because he pointed out the hypocrisy of the conservative position based on their sexual infatuation with Friedman.

What I find ironic is that you are doing exactly what you're accusing Rob of doing.

Rob has been correct on vouchers from the beginning, and has obviously touched a nerve with you.

Take your self righteous bullsh$% and look in the mirror. You may not have liked Rob's post but if there is a dirty mudslinging politician on this blog its you.

Even I don't agree with everything Rob posts. His post on amnesty really pissed me off, but only because the dickhead was right!

When you reach the level of Rob's insight then maybe, just maybe, you can make such a judgement on one of the finest voices to arrive on Utah"s political blogosphere.

Until then wash out your mouth with lighter fluid, and then you can respectively blow it out your yoddle hole.

pramahaphil said...

kiss your mother with that mouth

pramahaphil said...

I'm sorry "j-man", I didn't realize that I was talking to such a eloquant orator like yourself.

a-I wasn't accusing Rob of mudslinging, I was pointing out that he was being careless in the tone of his arguments with the linked (click on the html link, the blue underlined words)post regarding Friedman and Drug Legalization.

b- Judging by your impassioned rant it sounds like you are the only one with a sexual infatuation.

c- Rob is wrong on a whole lot of issues, and vouchers just happens to be one of them.

d- I think I will be washing my screen off with soap after reading your comment.

Jeremy said...

As a friend and fan of Rob I want to point out that he definitely is not a mudslinging politician. Rob cares about this issue and so do I. Pro-voucher groups have often used Friedman's name in their arguments for Utah's voucher plan (even though I’m certain Friedman would definitely have had problems with this iteration of one of his earlier ideas) and I see nothing wrong with pointing out his supposed shortcomings in countering that. Obviously this line of reasoning doesn't work well on me but it is still a fair point to make.

I defend Friedman whenever and however I need to because I think he was right about nearly everything. :-)

pramahaphil said...

Thats cool, Jeremy.

I disagree. That line of reasoning clouds the actual issues of the debate, and weakens the position of those who take such lines of reasoning.

Point is, addressing the perceived benefits(or flaws)of the voucher plan, provides the clarity and facts on the issue that will actually help voters make informed decisions.

I care about the issue as well, I just see things differently.

The Senate Site said...

One of the most difficult tasks in the WORLD is to maintain a respectful, productive campaign discussion when your cause is as righteous as it is urgent, and the other side is completely misguided and kind of evil.

I know it's possible, though, to honestly appreciate the other side of a vehement campaign because I did once. A few years ago. For about 15 minutes.


Rob said...


Didn't you check to see that this blog only has a G rating? And how many times have I told you to put a Mr. in front of any derogatory names you call me.


I respect your opinions, but when it comes to vouchers, you are bassackwards (trying to keep your G rating).


Thanks for pointing out that vouchers supporters are evil.