Sunday, December 05, 2010

And you mean what exactly?

"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that. [Emphasis added.] ” Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, 1964.

With no disrespect to the late Justice Stewart, "I know it when I see it" is a pretty weak argument. Recent economic comments from both liberals and conservatives are on this same pseudo-intellectual level. Liberals constantly blast tax cuts for the "rich." What income level makes one "rich" is never defined. I eagerly await for a numerical threshold where one becomes rich. Of course, since living costs are not equal across the country, there may have to be thousands of income levels, varying from county to county.

But let's not be tendentious--conservatives are equally guilty of vagueness to in this argument. I constantly hear "socialism" and "Marxism" invoked to describe Democratic politicians. I eagerly await a definition of these terms, but suspect there isn't going to be one. It's much easier to simply resort to labels than to make a coherent argument.

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