Saturday, February 21, 2015

Today In Lawyering:
The Never-Ending Evasion

It just won't stop; sometimes it's so absurd I feel like sharing.

The headline alone is excellent evidence these buffoons really are so extreme they're beyond even self-parody; like everything from Hinderaker, Esq., I've ever stumbled across the first sentence makes me wonder just what the hell kind of a lawyer he is, & how he could possibly be good at any kind of lawyering. Because the subject suddenly of "intense interest to America's reporters" is "How/why is Rudy Giuliani such a colossal jerk? Was he raised by a hoodlum or something?" not "Is Obummer a Christian?" (Doesn't one need to understand what one has read in order to practice law?)


Suddenly, President Obama’s religious beliefs are a subject of intense interest to America’s reporters. This is a marked contrast with 2008, when Obama’s religion (“God damn America!”) was considered off limits by reporters and editors. It is odd, though: one politician who won’t be asked about Obama’s religion is the only one who plausibly could answer the question, Obama himself.
It’s not just Obama’s religious beliefs, either. Ever since Rudy Giuliani ignited a firestorm by observing that Obama doesn’t seem to love America, the president’s patriotism and Communist associations, along with his religion, have been front and center. This morning, the Washington Post buttonholed Scott Walker to ask whether he thinks Obama is a Christian:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott K. Walker, a prospective Republican presidential contender, said Saturday he does not know whether President Obama is a Christian.
“I don’t know,” Walker said in an interview at the JW Marriott hotel in Washington, where he was attending the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.
Told that Obama has frequently spoken publicly about his Christian faith, Walker maintained that he was not aware of the president’s religion.
“I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that,” Walker said, his voice calm and firm. “I’ve never asked him that,” he added. “You’ve asked me to make statements about people that I haven’t had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian?”
That’s not a bad answer, but Republicans need to push back more strongly against Democratic Party reporters. I would suggest something like:
Dan, that is a very stupid question. And not just stupid, but inappropriate. I have never met Barack Obama. How could I possibly comment on his religious views? It would be totally inappropriate for me to do so. Why would you ask me a question like that? If President Obama’s religion is of concern to you for some reason, I suggest you ask him about it. It is not of concern to me. Now, does someone else have a more relevant question?
Republican candidates should be prepared with similar answers on irrelevant topics like evolution (which was sprung on Walker when he was in England) as well as global warming, a more pertinent issue. On global warming, Republican candidates should be prepared to say things like:
Given that the IPCC cut its prediction of future warming in half at the end of 2013, the science obviously is not settled.
Am I a climate change denier? I don’t know what you mean by that. The Earth’s climate has been changing for millions of years, and it will continue changing as long as the Earth exists. I don’t know of anyone who denies that the climate changes. It always has, and always will. You do understand that we are living in a brief warm period between ice ages, don’t you?
Everything you just said is based on computer models that have deliberately been created in such a way as to predict warming. But we know for a fact that those models are wrong, because they predicted significant warming between 1998 and 2014, and atmospheric measurements show that the forecasted warming hasn’t happened. So the models are useless.
I am not sure why you are asking me about extreme weather events. You do understand that there have been a below average number of such events in recent years, don’t you?
On evolution:
Evolution is a tremendously interesting subject. There are multiple theories of evolution, but none of them has been able to command a scientific consensus because they all have problems. It would be a full-time job to keep track of all of the scientific literature on evolution, and since I have been busy as Governor of Wisconsin [or whatever], I haven’t had time to do that. There are a lot of scientists who could give you better answers to such questions than I can, if you are really interested in the subject. Which I doubt.
On “science”:
You just used the word “science,” but I don’t think you know what it means. Science is a method, not a body of dogma. “Science” doesn’t take positions on issues of public policy. So if there is a particular set of data that you want to ask me about, you need to be more specific.
In general, Republicans need to push back aggressively against the many ambushes that will be sprung by Democratic Party reporters. They need to foresee the topics that will be raised, and be prepared with answers that, where possible, make the story about the reporter and his or her bias. Republicans have this going for them: Americans hate the news media, because they correctly see it as biased, corrupt and lazy. So Republicans shouldn’t be afraid to fight back aggressively.
Parody? No one can say.

Nonetheless, he may be a better lawyer than I gave him credit for: Note the weaseling in the proposed evolution answer, sort of not really denying evolution, or even mentioning creationism, but a vague sop to different theories ("Teach the controversy!") of evolution. This is fun too: "It would be a full-time job to keep track of all of the scientific literature on evolution." Really? Someone's in for a surprise when they discover what you can keep track of on this new-fangled iNternetWorldWideWeb dealie.

And the concluding paragraph. Is "Don't answer anything potentially embarrassing; immediately scream bias & make it about/insult the reporter" best practice for dealing w/ the press? It's as if he knows there are no answers acceptable to both the primary voters who do "hate the news media" (not all Americans, just those lost in the loon bubble) & to, for lack of a better term, normal people, many of whom wish the media was better w/o actively "hating" it & most of whom just don't care.

Still, G.O.Presidential wanna-bes, better to be thought a weaselly jerk than to announce/admit actual beliefs & policies & thereby commit political suicide anywhere but in the reddest zones; do follow your mouthpiece's advice & fight back. Aggressively!

1 comment:

BadTux said...

I might point out that by Erikkson's definition, Catholics are not Christians.

Somebody call the Pope, already, and let him know. I'm sure he'll be surprised!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin