Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rush Debating Obama?

So Rush has challenged Obama to a debate. Interesting. Of course, the likelihood of Obama accepting approaches zero (something everyone, including Rush, knew already), but it's an amusing thought nonetheless. It is also patently ridiculous.

Let's turn this around so political biases won't impede the perception of just how silly this is. Let's take someone on the left, who's deeply partisan, not averse to bending facts to fit his views, with a big mouth, millions of fans, and just for shits and grins, has a weight problem: Michael Moore. Now imagine Michael Moore challenging President George Bush to a debate. Should Bush have accepted? Of course not! He's the President of the United States for crying out loud! Time is not something he has in abundance, and the precedent would be unwieldy to say the least. Are we going to expect every president to accept every debate challenge from famous people, even ones he may mention in political discourse? The idea is ridiculous. Whether the person challenging the president has views with merit or not is completely beside the point.

I think this guy nailed it as to Rush's motives, and the reasons the challenge falls flat. He had his chance to do this for a long time (an interminably long time) during the election. Obama met with Rick Warren after all, he might have met Rush as well: as candidate Obama. But President Obama has better things to do.

What I find amusing is remembering how Rush acted when the Republicans took over congress in 1994 with Bill Clinton as president. Rush went through Clinton's speech at the time, line by line, responding to Clinton's remarks about working with the new GOP congress. Rush kept reminding Clinton, literally jumping up and down with glee (this was on his TV show, which I used to watch, ahem, religiously) that he had just been voted out of relevancy, and the congress didn't need to work with him. The voters had spoken, and they wanted Republicans.

I think that was a good argument then, and it's a good argument now. You had your chance to debate on the battlefield of politics Rush: that's during the elections. You either didn't think of it, or decided against it, but for whatever reason, that's that. Obama is president now, the voters soundly rejected your political position. While you can and should continue to argue that position, you have no business expecting the winner of the game to prove he can score a goal against you.

Finally, what is with this trend with modern conservatives and always wanting to fight their fights on the wrong battlefield? Rush's challenge is not unlike the challenges to debates creationists are always levying at scientists. They avoid the scientific battlefield of the peer-reviewed literature, writing popular books instead. They complain about court decisions that go against them, but don't appeal. They also whine (just as McCain's supporters have) that the reason they lost was because the game was rigged against them. All suggest minds not at all open to the idea that they might be wrong. Thus we get the "I want Obama to fail because I want America to succeed" argument, as if that is the only possible outcome. Such is a dangerous mindset in challenging, changing times. Closed-mindedness is not something we can afford.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is my first time to enter any comment on anything on internet.

First, I have read both sides and when I read your comments, I respectfully state that it's embarrassingly obvious you've not read both sides. This is often true of both sides but for someone as intelligent as you and others are who think as you do, I'm sad for your input to others.

I dare you to read 14 to 18 books on creationism by seasoned authors who present logic and TRUTH, yes, truth!

ScienceAvenger said...

Well, I have read what creationists have written extensively, so there is obviously a flaw somewhere in your reasoning. Sometimes it seems like a waste of time, since they basically repeat the same old arguments over and over again (like assuming anyone who rejects their BS hasn't read them), but I think its important to know thy enemy.

But by all means enlighten me. What evidence do you have that I haven't read creationist writings? Is there some argument of theirs that has gone unaddressed here? Hit me with some of this truth!

Troublesome Frog said...

I think that PZ Myers has it right: If the pile of great evidence is so big, what is the single best piece of evidence that supports the creationists' case? No need to bury anybody with piles of nonsense. Just one really good piece of evidence to start.

ScienceAvenger said...

Yes Frog, that also leads into a good strategy when debating creationists, to keep them on one and only one topic. Otherwise every time you are on the verge of disproving their argument theyll just Gish Gallop to something else.

Doppelganger said...

AH, open-mindedness....

A particularly annoying worm-like YEC of the "I used to be an atheist evolutionist until I did research" type (who then goes on to wonder why Darwin did not explain abiogenesis) loves linkinng to and quoting from David Coppedge's "creationsafaris.com" website on the CARM forum.
Several of Coppedge's essays have been taken to task and exposed as containing nonsense, disinformation, laughable misinterpretations, and either monumental ignorance or outright deception (Coppedge, a 'computer geek' at NASA, described heuristic searches as 'pure guesswork').

The most recent time this was done, he declarded that he would keep posting links and quotes form the site, in case sommeone with a more 'open mind' might want to read them...

ScienceAvenger said...

Doppelganger,

As you reveal, most people promoting an alternative science viewpoint define "openmindedness" as "giving my idle musings the same or better weight than actual research". They really don't understand the scientific process at all.