My rebuttal to author/television producer David Simon’s peculiar rant trashing conservatives, constitutional constructionalism, and the film 12 Years A Slave resulted in an even more peculiar exchange on his blog. Normally, I’d dismiss blog exchanges as petty, but I realized this was a case study for conservatives in how to deal with a liberal bully.
Here at Breitbart News, we spend a lot of time focusing on the liberal bully, so accurately captured in Ben Shapiro’s recent publication. To paraphrase Mr. Shapiro, the liberal’s tactic is to, “Bully the living hell out of conservatives–to shut them up. Then pretend that such bullying is justified…Hidden beneath the left’s supposed hatred of bullying lies a passionate love of its vulgar tactics.”
Watch as Mr. Shapiro’s words literally take shape before your eyes.
Here is Simon’s original post.
Here is my rebuttal, which I posted on his blog. Lesson: Always take the fight to them.
From the ideological name-calling…to the circular-argument fallacy and fundamentalism …to the ridiculous … You aren’t arguing with me or the actual content of my essay, but with a straw man of your own limited construction. I would recommend that you bring this stuff to the comments at the Fox News site, or maybe Brietbart (sic). Oh, wait. You have. Well done, then. Your water has reached its natural level.
My argument was clear: Simon’s ideological bias drives him to infer that the application of “original intent” Constitutional interpretation makes one a racist, and that since Conservatives and Libertarians support such interpretations, that they are racists. Simon denies his bias, pretends to be non-partisan, then outs himself by slamming Fox and Breitbart.
LESSON: Don’t take their insults, and make them live up to their own rules. Now, I attempted to clarify my argument in two other posts. It became apparent to me that Simon, like most Liberals, doesn’t actually understand what “original intent’ or Constructionalist interpretation mean.
You’ve shifted from “original intent” to the umbrella of Constructionalism [in another post]. In point of fact, there are numerous differences among Constructionalism, originalism, and textualism. Which do you mean? [Regardless], your argument still lacks merit factually and logically. Factually, the Constitution would not have been ratified without the Southern states. You leap to the conclusion that because of this political compromise, Constructionalist interpretation of the entire document is morally substandard. So again, I ask, when you say “Constructionalism” in regards to Constitutional interpretation, how do you parse what portions are bereft of moral standing and which aren’t, since some–but not all–of the Founders were slaveowners?
Furthermore, even the strictest form of Constructionalism refers to emphasizing judicial restraint and fidelity to the original meaning OF THE TEXT. Your argument STILL makes no sense–that the text, having allegedly been borne of slaveholders, must not be interpreted in that manner. How is interpreting a clause according to original intent immoral, just because SOME of the Founders were slaveholders?
If we are not to narrowly interpret [the Constitution], you therefore infer that original intent is invalid, so the opposite may be valid–namely, that it is a living, breathing documents subject to the whims of the judiciary and their corresponding ideological positioning. I trust you were unhappy with the Bush v Gore decision? Do we really want justices acting on emotion, or what the original text intended?”
But Simon refused to post these substantive arguments. Why? Read on.
I don’t wish to have you writing long missives to little effect. Characterization and personalization of all participants, not merely myself, here is frowned upon, and those who can’t raise their game…without apology, are consigned to the kill file. [Apology] namely by asking me to take down the link to your Brietbart [sic] screed and posting the same arguments. But this is not Brietbart [sic]. Or the comments section to Fox News or MSNBC or any other ideological jerk-fest…You have ventured into a small domain of the internet where civility and substance are given great sway.
So here we see Simon’s arrogance. After denying that he engaged in attacks on Conservatives and Libertarians, and that “characterization of all participants is frowned up,” he expects me to apologize and ask him to remove the link to my article. You know, to uphold the “civil standards” of discourse, like “picking up a brick and walking toward that courthouse in Sanford.”
LESSON: NEVER apologize for holding your ground. Instead, I attempted to engage him in honest discussion by sending in two not-so-lengthy missives directly challenging his arguments.
Which he refused to post.
Why did Simon censor the post? To get me to shut up, and because I dismantled his argument and he had no response. Now comes to the tricky part, proving his hypocrisy. LESSON: Make them live up to their own rules.
I challenged his claim of civility to another commenter to see if he would respond to the pettier issue, revealing him to be a hypocrite for not responding the substantive issue he so sanctimoniously claimed to elevate. You can guess the outcome:
Upon being asked to leave the country by a fellow citizen, I am certainly entitled to be equally blunt….Flag-waving, unconditional jingoism and political self-righteousness needs a burr in its ass at all points. I have said so, civilly, and in precise proportion to the offensive nature of the original query. Tellingly, Brendan, who took up the mantle of the original query, has indeed rethought his position and apologized for even attempting to defend that query. You on the other hand, have seized upon the same weak-ass argument, mistaking it as an opportunity to roll once more in the rhetorical gutter. “
Yes, Brendan apologized to his Better. Now I reveal Simon’s hypocrisy. LESSON: Always call them out. Always.
“Actually, David, what I did was to send you TWO messages addressing the substance of your article, as you requested. What you did, fine defender of dissent that you are, was to censor them…yet not censor my other substantive comment. So I offer them again to you, if you so wish to post them, and elevate YOUR game, by responding.”
And that brings us to the exciting conclusion–906 glorious words that speak for themselves. But I won’t waste another line on Simon. You can go to his blog and read it yourself.
LESSON: Let them hang themselves in public and get your screenshots.