“My God. I had to stop today and do a spit take, along with a Jon Stewart-style ‘Whuuuuuuaah?!?’ while rubbing my eyes when I read this in your remarks on the Bennett kerfuffle:

I too was sent dozens of emails calling Bennett out on his alleged racism. But it seemed unfair to me, given the full context of his remarks which are empirically hard to refute and whose immorality he went at length to emphasize.

Count this as a dozen and one. Empirically hard to refute?!? This is like saying it’s empirically hard to refute that if we simply exterminated all homosexuals, it would put a real dent in the HIV-AIDS rate, or that nuking all of Mexico would really cut down the illegal immigration problem. Technically those statements are “true,” yet simply making them betrays one as a moral monster, even when you then uncomfortably clear your throat a few moments later and claim that you were just playing devil’s advocate or whatever. I find this far worse than anything Trent Lott ever said. DeLong is being too even-handed by half, but I don’t even know how to respond to your observation that Bennett really wasn’t all that wrong. Sometimes, like with the Abu Ghraib issue, or gay priests in the Church, your moral compass is finely tuned with justice, but then I guess you have something for breakfast on occassion that just sends the needle spinning. You’ve completely lost it on this one.”

I’m sorry, but when you look at the full context of the remarks – specifically responding to a caller’s assertion that abortions in the past meant lost revenue for social security in the future, Bennett’s entire point was to oppose such idiotic generalizations and he used the “black babies” point as a way to reinforce that point. I stand by my moral sense here. This is simply a lesson in not using hyperbole or arguments designed as reductio ad absurdum when your comments can be wrenched out of context. And again: I’m no fan of Bennett. He has wrenched things I have written out of context for his own purposes. What he said was ill-advised, poorly phrased but not evil.


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