Friday, September 03, 2004

Anal Humor

Keith Burgess-Jackson, the Anal Philosopher, a "trained" philosopher who is fond of claiming that his training has led him to notice bias in the arguments of others, and avoid it in his own, shows us once again how ironic this claim is. In a post titled "political notes," Burgess-Jackson offers us the following "unbiased" portrait of John Kerry:

• If you question my account of what happened in Vietnam, you’re questioning my patriotism.

• If you question my senatorial votes on national defense, you’re questioning my patriotism.

• If you question the propriety or legitimacy of my wartime medals, you’re questioning my patriotism.

• If you question my behavior as an antiwar protester, you’re questioning my patriotism.

• If you question my judgment, my resolve, my character, or my principles, you’re questioning my patriotism.

No bias there! Nevermind that he doesn't offer any quotes to show that Kerry has actually said anything of the sort (we're left to assume that this is Burgess-Jackson's own psychoanalytic exegesis of some unknown statements of Kerry's), and that just a few days ago, he himself questioned the patriotism of Democrats. As a "trained" philosopher, we can be certain that Burgess-Jackson is displaying no bias. Not even in what follows this portrait.

You see, after painting the picture, Jackson shows that he's not biased, he's just ignorant of the facts. For instance, he claims that Kerry has not released his military records, despite the presence of said records on John Kerry's campaign homepage. He then laments that Kerry has not explained his senatorial votes. Perhaps Burgess-Jackson doesn't follow politics very closely. If he did, he would understand that it's difficult for any member of either house to explain votes outside of their legislative context. However, Kerry and his supporters have spent a great deal of time explaining many of the votes that conservatives have called into question, as well as showing how many of the conservative presentations of those votes have been inaccurate (or downright dishonest). Like I said, maybe Burgess-Jackson isn't biased, he's just not very well informed.

After those two displays of ignorance, we get repetitions of the claims of the Swift Boat Vets for Prevarication and Hyperbole about Kerry's medals. One could chalk this up to ignorance as well, as Kerry and his supporters have spent a great deal of time debunking the claims of the Swift Boat Vets, but support for their misrepresentations smells a little bit more like bias than the previous silliness.

Finally, Burgess-Jackson wonders why Kerry hasn't defended "his behavior as an antiwar protester." Well, he has! He still thinks he did the right thing, and given public opinion about the Vietnam War during the time, I find it hard to blame him. It was an unjust war with tragic consequences for the 58,000 soldiers who died there, the Vietnamese people in both the north and the south, and the people in the surrounding countries (especially Cambodia) who suffered in the power-vacuums that the United States left for them. Kerry fought in Vietnam, and therefore had firsthand experience of the horrors of that war. I, for one, am glad that he protested it. If he had supported the war, I would question his intelligence and his sanity.

So, there we have it, an unbiased look at John Kerry from an unbiased philosopher. It's not a very knowledegable presentation, but it's unbiased! If there was any doubt that Burgess-Jackson is was unbiased, one need only read the ending of the post:

John Edwards is a pretty boy. Dick Cheney is a man. Which person do you want to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

Perfectly unbiased!

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