Suboptimal rhetoric

In which America is less than entirely astonished to learn that Pajama Boy is a self-described gay-loving “liberal f—“ with no morals, a predilection for attacking others, and a superiority complex:

Ethan Krupp, the little man who played “Pajama Boy” in a widely mocked Obamacare ad, once characterized himself as a “liberal f—.”

Krupp, an Organizing for Action (OFA) content writer who became the face of progressive America while wearing a onesie pajama suit, also remarked that gays “are all liberal f—-” and criticized a “conservative gay prick” on his now-deleted WordPress blog, entitled “Not Being Creative.”

“I am a Liberal F—,” Krupp wrote in one post. “A Liberal F— is not a Democrat, but rather someone who combines political data and theory, extreme leftist views and sarcasm to win any argument while make the opponents feel terrible about themselves. I won every argument but one.”

Sure you did, Pajama Boy. Sure you did. Notice that his approach is entirely rhetorical. The reference to sarcasm and feelings make it clear that he’s not even remotely interested in proper dialectic per se. One hallmark of this sort of individual is that he always thinks he wins an argument because his combination of self-delusion and total lack of regard for objective truth means that he can easily self-define the result of ANY argument as a win.

I seem to recall someone else describing a similarly “successful” rhetorical approach to debate:

“The more I argued with them, the better I came to know their dialectic. First they counted on the stupidity of their adversary, and then, when there was no other way out, they themselves simply played stupid. If all this didn’t help, they pretended not to understand, or, if challenged, they changed the subject in a hurry, quoted platitudes which, if you accepted them, they immediately related to entirely different matters, and then, if again attacked, gave ground and pretended not to know exactly what you were talking about. Whenever you tried to attack one of these apostles, your hand closed on a jelly-like slime which divided up and poured through your fingers, but in the next moment collected again. But if you really struck one of these fellows so telling a blow that, observed by the audience, he couldn’t help but agree, and if you believed that this had taken you at least one step forward, your amazement was great the next day. The Jew had not the slightest recollection of the day before, he rattled off his same old nonsense as though nothing at all had happened, and, if indignantly challenged, affected amazement; he couldn’t remember a thing, except that he had proved the correctness of his assertions the previous day.

“Sometimes I stood there thunderstruck.

“I didn’t know what to be more amazed at: the agility of their tongues or their virtuosity at lying.

“Gradually I began to hate them.”

If the consequences of your self-declared victorious approach to intellectual disputation is to make formerly indifferent people hate and despise you, then perhaps it is time to consider an entirely different rhetorical approach.