Friday, June 23, 2006

The "guilt by association" charge...

The Pink Flamingo has come under fire by folks claiming that the only theme is "guilt by association" - and thus try to dismiss the concerns by claiming it is a logical fallacy. I reject that defense.

The company a person keeps says a lot about them - and a lot about their arguments. If the only folks willing to back a piece of legislation were the Mafia, would you really want that legislation to become law? I wouldn't.

I think that checking up on people or entities you associate with (particularly when promoting an issue or any sort of business/employment association) is just something a responsible person does. I'd want to know who I was getting involved with on that level - particularly to avoid being embarrassed by what would come out. In the Age of Google, this is very easy - in a matter of seconds, you can get the information. It's not that hard. There is really no excuse for not doing so, particularly when you are discussing a controversial issue.

Yet, for some reason, people like Tom Tancredo and Michelle Malkin are getting a pass for associations with shady people - people whose shady backgrounds are easily discovered with a little searching, as the Pink Flamingo blog has done. This is not right, and the fact that people do not try to explain this, but instead attack those of us who raise questions about what is an apparent lack of judgment, speaks volumes. Shooting the messenger is the last resort of a person who wishes to avoid dealing with inconvenient facts.

7 comments:

Robert said...

Harold, could you please send me an email at rbyers126@aol.com? I'd send you one, but don't see your address on the site. Thanks.

Ken Prescott said...

Robert,

If you can't say it in public, it isn't worth saying.

SJ Reidhead said...

Harold, once again, thanks for picking up on this. I've repeatedly said Tancredo is not a Nazi, facist, or even a whitesupremacist. I'm not even making that alligation against Malkin. BUT, what I am saying, and I am quoting my grandmother, "If you lie down with dogs, you get fleas".

Jim Gilchrist is another piece of work entirely. In the past decade he's been a member of the Dem, GOP, Constutition and Green Parties! Now I don't know about you but that's a little strange to me. He's also fudging on his numbers, that absolutely amazing cross-country minuteman fiasco, and some very strange associates. Barbara Coe, a close friend, is another piece of racist work.

My problem is this: Hannity, Rush, etc don't hesitate to castigate Robert Byrd over his past KKK connections. Why aren't they doing the same thing with the whole anti-immigration movement?

The problem are these incestuous relationships between most (and I want to stress most - but not all) of the anti-immigration organizations and many of William Greene's manipulations on the right. I don't know about you, but I don't like being used. And, quite frankly, the 'right' is being used. When anyone brings it up, we are castigated and told we aren't good Republicans. I'm sorry, but my GOP days go back to when I was a little kid wearing my "If I were 21 I'd vote for Barry" button, which I still have. When was there a litmus test to prove just who was 'Republican' and who wasn't?

If I weren't rushing to get a book to the publisher in a few weeks, I'd be putting much more on my blog. I'm in the process of starting research on a book about this whole immigration mess. Let's just say I have about 5000 pages of research and I do not like what I see.

SJ Reidhead
http://thepinkflamingo.blogharbor.com/blog

http://subwaycanaries.blogharbor.com/

Robert said...

I'd like to invite Harold to do a guest post for my blog explaining his side (or select one he's already done) of the immigration issue. I disagree with him, but he is both intelligent, well-spoken (written) and civil. I've done this several times with bloggers in the past on other issues, such as Harriet Miers. That's what the request for the email was intended to facilitate. And now I've said it in public...and would still like to fulfill the original idea.

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

Following your logic, "I wouldn't ever say that all Catholics are pedophiles, but if you lie down with dogs…"

When the immigration debate finally boiled to the surface over the last couple of years and I formed strong opinions on the issue, I was uncomfortably aware that some people that agreed with me were not the kind of people I wanted to be associated with (KKK, etc.). I struggled with it for a while, but ultimately came to the conclusion that I can't let the racists alter my principled opinion on the matter.

I believe that enforcing our immigration laws will be better for our country and ultimately better for those who wish to immigrate here. It ticks me off, but it's not my fault that warped people think enforcing our immigration laws will be a means to their ends.

Harold C. Hutchison said...

When the immigration debate finally boiled to the surface over the last couple of years and I formed strong opinions on the issue, I was uncomfortably aware that some people that agreed with me were not the kind of people I wanted to be associated with (KKK, etc.). I struggled with it for a while, but ultimately came to the conclusion that I can't let the racists alter my principled opinion on the matter.

OK, Gilbert, you have admitted that on the anti-iommigration side, there is a bigotry problem. What are you going to do about it? How are you going to make it clear that these creeps aren't welcome in the debate? Right now, Chris Cannon is the only one pointing out some of these shady connections - and Tancredo is trying to purge him for it.

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

Mr. Hutchinson,

Before I go any further, let me clarify a point that I have mistakently left unsaid. I am NOT anti-immigration. I am anti-illegal immigration. For those that wish to use the proper channels, I say, "Welcome to the U.S.A.!"

Secondly, while I think they exist, the number of racists that side with "enforcement first" is probably small and no greater than the number of racists that are on your side and want the Senate version passed (La Raza, etc.). So, in answer to your question about what I am going to do about the racists, I'll turn it back on you. What are you going to do to limit the free speech rights of La Raza and let them know they are not welcome on your side of the debate?

I suspect that there's not much either of us can do. But my lack of being able to purge the crazies from my side of the debate is not going to change my principled opinion on the matter and silence my small voice.