The Next Alan Colmes

Josh Patashnik erroneously claimed that Matt Yglesias and Scott Lemieux dismissed “the need for expanded surveillance powers” in their criticism of Benjamin Wittes’ latest paean to spinelessness. In fact, they had criticized the bill that Congress passed, which provides for expanded wiretapping powers, without any oversight.

Patashnik then responded to criticism by erroneously claiming that “because Congress waited so long to take up the issue, the choice Democratic leaders on the Hill ended up facing was between passing the Bush bill or risk leaving town without fixing FISA at all, leaving the intelligence community out to dry.” That is quite an ignorant claim, given the well-established fact that the administration failed to negotiate in good faith, and the fact that Democrats could, instead, have passed a non-crappy bill.

The argument he wraps up with, though, is the real prizewinner.

Patashnik admonishes his critics, on the basis of the false dichotomy described above, that “some equivocation and hand-wringing is in order before one condemns Democrats in Congress for doing what they did.”

That’s the main point of his post. The position that he’s advocating. On the basis of a bunch of distortions and misunderstandings.

“Equivocation and hand-wringing.”

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One Response to “The Next Alan Colmes”

  1. wilberforce snodgrass Says:

    Hand-wringing can be noble sometimes, especially if you don’t know anything about the topic at hand.

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