Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Maureen Dowd and the Argumentum ad Hominem

Here’s the New York Times columnist, brimming with class and wisdom:

Cheney, who had five deferments himself to get out of going to Vietnam, would rather follow a blowhard entertainer who has had three divorces and a drug problem (who also avoided Vietnam) than a four-star general who spent his life serving his country.

For a refresher on the respect Maureen Dowd affords four-star generals, check out her “Peaches Tightens the Girdle” column from September 12, 2007:

It’s obvious that the Surge is like those girdles the secretaries wear on the vintage advertising show, “Mad Men.”

It just pushes the fat around, giving a momentary illusion of flatness. But once Peaches Petraeus, as he was known growing up in Cornwall-on-Hudson, takes the girdle off, the center will not hold.

I guess when you predicate every argument on name-calling, it’s bound to catch up with you.

Of course, for Dowd’s schoolyard analysis of Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, and Colin Powell to mean anything, we’d all have to either agree with every general over every divorced entertainer or the other way around. If this is the tone of argumentation in the New York Times, why oh why was anyone taken aback at the personal invective issued by a stand-up comic a few nights ago?


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.