Gee, Mr. Wehner—I thought I WAS sentient

My last mention of Peter Wehner in these pages, while somewhat critical, was made with genuine respect.

I thought he’d been more fair than most of Ted Cruz’s critics as he tried to fathom the concerns of Tea Party conservatives.

While the post by Mr. Wehner I was commenting on didn’t directly address Cruz, it did talk at some length about the people to whom Cruz is a hero.

All in all, though I wasn’t completely taken with it, I thought the piece was unusual in its civilized tone and by the effort I saw in it to at least understand people Mr. Wehner was finding himself in vehement disagreement with.

And then today…

I came across a post by Wehner in which he said this (emphasis mine):

Now why oh why would Senator Cruz want to stop talking about the government shutdown? After all, before it occurred he insisted it wouldn’t be such a bad thing–and since it’s occurred he’s claimed it was a wonderful success. “I think we accomplished a great deal,” according to Cruz.

Of course it did.

Don’t forget that during the lead-up to the shutdown Mr. Cruz insisted that those who didn’t agree with his tactics were part of the “surrender caucus” and he and his colleagues argued that if you didn’t follow their tactic, you were a de facto supporter of ObamaCare.

Of course it’s clear to every sentient human being that the Cruz & Co. gambit badly backfired. It achieved nothing useful. It deflected attention away from the awful rollout of the ObamaCare website. And it damaged the reputation of the GOP. The public, in overwhelming numbers, didn’t like the government shutdown–and by overwhelming numbers voters blamed Republicans for it.


Shall we count the fallacies in that one phrase, Of course it’s clear to every sentient human?

  • Argumentum ad populum—Appeal to the masses. Why can’t you get with the program?
  • No True Scotsman—Narrowing the category to include only people who agree with me. You don’t think it badly backfired so you can’t possibly be sentient.
  • Ad hominem—You’re not sentient. What do you know?

Congratulations, Peter, you hit the fallacy trifecta!

What kind of junior high hatefulness leads someone with your communication skillset and resume to unload this steaming pile of hooey, Mr. Wehner?

Cross-posted from Thinking Out Loud