Friday, September 30, 2005

not in defense of Bill Bennett

Brad Delong defends Bill Bennett with faint praise:
Bennett is attempting a reductio ad absurdum argument...Never attempt a reductio ad absurdum argument on talk radio. You can't keep exact control over your phrasing in real time, and so somebody is bound to think you are endorsing the horrible absurdity that you are rejecting.
The problem with what Bennett said isn't that he suggested aborting all African-American babies, or that he didn't state strongly enough that doing so would be reprehensible, but that he made the implicit claim that African-Americans are inherently criminal. The problem isn't that he thinks that genocide is an acceptable solution, but that he thinks it's a solution at all.

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