A Toast to the Party-of-No

The marking of political anniversaries is under way. The inauguration anniversary has passed. So has the stimulus "it doesn't mean what you think it means" anniversary. Friday was the anniversary of Rick Santelli's "Rant of the Year." A contemporary to these anniversaries is the Party-of-No anniversary. Since the Party-of-No remains in the political lexicon, perhaps this anniversary should not go unnoticed.

On February 24, 2009, a "political analyst" named Andy Ostroy provided his thoughts in an article entitled The Party of "No", identified in his mind as the Republican Party. The depth of his insight is as follows:

  • The GOP goal is to "bring down Obama and win back the House and Senate." However, Ostroy failed to consider possible alternative goals. Here is an alternative GOP goal; to buttress freedom and restore prosperity to the citizenry. An analysis that fails to consider alternative hypothesis is limited to swimming in the shallow end of the pool.
  • Ostroy labeled Republicans as boneheaded, pissed off, defiant, spoiled, petulant, clownish, delusional, and whiny, like 4-year olds. Ostroy's analysis plumbs the depths of his name-calling skills.
  • Reference to a McCain comment is made, but less to analyze McCain's trivial comment than to tar all Republicans with a "McNasty" brush. Ostroy's analysis demonstrates pettiness, and the hasty generalization fallacy.
  • Ostroy told his readers that "Republicans fail to grasp" that "Obama's plan" [the stimulus bill] "must succeed", "it has to succeed", and "simply cannot fail, period." For the reader who wondered why Obama's plan must succeed, Ostroy was quick to provide his answer; because if it fails, "we're all gonna be bankrupt and on breadlines." After a year of Obama's stimulus, a re-evaluation of Ostroy's analysis is in order.
  • a) According to Ostroy, a consequence of failure is a reason for assured success. This is an example of the fallacy of post hoc, or false cause, reasoning.
  • b) Re-casting Ostroy's analysis, imagine a hiring manager for a crane company. He has a job opening for a crane operator. Imagine that Ostroy applies for the job. The manager inquires of Ostroy, "Why should I hire you?" Ostroy replies, "Because, if I don't get this job, I will go bankrupt." However, wishful thinking is a poor substitute for crane operator certification and experience. Would anyone fault the hiring manager to exercise his Party-of-No judgment?
  • c) Ostroy argues that Obama's plan fails if "all" of us are bankrupt and in breadlines (the sweeping generalization fallacy). However, again avoiding the deep end of the pool, Ostroy fails to consider the following two alternative failure criteria:

i.    Some percentage of Americans cannot get employment, say 9.7% after the first year, a number higher than Obama's advertised number if his plan did not get signed into law right away.

ii.   The average duration of unemployment fails to drop back below 4 months after the first year, from its current value of more than 6 months, and climbing.

Ostroy claimed the stimulus bill vote was "pure partisan politics at its worst" since, a) only three [one-person's-moderate-is-another-person's-RINO] Republican senators voted in favor, and b) all House Republicans voted no.

That was then. It is a year later, and this is now. On major issues (health care, cap and trade, civilian trials for terrorists, special elections), bipartisanship has taken form. Blue Dog Democrats in congress are voting with the Party-of-No. Democrat (and Independent) voters have voted with the Party-of-No in special elections. In addition, over the past year, voters from both Parties have been joining another bipartisan movement. They call themselves the Tea Party, and consider the Party-of-No to be their natural home. Perhaps the past year has spawned a new bipartisan politics at its best.

Ostroy closed saying the GOP is;

drunk on it's own Kool-aid. Poison Kool-aid. The kind that kills political parties for good...

Maybe there are two pitchers of Kool-Aid in the room, one blue one red. The blue Kool-Aid induces sleep. The red Kool-Aid has the opposite effect. Regarding who is drinking from which pitcher, it appears Ostroy may have been a little confused. Considering his shallow analytic skills and talent for spouting nonsense this would not be surprising.

Here is a toast to the Party-of-No.

Happy Anniversary. Principles matter, including a commitment to truth and reason. May you evermore reject nonsense in compromise.

Cheers.
The marking of political anniversaries is under way. The inauguration anniversary has passed. So has the stimulus "it doesn't mean what you think it means" anniversary. Friday was the anniversary of Rick Santelli's "Rant of the Year." A contemporary to these anniversaries is the Party-of-No anniversary. Since the Party-of-No remains in the political lexicon, perhaps this anniversary should not go unnoticed.

On February 24, 2009, a "political analyst" named Andy Ostroy provided his thoughts in an article entitled The Party of "No", identified in his mind as the Republican Party. The depth of his insight is as follows:

  • The GOP goal is to "bring down Obama and win back the House and Senate." However, Ostroy failed to consider possible alternative goals. Here is an alternative GOP goal; to buttress freedom and restore prosperity to the citizenry. An analysis that fails to consider alternative hypothesis is limited to swimming in the shallow end of the pool.
  • Ostroy labeled Republicans as boneheaded, pissed off, defiant, spoiled, petulant, clownish, delusional, and whiny, like 4-year olds. Ostroy's analysis plumbs the depths of his name-calling skills.
  • Reference to a McCain comment is made, but less to analyze McCain's trivial comment than to tar all Republicans with a "McNasty" brush. Ostroy's analysis demonstrates pettiness, and the hasty generalization fallacy.
  • Ostroy told his readers that "Republicans fail to grasp" that "Obama's plan" [the stimulus bill] "must succeed", "it has to succeed", and "simply cannot fail, period." For the reader who wondered why Obama's plan must succeed, Ostroy was quick to provide his answer; because if it fails, "we're all gonna be bankrupt and on breadlines." After a year of Obama's stimulus, a re-evaluation of Ostroy's analysis is in order.
  • a) According to Ostroy, a consequence of failure is a reason for assured success. This is an example of the fallacy of post hoc, or false cause, reasoning.
  • b) Re-casting Ostroy's analysis, imagine a hiring manager for a crane company. He has a job opening for a crane operator. Imagine that Ostroy applies for the job. The manager inquires of Ostroy, "Why should I hire you?" Ostroy replies, "Because, if I don't get this job, I will go bankrupt." However, wishful thinking is a poor substitute for crane operator certification and experience. Would anyone fault the hiring manager to exercise his Party-of-No judgment?
  • c) Ostroy argues that Obama's plan fails if "all" of us are bankrupt and in breadlines (the sweeping generalization fallacy). However, again avoiding the deep end of the pool, Ostroy fails to consider the following two alternative failure criteria:

i.    Some percentage of Americans cannot get employment, say 9.7% after the first year, a number higher than Obama's advertised number if his plan did not get signed into law right away.

ii.   The average duration of unemployment fails to drop back below 4 months after the first year, from its current value of more than 6 months, and climbing.

Ostroy claimed the stimulus bill vote was "pure partisan politics at its worst" since, a) only three [one-person's-moderate-is-another-person's-RINO] Republican senators voted in favor, and b) all House Republicans voted no.

That was then. It is a year later, and this is now. On major issues (health care, cap and trade, civilian trials for terrorists, special elections), bipartisanship has taken form. Blue Dog Democrats in congress are voting with the Party-of-No. Democrat (and Independent) voters have voted with the Party-of-No in special elections. In addition, over the past year, voters from both Parties have been joining another bipartisan movement. They call themselves the Tea Party, and consider the Party-of-No to be their natural home. Perhaps the past year has spawned a new bipartisan politics at its best.

Ostroy closed saying the GOP is;

drunk on it's own Kool-aid. Poison Kool-aid. The kind that kills political parties for good...

Maybe there are two pitchers of Kool-Aid in the room, one blue one red. The blue Kool-Aid induces sleep. The red Kool-Aid has the opposite effect. Regarding who is drinking from which pitcher, it appears Ostroy may have been a little confused. Considering his shallow analytic skills and talent for spouting nonsense this would not be surprising.

Here is a toast to the Party-of-No.

Happy Anniversary. Principles matter, including a commitment to truth and reason. May you evermore reject nonsense in compromise.

Cheers.

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