The Stupid. It Hurts.

 

As a longtime political operative, I love the “art of the comeback” or the retort. They often occur during televised political debates. When I was coaching congressional candidates for debates, we often proposed retorts to accusations or statements our opponents were likely to raise. Conversely, we warned of ones they might use.

One of the best retorts in political history occurred in 1988 during the vice presidential debate between two US Senators – Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX) and Dan Quayle (R-IN). Chris Lamb tells the story:

George H.W. Bush, having served two terms as Ronald Reagan’s vice president, ran for president in 1988. Bush selected a relatively obscure 41-year-old senator Dan Quayle as his running mate. Quayle tried to deflect questions about his age and inexperience by comparing himself to John K. Kennedy when he ran for president in 1960.

Quayle’s advisors told him not to bring up the comparison during his debate with the Democratic vice presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen.

Quayle ignored the advice.

“I have as much experience as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency,” Quayle said during the nationally televised debate.

Bentsen famously turned to Quayle and said, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

Bush-Quayle won the Presidential Election, but Quayle was forever reduced to a punch line in US politics.

The moral of this story is that your opposition is watching and listening to your talking points.

As a fan and supporter of the former Vice President, this is painful but true.

So when the White House chose to use the temporary and highly successful Paycheck Protection Program from the $2.2 trillion bipartisan CARES Act in 2020 as their comeback to attacks over Biden’s illegal student loan “forgiveness” fiasco, I scratched my head.

 

Partisan lefties in the media and Twitter unthinkingly praised the White House’s lame counterattack, including the irrepressible Congressman and failed former Democratic presidential candidate, Eric Swalwell. “More of this, please,” came from the wife of Russia-collusion hoaxer and former White House national security aide, retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

 

 

 

To the untrained eye, this looks like French Laundry-style hypocrisy. Forgiveness for me, not for thee. But it doesn’t take an IQ over 70 to figure out what a non sequitur this is. We’ll let US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), co-author of the Paycheck Protection Program and himself the beneficiary of college student loans he just recently paid off, explain why:

With the government forcing companies to close their doors, tens of millions of Americans were headed to the unemployment line, and millions of small businesses were headed for bankruptcy. That was an unacceptable outcome, which is why I worked with Democrats and Republicans to create the Paycheck Protection Program.

My plan was as straightforward as it was novel: to create a federal grant for small businesses to keep their employees on payroll. This payroll grant, structured deliberately as a forgivable loan, had one key condition: that 80 percent of the funds go to payroll. While some lobbyists (and even Democratic lawmakers) in Washington begged for a blank check to small businesses, I refused. This temporary program was intended to keep employees on payroll during what we were told would be a two-week lockdown to “slow the spread.”

 The coup de grace:

President Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan could not be more different, despite his lame attempts to draw similarities between the two. 

Let’s start with the obvious: federal student loans were just that, loans. The whole idea was that students would take the loans to pay for an education that would lead to a job that repays them (along with the massive interest accumulated).

There are other practical differences as well. The president is now asking those same small business owners and employees, most of whom never went to college, to shoulder the burden of college debt for others. . .

Again, don’t just take my word for it. In the words of President Barack Obama’s chief economic adviser and Harvard economist Jason Furman: “Student loan relief is not free. Part of it [will] be paid for by the 87% of Americans who do not benefit but lose out from inflation.”

That is why it will do nothing for the people Democrats used to claim to protect: working families with minimal or nonexistent student debt. Unlike my payroll grants, forgiving student loan debt won’t create jobs, save small businesses, or reopen the American economy.

The Daily Wire features additional takes worth noting:

“So it is now the White House’s position that if the government forces you to shut down your business and provides you just compensation to keep people employed, that’s the same thing as you failing to pay the college loans you voluntarily undertook,” Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro tweeted. “Geniuses.”

“Obviously someone passed around a memo deciding to compare PPP to student loans when the programs have entirely different purposes…” NewsNation reporter Zaid Jilani wrote in a Twitter thread. “Politicians and nonprofits, most of whom supported PPP, are retroactively portraying PPP as a privilege or giveaway when it was really just a backstop to prevent mass worker layoffs after govt forced businesses to close.”

“This is the first time I can recall that an administration started attacking a program they themselves support in an improvised effort to defend another program they proposed,” he added.

“So you’re saying that the government forces my business to close, and I have to take a PPP loan to pay my employees during that time, and then later that same government will put me in a database and use it to attack me,” journalist Stephen L. Miller tweeted. “The WH Twitter account didn’t think this one through.”

Either the political geniuses at the White House think you’re stupid, or they are stupid. My vote is clearly for the latter. It’s so stupid, it hurts.

 

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  1. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Is MTG not making her own case on Twitter, particularly with regard to Swallwell and the White House?  She doesn’t seem like a blushing violet.

    • #1
  2. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Obviously the answer is both: they are stupid, and they think you are stupid. The really stupid story is the one where the Republican Party persisted for two generations with televised debates designed to humiliate their candidates. 

    • #2
  3. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Kelly D Johnston:

    The moral of this story is that your opposition is watching and listening to your talking points.

     

    And understand that it makes little difference whether the opposition retort has any validity or not.

    • #3
  4. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Is MTG not making her own case on Twitter, particularly with regard to Swallwell and the White House? She doesn’t seem like a blushing violet.

    Probably, but if not, she must be sidetracked because she has been swatted two times in the middle of the night in the last week.

    • #4
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston:

    The moral of this story is that your opposition is watching and listening to your talking points.

     

    And understand that it makes little difference whether the opposition retort has any validity or not.

    It’s a disgrace that the OP has only 7 likes. No wonder the left gets by with the stuff it does.

    • #5
  6. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    cdor (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Is MTG not making her own case on Twitter, particularly with regard to Swallwell and the White House? She doesn’t seem like a blushing violet.

    Probably, but if not, she must be sidetracked because she has been swatted two times in the middle of the night in the last week.

    You’d think the police might notice the address… 

    • #6
  7. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Is MTG not making her own case on Twitter, particularly with regard to Swallwell and the White House? She doesn’t seem like a blushing violet.

    Probably, but if not, she must be sidetracked because she has been swatted two times in the middle of the night in the last week.

    You’d think the police might notice the address…

    She is not complaining about the police. She says they have been very professional. But anytime the cops come banging on a door with guns drawn, danger and injury are possible.

    • #7
  8. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    cdor (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Is MTG not making her own case on Twitter, particularly with regard to Swallwell and the White House? She doesn’t seem like a blushing violet.

    Probably, but if not, she must be sidetracked because she has been swatted two times in the middle of the night in the last week.

    Her feed is very focused on the swatting and that “ tactic” is definitely a disgrace.  

    I would still like to hear something else about the stupid attacks from the White House, and especially Swallwell.

    • #8
  9. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    genferei (View Comment):

    Obviously the answer is both: they are stupid, and they think you are stupid. The really stupid story is the one where the Republican Party persisted for two generations with televised debates designed to humiliate their candidates.

    Though Trump’s debate with Clinton certainly played a part in his victory.

    • #9
  10. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    So we are choosing to establish that any money from the government is moral free and is exactly of the same value regardless of the parameters it was sold to the public to fund some given program?

    Perhaps they are laying the ground work that the government can change the rules of the deal when it come time to for example “save Medicare”. Say by denying benefits (which are of course grossly underfunded) by a new social scoring system which account for age, anticipated productivity value, political party, cost to be incurred, so as to reduce deficit spending.

    Judging by the programs enacted by other western societies, it is only a matter of time this cost trade of is sold (forced on) to the US public.

    • #10
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    I’ve got some bad news; many American are this stupid. 

    • #11
  12. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    • #12
  13. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    I don’t understand that.  I say if you’re not explaining, you’re losing. 

    • #13
  14. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston:

    The moral of this story is that your opposition is watching and listening to your talking points.

     

    And understand that it makes little difference whether the opposition retort has any validity or not.

    It’s a disgrace that the OP has only 7 likes. No wonder the left gets by with the stuff it does.

    Been working all day.  I have (someone else’s) student loans to pay off.  Thanks, Joe from Scranton.  

    • #14
  15. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    I don’t understand that. I say if you’re not explaining, you’re losing.

    Imagine we are living in “Idiocracy”. (Because we are.)

    Swalwell comes out with his tweet, and most of the population goes “Ouch, sick burn! Whohoo! It’s obvious! Gotcha with that one! Huh huh huh …”

    Then you come back with “No actually, they’re not the same thing at all. You see, while one is …”, and most of the population goes “Uhhhhh. This is stupid. Huh huh. We like that first man. He burned you, dude! Student loans! Student loans! Republicans are mean! Where’s the beer! More stuff!”

    Its Idiocracy.

    All the people who know the difference between PPP and the student loan situation already agree with us.

    Except the Dems, they know it too. But they’re the ones who understand how to pull this same trick over and over.

    And it is indeed a sick burn.

    Trump was the last guy I saw on our side who knew how to deal with it. But that wasn’t allowed to last long.

    • #15
  16. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    I don’t understand that. I say if you’re not explaining, you’re losing.

    Imagine we are living in “Idiocracy”. (Because we are.)

    Swalwell comes out with his tweet, and most of the population goes “Ouch, sick burn! Whohoo! It’s obvious! Gotcha with that one! Huh huh huh …”

    Then you come back with “No actually, they’re not the same thing at all. You see, while one is …”, and most of the population goes “Uhhhhh. This is stupid. Huh huh. We like that first man. He burned you, dude! Student loans! Student loans! Republicans are mean! Where’s the beer! More stuff!”

    Its Idiocracy.

    All the people who know the difference between PPP and the student loan situation already agree with us.

    Except the Dems, they know it too. But they’re the ones who understand how to pull this same trick over and over.

    And it is indeed a sick burn.

    Trump was the last guy I saw on our side who knew how to deal with it. But that wasn’t allowed to last long.

    You gotta burn them back.  Just because they think they burned you doesn’t mean they did.

    Also: The best defense is a good offense.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    It’s a shame how many members say they don’t ever read the Main Feed – and are often even proud of it – which means they’ll never see this post, since it got promoted so quickly.

    • #17
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    kedavis (View Comment):

    It’s a shame how many members say they don’t ever read the Main Feed – and are often even proud of it – which means they’ll never see this post, since it got promoted so quickly.

    I wonder if I had it sitting in an open tab for a long time before I read it, and then wondered why there were so few “likes.” 

    Nope. I see mine was the 7th like.

    I used to be one of those who never read the Main Feed, but more recently  I have found that I do have to check it once in a while because some good articles get promoted there so quickly.  I don’t check it every day, though, and probably still miss plenty of good articles.

    • #18
  19. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    I don’t understand that. I say if you’re not explaining, you’re losing.

    If you’re explaining, you’re playing defense.  Then you actually have to change people’s minds and remove their doubt.

    • #19
  20. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    I don’t understand that. I say if you’re not explaining, you’re losing.

    If you’re explaining, you’re playing defense. Then you actually have to change people’s minds and remove their doubt.

    If the other side stages a phony attack, what else is there?

    • #20
  21. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    I don’t understand that. I say if you’re not explaining, you’re losing.

    If you’re explaining, you’re playing defense. Then you actually have to change people’s minds and remove their doubt.

    If the other side stages a phony attack, what else is there?

    I’m not sure why he didn’t publish the declassified documents.  He called for them to be published, but none of his team did it.  I repeat myself, but coincidentally here is Sundance’s comment today.

    President Trump Tried to Work Within the System

     | Sundance | 238 Comments

    In the spring and summer of 2018 everyone became aware of the DOJ and FBI collective effort to target President Trump under the false guise of a Trump-Russia collusion claim.

    It must have been extremely frustrating for a sitting president to know there was nothing to the claims yet be constantly bombarded by media and political people in Washington DC who held a vested interest in maintaining them.

    By the time we get to September of 2018 the basic outline of the FBI use of the Trump-Russia targeting operation were clear.  However, the Robert Mueller investigation was at its apex, and anyone in/around Donald Trump was under investigation for ancillary issues that had nothing to do with Russia.

    It was into this fray of constant false narratives that President Trump first made statements that he would declassify documents related to his targeting.  It was after Trump made those statements when the real motives of putting Robert Mueller as a special counsel became clear.

    With Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused from anything to do with the Trump-Russia investigation, it was Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who delivered the message to President Trump in September of 2018, shortly before the midterm election, that any action by him to release documents, now under the purview of the Mueller special counsel, would be considered an act of “obstruction” by the DOJ/FBI people charged with investigating him.

    • #21
  22. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Kelly, I agree with you, but if it takes several long paragraphs to explain it, you’ve lost the argument.

    • #22
  23. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Kelly, I agree with you, but if it takes several long paragraphs to explain it, you’ve lost the argument.

    The genius of the Democrats, then, is coming up with ridiculous accusations that can’t be quickly and easily explained.

    • #23
  24. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Kelly, I agree with you, but if it takes several long paragraphs to explain it, you’ve lost the argument.

    The genius of the Democrats, then, is coming up with ridiculous accusations that can’t be quickly and easily explained.

    There’s a saying about Lies getting halfway around the world before the Truth gets its boots on, but don’t remember how it goes.

    • #24
  25. Kelly D Johnston Coolidge
    Kelly D Johnston
    @SoupGuy

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    It depends on how you “explain” it. Most intelligent Americans will see through it right away. Yes, I know they’re in increasingly short supply.

    • #25
  26. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    I don’t understand that. I say if you’re not explaining, you’re losing.

    If you’re explaining, you’re playing defense. Then you actually have to change people’s minds and remove their doubt.

    Don’t do it in a defensive way. Be offensive.  Make a statement in which you assume the low moral level, misspent youth, deficient parental upbringing, and general level of unintelligence, deficient knowledge, and hypocrisy of the left, making suitable analogies to other bad actors throughout history. Don’t accuse. Assume.  If your assumptions are questioned, you have then been asked to make your accusation. That’s your opening. 

    And know your audience.  If you actually are talking to intelligent people, it may not be helpful to assume they are unintelligent. In that case, use their intelligence against them.  If they actually are knowledgeable, use their knowledge against them. And don’t make arguments that  will appeal to us.  Use the left’s own words and arguments against them.

    Also keep in mind that the left rarely makes arguments it believes in.  They make arguments they think we believe in.

    • #26
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    I don’t understand that. I say if you’re not explaining, you’re losing.

    If you’re explaining, you’re playing defense. Then you actually have to change people’s minds and remove their doubt.

    I don’t ever expect to change people’s minds. I want them to change their own minds.  And I don’t want to remove their doubt.  I want them to doubt themselves.  

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    I don’t understand that. I say if you’re not explaining, you’re losing.

    If you’re explaining, you’re playing defense. Then you actually have to change people’s minds and remove their doubt.

    Don’t do it in a defensive way. Be offensive. Make a statement in which you assume the low moral level, misspent youth, deficient parental upbringing, and general level of unintelligence, deficient knowledge, and hypocrisy of the left, making suitable analogies to other bad actors throughout history. Don’t accuse. Assume. If your assumptions are questioned, you have then been asked to make your accusation. That’s your opening.

    And know your audience. If you actually are talking to intelligent people, it may not be helpful to assume they are unintelligent. In that case, use their intelligence against them. If they actually are knowledgeable, use their knowledge against them. And don’t make arguments that will appeal to us. Use the left’s own words and arguments against them.

    Also keep in mind that the left rarely makes arguments it believes in. They make arguments they think we believe in.

    Eh, you’re still on your back foot.

    • #28
  29. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    I don’t understand that. I say if you’re not explaining, you’re losing.

    If you’re explaining, you’re playing defense. Then you actually have to change people’s minds and remove their doubt.

    Don’t do it in a defensive way. Be offensive. Make a statement in which you assume the low moral level, misspent youth, deficient parental upbringing, and general level of unintelligence, deficient knowledge, and hypocrisy of the left, making suitable analogies to other bad actors throughout history. Don’t accuse. Assume. If your assumptions are questioned, you have then been asked to make your accusation. That’s your opening.

    And know your audience. If you actually are talking to intelligent people, it may not be helpful to assume they are unintelligent. In that case, use their intelligence against them. If they actually are knowledgeable, use their knowledge against them. And don’t make arguments that will appeal to us. Use the left’s own words and arguments against them.

    Also keep in mind that the left rarely makes arguments it believes in. They make arguments they think we believe in.

    Eh, you’re still on your back foot.

    How do you know that?  Have you ever tried it?   Or should we just cower under the Ricochet bed because we’re afraid they might call us racist?  

    • #29
  30. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    But when you’re explaining [e.g., the difference between PPP loans and their legislated forgiveness requirement and student loans with repayment schedules], you are losing.

    I don’t understand that. I say if you’re not explaining, you’re losing.

    If you’re explaining, you’re playing defense. Then you actually have to change people’s minds and remove their doubt.

    Don’t do it in a defensive way. Be offensive. Make a statement in which you assume the low moral level, misspent youth, deficient parental upbringing, and general level of unintelligence, deficient knowledge, and hypocrisy of the left, making suitable analogies to other bad actors throughout history. Don’t accuse. Assume. If your assumptions are questioned, you have then been asked to make your accusation. That’s your opening.

    And know your audience. If you actually are talking to intelligent people, it may not be helpful to assume they are unintelligent. In that case, use their intelligence against them. If they actually are knowledgeable, use their knowledge against them. And don’t make arguments that will appeal to us. Use the left’s own words and arguments against them.

    Also keep in mind that the left rarely makes arguments it believes in. They make arguments they think we believe in.

    Eh, you’re still on your back foot.

    How do you know that? Have you ever tried it? Or should we just cower under the Ricochet bed because we’re afraid they might call us racist?

    I don’t fight against your apparent sensitivities.

    I’m talking about evil people making false claims and the best way to fight them.  The first rule is to never apologize, and the second is never try to talk your way out of others’ lies; it comes off as weakness, an admission of sorts, and an apology, which it technically is.

    • #30
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