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May 20, 2008


One of the last giants in the U.S. Senate.

The last giant of the Kennedy family.

Hard to imagine the United States Senate without a Kennedy -- without Edward Kennedy -- in it.

Dear Bedtime:

Respectfully, I disagree. Teddy Kennedy is NOT one of the great senators of the US. That said, I hope he gets well.

Sincerely, Sean

"Respectfully, I disagree. Teddy Kennedy is NOT one of the great senators of the US."

btfb didn't write that Kennedy is "one of the great senators of the US," so "disagreeing" publically with a claim not made seems rather lacking in point.

It might be a giant misreading, but it isn't a great misreading.

Furthermore, you seem greatly convinced of the efficacy of the Argument By Assertion: do you find that it works when used on you? Or do you expect that it becomes uniquely more persuasive when used only on everyone else, and you're the lone exception to its effectiveness?

Incidentally, Hilzoy, you already used the title "Kennedy Hospitalized" four days ago: don't you think that makes it rather confusing when people may want to refer to "the Kennedy Hospitalized thread"? Deja vu.

So, Sean, you already made a similar argument by assertion in the "Kennedy Hospitalized" thread -- the other one -- where I attempted to offer a basis for a productive conversation about Senator Kennedy. You appear uninterested in responding substantively, and seem to find repeating your opinion of Ted Kennedy a productive substitute for substance.

It isn't.

I'll try again: Kennedy has been of the worst Senators the we have had. I've disagreed with him on practically all policy matters."

Sean, it's not clear how the first sentence I quote -- an objective claim -- is supported only by the fact that you disagree with him. Do you have any sort of objective metric we might all consider and discuss as to how we might judge what makes a Senator better or worse?

Or were you not trying to offer something we can discuss, but simply proclaiming a personal opinion we should nod at and then ignore, since there's nothing objective for us to discuss, which is fine?

I have a long list of Senators I consider bad for the country, but I wouldn't expect you to find it persuasive or interesting if I simply listed them and gave as my only reason that I disagree with them on most policy matters. That wouldn't leave anything to usefully discuss, other than, perhaps, how foolish or not I am as a matter of opinion, which isn't the sort of discussion I regard as productive.

Here's a starter for possible discussion.

I take it you objected to deregulation of the airline and trucking industries, doing away with country-by-country quotas on immigration, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, portable medical leave, the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the College Affordability and Access Act of 2007, combating global AIDS, and oppose more cancer treatment and prevention, just among the many issues to throw out for starters.

Care to discuss why? (See prior comment for attached links, since repeating them here would trigger the filter.)

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