reviewing Sirota and Lakoff

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Tobin Harshaw’s New York Times piece on David Sirota’s Hostile Takeover and George Lakoff’s Whose Freedom? is far from an accurate representation of the books reviewed. Harshaw derisively refers to recent strategic suggestions from several recent books as “magic formulas,” and follows that MO here. He writes of Sirota’s “immaturity” and contrasts his “take-no-prisoners mind-set” with Lakoff’s “grab-no-readers prose style," preferring invective to insight. Here is his conclusion:

While Sirota apparently never met an editor, Lakoff seems never to have met an actual conservative. His failure to paint his opponents as anything but the most risible of cartoons stems from a larger incapacity (one shared by Sirota): a refusal to believe that the other side might be making its case in good faith. Caricaturing your opponent’s stances is an easy way to win an argument, I guess, but it’s not going to sway many readers — or win many elections.

His imputation of “a refusal to believe that the other side might be making its case in good faith” is completely off-base. Liberals spend so much time debunking the Right not because we suspect them of consistently lying—although that is sometimes the case—but to show that, despite sincere belief, many of the Right’s arguments—earnest and otherwise—are incorrect.

Sincerity is insufficient for politics; the facts matter.

Excerpts are online from Sirota’s Hostile Takeover and Lakoff’s Whose Freedom? (Thanks to American Prospect for the tip.)

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on July 26, 2006 4:19 PM.

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