Holding incompatible beliefs should give people pause. In American politics, it rarely does. Most people save this for the big picture issues– like being pro-life and pro-death penalty– but Dennis Prager isn’t most people. He’s a real-life troll.
Prager, loyal hack that he is, sprang to the defense of Brett Kavanaugh with his usual combination of lies, half-truths, and lazy logical fallacies. It is his bread and butter. Seriously, Prager U’s most useful application is for teaching your kids about how logical fallacies work and why this is not considered honest scholarship, good faith debate, or remotely credible “thought” outside of a conservative echo chamber.
(If you or you children use Prager U for educational purposes you are in for a big letdown. You are arming them with nonsense that will get them laughed out of even basic college survey courses and either turn them against their conservative beliefs– much like the rank hypocrisy of many churches leaves young people searching for truth when they find out they’ve been lied to most of their lives– or they will be embittered weirdo partisans who people snicker at for their unsubstantiated and illogical beliefs.)
One of Dennis Prager’s most treasured pastimes is to knock down strawmen. It is one of the laziest and most commonly used logical fallacies and makes up 99% of all political commentary today. Sweeping generalizations about how liberals or conservatives think pollutes are airwaves and interwebs. Prager does a lot of it here. I’ll do my best to avoid it in response. #notallconservatives
Here is the essence of Prager’s shoddy defense, in his own words:
Those who claim that the charges against Judge Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford are important and worth investigating and that they ultimately, if believed, invalidate his candidacy for the U.S. Supreme Court are stating that:
a) What a middle-age adult did in high school is all we need to need to know to evaluate an individual’s character — even when his entire adult life has been impeccable.
No decent — or rational — society has ever believed such nihilistic nonsense.
Sigh. Point A is a complete misrepresentation of the argument. It is not whether or not all we need to know about a person is what they did in high school. It is that you do not just get to hand-wave away things you have done in the past. Beyond that, Kavanaugh’s hardly got impecible character. He appears to have lied to Congress at least four times recently about activities in the last 15 years. Or should we not count those either, Dennis?
Prager liked the tune in point A so much that he decided to play it again in point B. Again, the argument is not that a sin in your youth nullifies all good done later. It is that good deeds do not wipe away your sin.
In fact, I’d like to quote a conservative source who goes way beyond my position here. One Dennis Prager. On the notion of the death penalty, the complete and total opposite of the sort of redemptive journey he says Kavanaugh has been on “if he did it,” Prager has had a lot to say over the years. But the essence of his argument is always this: victims deserve justice and the person who committed the heinous crime has forfeited their dignity.
Again, in his own words, Prager says:
Most of us think it is the murderer, by committing murder, who has attacked his dignity and inviolability, not the society that puts him to death. We also think it is the dignity of the murder victim that is attacked by rewarding the murderer with room and board, TV, books, exercise rooms and visits from family members and girlfriends.
People convicted of murder are beyond redemption. It is “rewarding” them to provide them with housing and such luxuries as TV and books. Their deaths, Prager has argued many times, helps towards alleviating the anguish of their victims loved ones.
How does Prager square this circle? By introducing the concept of a moral bank account. You see, even if Kavanaugh raped this woman 36 years ago, he’s more than paid it back by living morally since. Plus, rapists always rape again and no one has come forward with similar claims!
By all accounts — literally all — Brett Kavanaugh’s moral bank account is way in the black. He has led a life of decency, integrity, commitment to family, and commitment to community that few Americans can match. On these grounds alone, the charges against him as a teenager should be ignored.
These views remain incompatible, no matter how Prager tries to spin it. Justice isn’t negated by our bank of good deeds. There is no moral argument to be made about this. The only reason this is a big deal to Prager and his ilk is that they fear any delays in confirming Kavanaugh (or worse, the defeat of his nomination) could be teamed with a Democratic-controlled Senate after the midterms. Prager isn’t worried about the undermining of the moral foundation of our society that having Kavanaugh face his accuser in a public forum before being elevated to the Supreme Court for life. He is worried that he and the GOP will have to take their medicine for refusing to vote on Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.
This is about extending a supposed conservative Supreme Court that will overturn Roe, dismantle Obamacare, and maybe rollback gay marriage (I have serious doubts that the Roberts court will do any of those things, but I seem to be on a rather lonely island there).
But Prager can’t say that. It would make all of this seem rather spurious and self-serving. Plus, he’s not content in simply making a positive case for his side. He has to vilify the opposition. Enter his “reasons” that this is being taken seriously.
- Fear of the Left:
Poor conservatives and fair-minded independents are terrified of liberal social media mobs because they may lose their jobs (or worse!).
This disease is not particular to the left. Indeed, the right’s own self-righteous lynch mobs have been coming for liberals all over, but especially in academia. You know, the place Prager has spent a lot of time whipping up hysteria about liberal bias (and trying to instead get people to use his garbage and make him a boatload of money in the meantime).
- “Pure, amoral, demagogic politics.”
No honest American of any political persuasion believes that if a woman were to charge a Democrat-appointed judge such as Merrick Garland with doing to her 36 years ago in high school what Brett Kavanaugh is charged with having done 36 years ago in high school, the Democratic party and the media would be demanding that the confirmation vote be delayed or that the candidate withdraw.
Tell that to Al Franken.
We’ve got ample evidence the left and the supposedly leftist media is willing to attack powerful, liberal men over this.
- “Feminism’s weakening of the American female”
A generation ago, a drunk teenager at a party groping a teenage girl over her clothing while trying to remove as much of her clothing as possible would not have been defended or countenanced. But it would not have been deemed as inducing post-traumatic stress disorder either. Attempted rape used to be no big deal. It definitely didn’t cause anyone trauma until feminists made us all weak and emotional.
This from a man who has spent much of his adult life whining that institutions, but especially colleges, just are not fair or nice to conservatives. Chicks probably did that to him too. There is zero evidence anything like this happened. Prager doesn’t even attempt to claim there is. In fact, all he offers is this statement released by Susanna Jones, head of Holton-Arms School, the private preparatory school for girls that the accuser attended: “As a school that empowers women to use their voices, we are proud of this alumna for using hers,” Jones said.
Yes, empowering women to feel like they can speak up sure shows how insidious feminism has emotionally weakened us.
Don’t worry, Prager’s mom and wife have been groped and just shrugged it off. You should too.
(False equivalence alert: Brett Kavanagh has not been accused of groping someone at work. He was accused of forcibly holding a 15-year-old girl down while he pawed at her and tried to remove her clothing with the intent of having intercourse with her. Pretty big difference)
Dennis Prager is the worst. Not because I disagree with him, I do, vehemently. Prager is the worst because he argues in bad faith, makes caricatures and villains of his opponents, and does irreparable harm to our institutions and democracy. If you listen to Prager and agree with him, you are probably the worst too.