Get PJ Media on your Apple

Unexamined Premises

‘You Can’t Possibly Mean That’

December 22nd, 2013 - 3:36 pm
A bad case of the vapors

A bad case of the vapors

Like the battle of Gettysburg, the fight over Duck Dynasty seems to have erupted partly by accident, and was occasioned by the Left’s outrunning its own supply lines in an attempt to take out a strategic Rightist redoubt — thus getting their heads handed to them. And over what?

Words.  Words uttered in the course of an interview — but because they touched on a Taboo Topic (raised by interviewer himself), have been used a pretext for a bad case of the “bigotry” vapors, and the attempted banishment of one of pop culture’s most beloved figures to outer purdah.

So perhaps these words, from the book Rules for Radical Conservatives, might be timely. Because this — written in its own voice by “David Kahane” — is how the Left thinks. From Rule No. 2: Become What You Behold:

HOW TO TALK LIKE A LIBERAL (AND YOU MUST)

As I’ve noted, if you guys are going to be able to fight us effectively, you have to know not only the territory, like Prof. Harold Hill in The Music Man, but the lingo as well.  And I’m not just talking about words like “swell,” and “gee whiz” and “so’s your old man.”  I’m talking about being able to pass for one of us until we’ve got our guard down and then – whammo!

To that end, I’ve assembled a list of handy phrases, which you’re going to have to learn to deliver with a straight face, like Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs, practicing his cover story in front of a men’s room mirror, with the requisite raised eyebrow and our patented Lefty Sneer ™ dropped in at key junctures.  You’re deep in enemy territory now, so pay attention:

1) You can’t possibly mean that.   This is our way of saying you’re full if it, but it goes beyond simple disagreement.  It means that whatever it was that you just said, it has put you beyond the pale of polite discussion; it also very likely means you’re a racist, a bigot, a homophobe and/or a practicing Roman Catholic.  All of which are, among our crowd, grounds for instant expulsion from polite society.  You can’t possibly mean that means that whatever you just said has wounded us grievously, has challenged some fundamental core belief of our Weltanschauung and struck at the very heart of the fantasy world we mostly live in.  It may be something as complex as a point-by-point refutation of An Inconvenient Truth, the truth about which we most definitely do not want to hear, or a minor statement of personal or political belief, such as, “I’m not really comfortable with the idea of gay marriage,” or “I think we ought to cut taxes to encourage private investment,” or, “you know, Michael Jackson really sucked.”

In short, just about anything you can say that goes against our herd-like instinct to always be on the politically correct side of every issue will elicit this rejoinder.  Which is why, when you hear one of us utter one of our usual ex cathedra-like pronunciamentos, just respond with You can’t possibly mean that and watch the fur fly!

You know, those Tea Party types look mighty dangerous to me.  Why, there could be another Tim McVeigh or Lee Harvey Oswald lurking among them.  Whereas the G-12 protesters and the Cinco de Mayo crowd are the very models of engaged political theater.

You can’t possibly mean that!

As far as we’re concerned, the Christian Right and the midwestern militias are by far the greatest threat to the Republic, much worse than the Muslims.

You can’t possibly mean that!

If only the Catholic Church would allow its priests to marry, we wouldn’t have all these pedophiles running around, preying on altar boys.

You can’t possibly mean that!

Or better yet, wield this handy phrase preemptively, as we especially like to do. When we’re prattling on about one bit of Received Wisdom or another, cut in with your own verbal karate chop to the jugular, whether it addresses the immediate point we’re making or not. The point is to stop the argument in its tracks, to assert your higher reality:  You can’t possibly mean that you support what’s going on in Washington!  You can’t possibly mean that you support forcing people into unions! You can’t possibly mean that you want to flush our children down the drain for the sake of the corrupt educational establishment!  You can’t possibly mean that you think the Great Society was a good thing! You can’t possibly mean that you want to go to the Post Office to see your doctor!

You get the picture.

More important tips after the page break…

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The only way to get back at them is the same way they do it to us.

Insults, Mockery, Condescension, and Guilt.

As long as you're not willing to hit Leftists below the belt because "we're better than that, we won't stoop to their level",

THEY. WILL. ALWAYS. WIN.

ALWAYS.

And remember, not all of us on the Right are religious, so some of us don't have the whole "Well, at least we know God will let us into heaven and cast them into hell" card to make losing all the time palpable.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, inversion often works on ideological battlefields. A lefty friend recently referred me to 'Inverted Totalitarianism' saying it was exactly how he saw America - a right wing inverse of Stalinism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_totalitarianism
For example, an idea is that America doesn't have real elections - just 'managed democracy' and is consequently not really different than Soviet Russia or that other chap Godwin was always complaining about. I replied that I too had thought all those things and if people wanted to believe those things about America I was just fine with that.

What I see is that the left projects all its undemocratic tendencies onto the right. (To be fair the right projects too as all human do so if you think you see what the left is up to take a moment to look in your own heart to see if you are also talking about yourself.) In my experience the left is less self reflective - more certain that they smarter. They have a higher understanding that on examination turns out to be the flawed late Enlightenment understanding of Karl Marx that they learned in school. I have even heard them say they have 'faith' in 'reason'. (Gulp!) They have built all sorts of castles in the air like the Frankfurt School and the Trabant when the ...er difficulties with 'universal brotherhood' were readily apparent in the French Revolution well before Kline Karl first wet his bed. I also like to point out when my lefty friends scoff at Adam Smith's invisible hand that it was during the French Revolution that the Invisible Hand was Made Flesh through the person of Madame Tussauds who saw value in the severed heads that collected in the basket beside the guillotine. That plucky lady made death masks of those who had gone to Glory and charged admission to view them in her London museum which is still in business to this day. Just like the Visible Hand of Steve Jobs lives on in the flesh and blood hands of hipsters everywhere clapped to their earholes in posthumous obeisance. Have a Happy Christmas, y'all.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Because, unless you live in a cave or on a desert island, you need to know how to fight.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (52)
All Comments   (52)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Just a couple of random questions for David Kahane:
* When and how did the Democrats change from the party of George Wallace and Bull Connor to be the champion of the Blacks?
* How well have those Blacks done under President Obama?
* How well have the insurance companies and financial institutions done under the regulations that they helped to write?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Many good points. However, honesty requires me to make a note:

"that Teddy Kennedy was the Lion of the Senate instead of the Swimmer of Chappaquiddick;"

When he passed I got onto a blog site that bills itself as feminist and got people to rationally engage this point.

Also:

"You’re not really going to drive that piece of hybrid crap, are you? Because everyone knows that they run up everybody’s electricity bill, cause more polluting coal-fired electrical plants to come on line to meet demand – unless you want to build a few nukes – and endanger your own and your kid’s life!"

Ah, no. An electric car would be the proper subject of such critiques. But the batteries in a hybrid car does not get charged from a wall socket or other power grid source. They are charged from a) braking the car by engaging the electric motor into the drive train and slow the car by running the motor backwards as a generator and b) from the gas engine engaging the electric motor as a generator for the same purpose while either driving or sitting still (the latter if the batteries get too low). So a hybrid doesn't have any of the effects listed above.

Sorry to be nitpicky, but one technique the left uses is to focus on one inaccuracy and use it to discredit the entire essay or speaker. Unless the speaker is a Democrat, of course, in which case we just decide to agree that 57 states is close enough to 50 to not matter.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
A technique that has ALWAYS worked for me:
"My mama told me NEVER to argue with crazy people."
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems pretty weak to me.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
One possible reaction to liberals insulting right-wing third parties is to nod your head and then say "On top of that, they also STEREOTYPE people!"
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do you ever get frustrated, Michael, that not a single person on the political Right has ever followed any of this advice and still hasn't a fuc*ing clue how to deal with the Left?
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks though not really what I asked. No matter. I'm a former Leftist from a family of Leftists so I've probably forgotten more about these people than the average Republican understands. I'm just wondering how one reaches the mainstream of Republicans. Because we're not reaching them. You, Breitbart (now gone) and a few others know the score. But most of America is still caught in the Mitt Romney "they're nice well-meaning people just in over their heads" mindset.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I've probably forgotten more about these people than the average Republican understands."

Perhaps you underestimate how many of us are recovering liberals.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
The answer is: yes. But some of us are trying to make them see the true nature of what we're up against.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
An entire series of excellent articles linked from that article. Good reading.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I thought "You can’t possibly mean that" meant "You don't really believe that; your corporate masters told you to say that."
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
In a fight, the object is to win, and it does not good playing by rules that as we see mean nothing to liberals, as we watch B.O. shred his signature law, to supposedly "tweek" it when it is beyond that.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
So true. Until conservatives learn one of Horowitz's signature rules and utilize it to the fullest, we're just a bunch of nerds who would rather be polite than win.

"For Democrats, politics is just war by other means." - David Horowitz
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Each of these examples is a type of logical fallacy. Of course, that is why they are so appealing to the Left.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Personally I choose not to use their tactics. The very first thing you have to understand is even if they "win" they eventually only fail. They fail spectacularly, and they scratch their heads in utter confusion about why all their dreams of utopia didn't manifest at the rubbing of the genie's lamp of socialist progressivism. They fail bigger and bolder each time, and each time a few more of them wake up from the delusion they have deliberately embraced.

When you advocate using the same tactics, then you begin to look just like the left. As they wake up from the progressive failures, they look at you and think to themselves, "Hmm, sound a lot like the guys I was just following. They argue and fight the same way and everything. They are probably a failure as well. I should probably avoid them too."

Honesty, truth, adherance to your own values are what separate a Conservative from a progressive. When they wake up, they will see and appreciate those who have tread a different path, not look to follow those who appear to be the same as those who have disillusioned them already.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're dead wrong on this one. Leftists are above all else obsessed with looking like the smartest people in the room. The only way to get them to re-evaluate their lot in life is to shame them. To mock them. To embarrass them. To talk down to them until they don't feel so intelligent anymore.

You may say they have no shame. Well, I say that nobody ever challenges their mindset and worldview, because you don't want to "lower yourselves". Well at some point you have to drag them through the dirt and make them feel like they're idiots and not fit for polite society (or society at all) due to spreading their Leftist claptrap.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Using their own weapons against them is the only way to defeat them.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
sorry but if you don't fight the fire with what you have at your disposal, you wind up with a house that is burnt to the ground,
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
"They fail bigger and bolder each time, and each time a few more of them wake up from the delusion they have deliberately embraced."

I don't have much faith in a diehard waking up or being smacked up aside the head by reality, at least in the case of the leftist who pathologically resists any challenge or perceived imperfection of the entire body of faith, aka "the narrative".

Each new wave of progressives (hate the word; the antithesis of what it is which is regressive) assumes, like Obama, that it just hasn't been done right. Yet.

That's why they're the ones we've been waiting for. The ones who will finally get the whole imprisoning, stultifying, demented ball of wax right.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 Next View All