Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

There are some weeks when your humble correspondent struggles to find an appropriate Lexicon entry based on the events of the day. Other times the Topics Gods shower me with topics.

Let’s just say I hit the motherload of motherloads this week. From the Socialist Socialite wearing an expensive dress with “Tax the Rich” on it while attending an event catered to the wealthy to the FBI being shown to be the Keystone Kops with federal funding, there was no lack of content. But I’m going to focus on a new Leftist turn of a phrase that came up during a recent confirmation hearing.

President Joe Biden nominated Jennifer Sung for a position on the 9th Circuit Court, and during the hearing she was questioned about a letter from Yale Law School students and alumni that she signed regarding then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that said he was “intellectually and morally bankrupt” and that “people will die” (a direct quote from the letter) because of his stances on abortion and gay rights. Sure, she’s a nutter, but on the bright side the 9th Circuit Court is going to easily retain its title of Worst Circuit Court EVER.

In attempting to defend her position, Sung used the term “rhetorical advocacy.” Leftists glommed onto this, accusing anyone who found it nonsensical of being too dumb to figure out what it means. Unfortunately for them, I’m a word guy, so I will take a crack at it.

rhetorical advocacy

What the Left thinks it means – supporting a position in a general, high-level way

What it really means – a stupid way for a Leftist to get out of a public statement

The year was 2018, and then-President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh for the open seat on the US Supreme Court. At that point, the Left lost their collectivist hivemind because Kavanaugh was…a conservative! Before you could get Christine Blasey Ford on an airplane, the Left went to town trying to find a way to take down Kavanaugh.

Enter Ms. Sung and the aforementioned letter. At the time, the letter didn’t make the news because it didn’t meet the Left’s definition of news. To them, Kavanaugh being “intellectually and morally bankrupt” was an article of faith and, thus, didn’t need to be questioned. The funny thing? If Kavanaugh were a Leftist, that bankruptcy would be a resume enhancer.

Three years later, Ms. Sung’s signature is coming back to haunt her own judicial nomination. Even if you buy the idea of rhetorical advocacy, the problem of whether the words themselves were hyperbole comes into play. Granted, I haven’t been spending the past 3 years keeping track of the number of deaths directly related to Kavanaugh’s position on social issues, I’m going to go out on a limb and say the number is in the neighborhood of, oh, zero.

As the late Rush Limbaugh said, “Words mean things.” If Ms. Sung were concerned about the language used in the letter, she had a personal obligation not to sign the letter. Yet, she did because she never thought it would come to light. Oops.

Rhetorical advocacy is a ten-cent word that sounds impressive, but really isn’t. Once we break down the parts of the phrase, we can see what I mean.

Rhetorical involves the use of language, written or spoken, to convey an idea. This Leftist Lexicon post is an example of what I mean. Maybe not a good example, but an example all the same. Advocacy involves the support of an idea or cause through thoughts, words, and deeds. Put the two words together and you get…a redundancy. Advocacy uses rhetoric, and rhetoric can be used to advocate for a desired outcome. When you put it in the context of the letter Ms. Sung signed, the two terms are interchangeable.

This leads to the question of why the Left has adopted this meaningless term while mocking those who don’t think it’s all that great. Fortunately, there’s a simple answer: it’s to give them cover for their bullshit. Remember, Leftists love to play word games to make themselves sound smarter than they actually are. By throwing together the two words in question, it makes the result sound high-minded and intellectual. As we’ve seen, it’s neither, and it’s not that effective when it comes to providing cover.

I have a simple philosophy when dealing with people: take them at their word until they give me reason to doubt it. Although I disagree with Ms. Sung’s conclusions regarding Justice Kavanaugh, the fact she’s shying away from the words she signed off on now that the letter has come to light tells me she’s not willing to own up to them. Cowardice in the face of potential career advancement is no virtue, no matter what fancy-sounding words you use to soften the blow. I would have rather had her say, “I signed that letter because I agreed with the sentiments within it” because it would have been honest. Absolutely wrong, but honest.

Putting all that aside, the fact the Left is attacking those of us who think “rhetorical advocacy” is a bunch of bullshit is a sign they have no valid argument for the letter, nor Ms. Sung’s nomination. Who would want a judge on any level of the judiciary that can’t stand behind a statement without parsing it through an ideological lens? Any verdict offered by such a judge would be suspect and grounds for an immediate appeal to a higher court.

Which, if you think about it, makes her perfect for the 9th Circuit Court.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

Since Tara Reade came forward with allegations former Vice President Joe Biden sexually assaulted her, the Left has been in two modes: attack the accuser and the Right, and defend a man who in on video sniffing females’ hair. When people of all political stripes point out the Left’s double standard, the Left talks about “fake outrage” and suggests the people calling them out don’t really care about women, just scoring political points.

You know, like they did with Brett Kavanaugh?

However, it is interesting to look at how the Left uses outrage to achieve ideological goals. Before we do that, let’s define the term.

outrage

What the Left thinks it means – an expression of righteous anger over a grave injustice

What it really means – the rhetorical equivalent of holding your breath to get your way

Today’s society is an emotional minefield. Say something, do something, or believe something that offends a Leftist’s feefees, and you are subject to a world of hurt. If you’re lucky, they will stalk you, find out every piece of information they can about you and release it to the world, protest in front of your house, leave threatening messages for you and your family, contact your employer to get you fired, and make you look like Sybil’s crazier cousin. Just think of what they might do if you did something really bad!

This is only possible due to outrage. Leftists love mobs because they give the impression of popular opinion without the niggling little detail of confirming whether the mob actually represents popular opinion. The other aspect of this is volume, as in loudness. A mob can make a lot of noise, which underlines the impression of public opinion being on its side. It, too, fails to go the extra step to confirm whether the public agrees with the mob.

Let’s look at ANTIFA, for example. This group of happy-go-lucky miscreants make a lot of noise and come out in droves, and the Left uses them to justify their positions on social injustice. It’s a win-win for them…until ANTIFA starts breaking the law and the Left has to pretend they don’t agree with ANTIFA’s methods (Spoiler Alert: they do). And all of this is made possible through outrage.

And, unfortunately, outrage works. Humans have a natural desire to be accepted by a community, and anything that threatens that makes us defensive. Imagine a bunch of blue-haired pink pussy hat wearing Leftists appearing outside your house saying you were Adolf Hitler. The most obvious response is to deny it and try to persuade others (and possibly the mob) you aren’t. Some will believe you, but most will either keep quiet or agree with the mob to avoid having the mob come after them. Or at least to try to get the blue-haired pink pussy hat brigade to stay out of their begonias.

Here’s the funny thing: the Left is always outraged about something, which is as close to a perpetual motion machine as we will see in our lifetimes. As a result, the world outside of their ideological bubble will tick them off at the drop of a microaggression, and we will all have to walk through the resulting minefield while wearing clown shoes. It’s not a matter of if we’ll offend them; it’s a matter of when.

This brings us back to fake outrage, which is a way for the Left to defend themselves against those who see what they do as fake. The Left believes all of their motives are noble and anyone who doesn’t agree is ignoble. Therefore, all of their fake outrage is real and all of our real outrage is fake. And, yes, I realize this makes no sense, but the Left don’t care about facts and logic, only feelings.

Oddly enough, that is exactly how to overcome the Left’s outrage. They need to feel it, but we don’t. If we accept what they believe to be true, we surrender the rhetorical high ground to them. If we don’t, all they have to fall back on is their outrage, which inevitably escalates and makes them seem a lot less persuasive and a lot more cray-cray. Eventually, the line between true outrage and abject insanity gets so blurred as to be non-existent, and the Left is pretty much tap-dancing on the line as it is. As a result, it’s easy to turn their outrage against them by denying them the oxygen for their outrage bonfire.

This isn’t to say the Left is completely full of bullshit when they get outraged. Most of the time, yes, but sometimes they do bring legitimate points to the table, albeit couched in layers of bullshit. I do believe there is a stigma around victims of sexual assault and it needs to be called out no matter who it is maintaining the stigma. On the flip side, there are also people who are unscrupulous enough to make up sexual assault allegations for any number of reasons, which furthers the stigma. I observe Tara Reade’s allegations with the same critical eye I used with Christine Blasey Ford’s: there may be something there, but we need a full investigation to be sure to make sure we move forward with the right course of action. One based not on outrage, but on facts.

The Left doesn’t agree. Whether it’s male college students, a Supreme Court nominee, or a former Vice President, their course of action is the same: protect the Left, no matter how absurd it makes them look. Knowing this makes it possible to see the Left’s outrage for what it is: a temper tantrum designed to get people to knuckle under to whatever they want, only to have them throw another one the next time they want something. As any parent who has had to deal with this from their children will tell you, it never ends well.