I met my old friend Avery LIBRELLE at an “Au Bon Pain” in New Prague the other day.

LIBRELLE:  So  you keep writing that you think liberals in Minnesota never really learn how to debate conservatives.

ME:  Yep.  It’s true.  A liberal in Minnesota can come up through primary and secondary education systems that more or less subtly reinforce liberal dogma, go to a university where conservatives need not apply and where conservatism is treated as a cartoon by professors who themselves never learned to respect critical thinking much less practice it, and then go into a career in academia, journalism, government, the non-profits, unions, education – fields where conservatism is pretty much frowned on. To be fair, conservatives in Utah or Wyoming or North Dakota may have the same problem – although schools, universities and non-profits in those states largely aren’t magically conservative.

LIBRELLE:  Well, I’m here to prove you wrong.  I’ve been boning up on debate tactics by reading all of the prominent Minnesota leftybloggers.

ME: Ah. Excellent.  OK.  So let’s debate.  Pick a subject!

LIBRELLE:  The DFL’s gun safety initiatives.

ME:  Hm.  OK.  I can dig into that one.  The DFL’s gun grabs will at best make no dent in crime, and at worst make it worse.

LIBRELLE:  That’s just cray cray.

ME: Um – huh?

LIBRELLE:  That means “Crazy”.

ME:  I know what it means.  Would you care to go into details?

LIBRELLE:  It’s cray cray.  As in very cray.

ME: Er…OK.  Any actual factual assertions you’d like to make?

LIBRELLE:  I think “it’s cray cray” is plenty.

ME: Hm.  OK.  Let’s move on to the sales and business service taxes.  They’re going to gravely handicap Minnesota business.

LIBRELLE:   Yeah (makes scare quotes in air) “right“.

ME:  Um – say what?

LIBRELLE: Yeah (makes scare quotes in air) “right“.

ME:  Er…

LIBRELLE:  That means “I suppose that makes sense, if you’re a wingnut”.

ME:  OK.  How about the DFL gutting the mining industry up in the Iron Range, or for that matter trying to strangle the frac sand mining business in the southwest?  The metro area environmental liberal lobby seems to have pretty much seized control of the DFL.

LIBRELLE:  Why do you hate the children?

ME:  That’s not an answer!  That’s an insult and a deflection!

LIBRELLE:  Hah!  The wingnut is having a meltdown!

ME:  (Deep breath).  OK.  How about election fraud.

LIBRELLE:  There’s not a single reported case anywhere.

ME: Yes there is.

LIBRELLE:  There’s not a single reported case anywhere.

ME: Sure there is.

LIBRELLE:  There’s not a single reported case anywhere.

ME:  Sure is!

LIBRELLE:  There’s not a single reported case anywhere!~

ME:  Yes there is.  OK, we see where that one’s going…

LIBRELLE:  Oh, so you’re the one who says how debates are supposed to go.  I’m soooooo sorry.

ME:  Er, focusing on facts is an important part of rational debate.

LIBRELLE:  Well, who died and appointed you debate king?

ME:  (Rubs forehead)  OK.  How about daycare unionization?

LIBRELLE:  You got pulled over in 2007 for having expired tabs!

ME:  Er…OK?  So what?

LIBRELLE:  Why should we listen to someone who has contempt for the law?

ME:  That’s utterly unrelated to anything we’re debating about, and was a non-issue even then.

LIBRELLE: Oh, yeah.  Move the goalposts.  Typical.

ME:  No goalposts are being moved; there’s just no rational reason to unionize daycare providers.  For starters, they’re self-employed; the people who pay them aren’t “Management”, they’re customers.

LIBRELLE:  Here’s a study that proves you wrong!

ME:  It’s not a study.  It’s an AFSCME press release.

LIBRELLE:  Clearly you don’t care for fact.

ME: Clearly you googled “Child Care Unionization Is Good”, and that’s the first result you found that agreed with your premise.

LIBRELLE:  So you hate facts and children AND Google!

ME:  So after reading Minnesota leftyblogs, you’ve learned to “Debate” with insults, chanting points, strawmen, ad-homina, deflection and personal attacks?

LIBRELLE:  Don’t you hate being pwn3d?

ME: Um, yeah.  That’s exactly it.


7 thoughts on “Conversation

  1. Please forgive this slight diversion of topic.

    On Sunday, I e-mailed all of my state representatives about civilian use of drones. I suggested we needed to ban them outright, right now. I’ve already heard back from them, which is a record in and of itself, but I just have to share the responses.

    From my state Rep. Tom Stringer:

    Thanks for the email.

    I believe that Rep. Dan Hamilton has introduced a bill in the House to address this concern. I will support him.

    Tommy Stringer

    Next, my state Senator Tom Corbin


    Thank you for your e-mail. I agree, let me do some checking on this. Contact me back in a few weeks. Thank you for your patriotism.


    Some of you will be thinking “So?”, but since Mitch and I were both disenfrachised by the foul mouthed honorable Sandy Pappas for years, I thought he’d enjoy sharing the warmth.

  2. Obama’s got his composite ex-girlfriends, Mitch has his composite liberal. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. :^)

    Seriously, I’ve debated “Avery” at times. One of the scariest times is when I suggested they might do well to ask themselves “what would you conclude if indeed X is true,” and the former high school debater (and a decent one, made it to state) and Harvard grad would not consider something hypothetically, afraid it would somehow poison his thinking (as it were) even if he learned it were not true.

    And I’ve got to admit it; I’m personally disappointed that Doggone hasn’t been visiting the past few days. At the very least, it would have been highly entertaining.

  3. I realize this is, however accurate it may be, fictitious…but it would be very hard for me to be engaged conversationally with anyone who used the term “cray cray” (among many other terms that I wish would perish in horrible, unspeakable fashions) and not only NOT take them seriously…but to also restrain myself from slapping them silly as punisment for assault on the English language and the concept of meaningful, legitimate dialogue…and I am not a violent person.

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