Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Moving the Window

Big Tent Democrat: "What I must condemn is the use of the phrase 'General Betrayus' by Move On in its ad today in the New York Times. This inexcusable use of the detestable Republican tactic of labelling those who disagree with you as 'traitors' is something I have long objected to and I must, in good conscience, strongly condemn Move On's use of this deplorable tactic."

There are two ways to respond when someone on "your side" goes "to far". You can condemn them and (implicitly or explicitly) encourage others to distance themselves from your erstwhile ally. By doing so you give weight to the critics argument and undermine your own case by making yourself look defensive.

Or, you can disagree with the form of expression used while still agreeing with the substance. You then go on to explain how the substance is correct, even if the message is "out there". You thus use the "offense" as an opening to get your point of view across as the "more acceptable form of criticism".

Every moment of outrage is a teaching moment. Take advantage of it.

Your assignment for today: Overton Windows

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