Doubts About the Psychometric Validity of the Bipartisanship Test

Marc Ambinder may be on Glenn Greenwald’s shitlist for playing faithful “stenographer” to the Obama administration over the state secrets issue–I think I agree with Glenn here–but Marc has regained my trust with a beautiful reconstruction of George Will’s most recent argument:

P1: John McCain enjoyed being bipartisan in the past.

P2: [All people who enjoy things in the past will want to continue doing them in the future.]

C1: Therefore John McCain wanted to continue being bipartisan.

P3: John McCain did not continue being bipartisan.

P4: [Only recklessness by House Democrats could cause John McCain not to be bipartisan.]

C2: Therefore House Democrats are reckless.


Premise-conclusion form can be useful for analysis, but where it really shines is as a tool of satire.

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