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Wow. Just when I thought Obama's DoJ couldn't come off looking any more amateurish. They're really an embarrassment.



I don't know the word is for what you've done in the way you phrased this post but I don't like it, especially on HN.

You very-intentionally call it "Obama's DoJ". While in some sense it 'is his', I'm pretty sure you just call it that to associate it with a bundle of things that we are supposed to blame Obama for. It's what Fox News/GOP propaganda does when they want to build a narrative that everything involved with Obama is horrible. Examples: https://www.gop.com/obamas-epa-is-at-it-again/, almost everything on https://www.google.com/webhp?ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&... which is largely published by NationalReview, ACLJ, etc, which are all conservative publications. This phrasing obviously is correct but it's always loaded and should be avoided.

You just post a comment of outrage ("wow, this is so amateurish"), pretending like there's no debate to be had around this and not opposing positions involved, and not arguing in defense of this. You pretend like there's no debate on the subject and lead us to agree with you.

You pretend like this is one instance in a long trend (without examples), leading us into a narrative that we actually have no reason to believe. You write as though you're in a crowd of people who are mad about the same thing, and therefore by appealing to the collective outrage that we're supposed to share, you reinforce the position and your solidarity with the crowd.

Does this kind of pandering-to-a-position have a name?


Well ... It is his department. And his track record of not abusing power (or any executive power) is very poor. Prosecution of whistle blowers, lack of transparency and so on ... even if he inherited it - he did nothing to change the culture.


There you go, saying all these things like they're obvious. I don't know that I believe you on any of that. I don't know that you could know the internals of it either.

But it doesn't matter, because I wasn't arguing with the claim at all (and definitely don't feel qualified to). I just wanted to be very clear that I wasn't falling for, and was not tolerating, posts that pretend like we all agree that Obama's terrible and, god, what an embarrassment. That's not rational or effective discussion at all.


I don't get the complaint here.

Are you saying that it wasn't amateurish? That somehow holding the president responsible for his branch of government is loaded? That most members here (at least most Americans) didn't support Obama?

Funnily enough, you call voices critical of Obama in a similar fashion to grandparent "propaganda" pretending like there's no debate to be had around this and no opposing positions involved, and not arguing in defense of this. You pretend like there's no debate of the subject and lead us to agree with you.

Does this kind of pandering-to-a-position have a name?


Er, ok, that was cute and obnoxious.

I'm not arguing the point at all. I don't know if it was amateurish. I don't have enough context to say.

I think the phrasing of the post is loaded in a counterproductive and mind-killing way. I think the phrasing sounds like propaganda, regardless of who it criticizes. I have no interest in arguing politics. I just want to condemn writing like that.


>Does this kind of pandering-to-a-position have a name?

Poor debate tactics. There are no rules for engaging in debate on the Internet (or in the news).


Yes, it's poor and ineffective, and we are good to condemn it here (the post was downvoted, fortunately). But I want to understand the word for the linguistic effect so I can more easily condemn it in the future. It's a lot easier to reason about things, especially subtle psychological things, if you give them names.


I'm convinced Daniel Dennett has a word for it and I shall find it!


The guy has been president for 8 years. Look at the age of the technology involved in essentially all of the recent, absolutely ridiculous, violations of our rights, and tell me whose DOJ it is.

Do you, lol, enjoy our federal government's recent posture in regard to this stuff? Do we need to say something positive about the DOJ for everything negative we say? Will that help you out?

You say there is no support for the position as though we're not all commenting on an article about it.


I make no claim about the article's opinion. I haven't made up my mind on the issue, but it doesn't matter. I am only criticizing the post I was responding to for having a rhetorical style that I despise.

The article is a single story, which is evidence to but not justification for a blanket claim that the DoJ is an ongoing embarrassment. I want a post that assumes agreement on that claim to provide a lot more of a narrative than one example.

And I still want to protest against the use of poisonous rhetoric like "Obama's DoJ", which immediately shuts down any rational debate, as I argued above.


Oh, come on. You're not really surprised are you? Obama kept all of the questionable Bush appointments even though he could have fired them. Just like he kept the entire national security team and all of the Goldman Sachs mafia that's running Treasury and the Fed. You were expecting change?


I wish you weren't right, but I agree. smoke, mirrors, and consistency. sigh.


how foolish to expect change from someone whose campaign slogan was 'change'


... or to decry gag orders from what was promised to be "the most transparent administration in history".


Do we know he wasn't the most transparent? All we know is that he wasn't very transparent.


Granted, it's hard to quantify. But we do know specific issues of transparency that were promised but never delivered.

Most egregiously, he promised that he'd post for 3(?) days, every bill passed by Congress, prior to signing it into law. This is something that he could have done unilaterally, it was - and still is - entirely his own decision. Yet that promise was abandoned within the first week of his presidency.

That the promise was so quickly and thoroughly broken, even in cases for which there's no apparent special circumstances, is sufficient evidence to me that the promise was nothing but pandering, without any good faith behind it.


This was 2.5 years ago. It hasn't gotten any better since:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/under-obama-administra...


Since there's no real reason to break this promise, I'm guessing it's a symptom of speechwriter/teleprompter politics.

I guess you can't expect that most of the words from a politician even made an impression as he orated them from the scroll/earpiece, less that they'll be remembered, less that they reflected any authentic intent or belief.


I'm starting to think that I should vote for someone in the next election who promises to maintain every status quo and aggressively obfuscate government activity, in the hopes that all politicians do the opposite of what they say they'll do.


At the risk of violating Hanlon's razor, this seems more a case of the DoJ being malicious than being amateurish.


This sort of behavior is the essence of "professionalism".




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