Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What Kind Of Day Has It Been



Colin said...

Not sure how the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy comes into play, as both Weigel and I have cited evidence in support of our position rather than mere correlation. I pointed out a National Journal article noting that the advantage of presidential incumbency is less pronounced in this cycle while Weigel cited the editorial director of the Sunlight Foundation who opined that both Gingrich and Santorum would have had to drop out by now without SuperPACs.

But let us say for the sake of argument that Citizens United has nothing to do with any of that. Even if we admit that the evidence that Citizens United has improved elections is not very compelling, the evidence that Citizens United has made elections worse is about zero. And if we can expand freedom -- particularly the freedom of speech -- without making things worse, then that's a good thing and validation of the wisdom behind the Supreme Court decision.

Ben said...

Weigel's lede paragraph engage in post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning. You're right, he applies some evidence thereafter.

As to Gingrich and Santorum, yes they likely would have. But that they would have when facing a well-self-financed candidate is arguably a vindication of Citizens United in the circumstances of the Republican primary, it hardly bears out the broader statement about CU leading to greater competition. Again, see the plethora of competitive presidential primaries in recent years, before CU and under a campaign finance regime.

Nice rhetoric; it's of course persuasive so long as you subscribe to the money = speech framework and ignore the possibility of corruption. We've had this debate a lot and we can continue it but, as I'm leaving the country for two weeks, I beg your pardon in seeking a reprieve in this instance.

All that said, I am obviously enjoying the Republican primary.