Rhetorical Shenanigans I: The Myth of The Single-Sided Gridlock

I will keep this short and simple:

There is a classic liberal line that gets tossed out by Josh Earnest at every available opportunity.


It’s a clever rhetorical twist and goes something like this:


We, the Liberals, cannot get “X” done because, they, the Conservatives, are causing gridlock.

This is pretty much all fluff — but it sounds good, and the past few years it has been repeated ad nauseam by liberals that just don’t feel like thinking.

Let’s rephrase that sentence without changing it’s meaning:


We, the Liberals, want to get “X” done. They, the Conservatives, do not want to get “X” done. Therefore, the Conservatives are causing gridlock.

Wait. This is sounding a bit weird now. Let’s rephrase again, remembering that Conservatives do not want to just block the Liberal agenda, but also push forward the Conservative agenda — these two priorities come to a head when there is a problem that both sides offer different solutions on.

There is a problem “Omega”. We, the Liberals, want to do “X” to solve it. They, the Conservatives, want to do “Y” to solve it. We, the Liberals do not like “Y,” but they, the Conservatives, do not like “X” either. Therefore, the Conservatives are causing gridlock and are unwilling to compromise.


Nope, you’d be insane to think this way. It’s completely illogical. When you hear that “some group is causing gridlock,” a manipulator is speaking. What they don’t want to say is that “some group disagrees with us and we disagree with them and because of that we are not able to make a decision at this time.”


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