Oh, and the one thing that really, REALLY drives me nut-shudderingly mad is when I point out something about the current administration's policies, and I hear: "But Clinton --"
Boom. Done. You have just forfeited. You've just said "I have no rebuttal or ideas which contribute meaningfully to a discussion of the policies of the guy who not only is running the country right now, but has been doing so with the moral force of 9/11 behind him and full control of both Houses for the last FIVE. GODDAM. YEARS and so has the closest to absolute power of any President in a HALF CENTURY. There is no reasonable argument I can make based on current facts. I must pull up some comparison to Clinton -- "
Clinton has been gone for FIVE YEARS people. He is an ex-president! 'E's passed on! This president is no more! He has ceased to be president! 'Is term's expired and he's gone! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of legislative life, 'Is political processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off Air Force One, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-PRESIDENT!!
You know why this doesn't work as a reasonable argument? (Other than the skull-shredding simplicty of the above analysis?) It fails the EEBC.
Extrapolated Everyday Bullshit Comparison. Politics are often so rarified, and the arguments so bound in the theoretical, it always helps to employ the Kung Fu Monkey EEBC test. We take the idea under discussion OUT of politics, put it INTO an everyday situation, and see if it holds up.
For example, say you and I go to a restaraunt. It has been under new management for five years, completely restaffed. All new cooks. You order your food.
Your plate arrives topped with a huge, steaming pile of crap. And then they hand you the bill.
Now, as you stare at this, as you stutter, "Sweet God, they just gave me a PLATE of HUMAN FECES" --
-- I say "Well, yeah, but you should've seen what they served five years ago, under the old management."
Does that make any sense? Is that in any way relevant? In ANY universe? Of course not. You'd drive my forehead into the table, repeatedly. With justification.
And so we see the previous rhetorical tack fails the EEBC. So don't use it. Anymore. Ever.
By the way, the EEBC can be used in almost any situation. Say, oh, your child develops cancer. And he dies, agonizingly. And you find out that your oncologist, Dr. Rumsfeld, really didn't plan out the treatment very well, and also didn't care that your child, your only, sweet, sweet child, was treated with second rate equipment.
And when you confront Dr. Rumsfeld, he shrugs his shoulders and says "You fight cancer with the medicines you have, not the medicines you want."
You'd spend an hour kneeling on his chest, screaming, breaking every bone you could before the orderlies pulled you off.
On second thought, don't use the EEBC too often. That way lies madness. Common sense can break a man in the modern age.