What has happened to the deliberative process in this country? Public debate in Washington has deteriorated into Sesame Street sing-a-longs. We are already inundated with logical fallacies: argumentum ad populum (it’s popular, therefore it’s true); argumentum ad nauseam (if you repeat it often enough, it’ll become truth); argumentum ad hominem (sabotage the person, sabotage the truth); and argumentum ad verecundiam (if my favorite authority says it’s true, it’s true).
To that list we can now add “argumentum ad filium”: If politicians appeal to the children, it’s unassailably good and true. The Obama White House has shamelessly employed this kiddie human shield strategy at every turn to blunt substantive criticism and dissent.