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June 24, 2008

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The Complex Litigator

When debates evoke anything connected with the Nazis, I begin with the presumption that the speaker cannot objectively address the issue. Successfully associating a person or a position with Nazis undercuts the credibility of the person or position so tarnished.

In this instance, the policy opinions of the Center for Justice and Democracy ("CJD") and the Manhattan Institute diverge. The materials about the Chamber issued by CJD reflect a policy position that rests, in part, upon the manner in which various priorities and values are ordered and weighted. Point of Law dislikes the CJD's message about the Chamber, but it isn't easy to offer an easily consumed counterpoint. Thus, Point of Law takes the lazy way out, attempting to associate the CJD's position with Nazis. But the lazy way is often dangerous, as the easy refutation in this post demonstrates.

What is ironic about all of this is the irrationality of the charge when political views are incorporated in the discussion. CJD predominantly advocates positions that are "liberal," while the Manhattan Institute advocates a largely "conservative" viewpoint. Fascism is not typically associated with liberalism, which, at its most extreme, has more in common with socialism. Conversely, some conservative positions, taken to an extreme, are more akin to Fascism.

Although political rhetoric seems to be running at an all time high, the United States seems well removed from either Fascism or Socialism.

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