Saturday, 12 January 2008

The Aaronovitch Dodge

Twinkle-Toed Argumentative Evasion

Thee Ay-Rawn-Noh-Vitch Doj

Two-part rhetorical ploy and moral blank cheque first employed by the nimble Decent journalist David Aaronovitch to skip past defenders.

Faced with an opponent, one first misdirects him or her by announcing that any person who refuses to support certain ill-conceived foreign policy adventures will bear moral responsibility for future deaths.

Having bedazzled slow-footed opponents, one then swiftly changes direction by announcing that those who supported said foreign policy clusterfucks bear no moral responsibility for the consequences thereof.

Correctly employed, this devastating rhetorical swerve leaves opponents dumbstruck at your audacity, while you bask in a zen-like state of absolute moral perfection, forever protected from the need to face certain unpleasant conclusions.

"But surely, Mr. Aaronovitch, your committed support for the invasion of Iraq was of great use to the British government at a time when it was having difficulties convincing the public of the case for war. By articulating and advocating the government's case with such care and deliberation, surely you bear some responsibility for the chaos and mayhem that resulted."

"I don't know nothing, mate - a big Fascist did it and ran away... It was like that when I got here. My Islamist dog ate it... It just broke itself, I never touched it... Oh, look, are those Iranian Bus Drivers?"

See also Terrorists Are Bad, Terrorism-By-Proxy, Departure From Universal Principles, Failures in the Reconstruction Process, Mea Culpa Sed Tu Quoque Ad Maximum.


Anonymous said...

Although I am against the over-use of footnotes on this blog I would be interested to a link to Aaro's use of this technique. Somehow the words "Aaro" and "twinke-toed" don;t work together for me.

Malky Muscular said...

Well, the whole step-shimmy-swerve takes about three years to complete, so I suppose "twinkle-toed" is slightly erroneous.

On the other hand, in fifty years it'll look like the most scintillating piece of slick footwork. History will deliver its verdict... Although I suspect it'll still be deliberating even then.