Clinton II: Bullshitter or liar-can be both and can’t

May 2, 2016 § Leave a comment

be neither…

“The problem, of course, is not that Hillary Clinton is not taking progressive positions. The problem is that, given her record, the best analysis of her policy platform is that she is lying about those positions. Now, lying is a strong word and given her profession (politician) let us use a nicer word, bullshitting. Hillary Clinton is bullshitting people on what she will do in office and a large slice of the Democratic Party base knows it.”

“Bullshitting” isn’t a ‘nicer’ word and I disagree with Faveau…. wait. She isn’t bullshitting, in the sense that one definition requires the bullshitter to know, and care about the difference between the truth, and other things.. But the definition of bullshitter that I accept [because it clarifies a difference that recognizes knowing truths and knowing untuths is that a bullshitter is unconcerned with the truth in the sense that he/she doesn’t care about it in the same way that the bullshittee [that’s you and me here in this primary season] is.

Clinton II is a liar as was Clinton I [about a personal matter that wasn’t germane to governance] [and they can be both depending upon the situation]. Clinton II is engaged in a knowing deception of an insincere hip-fake to the left [call it the Birch Evans Bayh II ploy, from 2006-2008 when he feigned a left tilt, once leaving office he returned to Foxdom].

“This does not mean that his speech is anarchically impulsive, but that the motive guiding and controlling it is unconcerned with how the things about which he speaks truly are.

It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction.”

“What bullshit essentially misrepresents is neither the state of affairs to which it refers nor the beliefs of the speaker concerning that state of affairs.”

Clinton II isn’t bullshitting. She’s lying.

Frankfurt “On Bullshit”

Quoting Frankfurt, Pennycook, in “On the Reception of Bullshit”

“It is understood by everyone in a bull session that the statements people make do not necessarily reveal what they really believe or how they really feel” (p. 9).”

“This qualifies as bullshit under Frankfurt’s broad definition because the content is being communicated absent a concern for the truth.”

Clinton II isn’t bullshitting, she is lying about her “progressive” leanings.

Pennycook “On the Reception of Bullshit”

“Never tell a lie when you can bullshit your way through.”

7 E. Ambler, Dirty Story (1967), I. iii. 25. The citation is provided in the same OED entry as the one that includes the passage from Pound. The closeness of the relation between bullshitting and bluffing is resonant, it seems to me, in the parallelism of the idioms: “bullshit your way through” and “bluff your way through.”

Read but not rigorously proofed and edited.


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You are currently reading Clinton II: Bullshitter or liar-can be both and can’t at Wednesday in the Age of Reason-Munchausen (1988).


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