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Today’s WaPo Pinhead: Valerie Strauss October 11, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.

It used to be (about 10 years ago) that I thought that the Washington Post was the best-centered major newspaper out there. A bit to the left, of course, but closer to the center than the NYT, the Washington Times, the NY Post, the LA Times, etc.

No more. They are now as far to the left as the NYT, and every bit as careless in their fact-checking and narrative-generation.

Take today’s column by Valerie Strauss, for example. Entitled “Ben Carson flunks middle school history,” Ms. Strauss manages to completely not prove her point by excerpting irrelevant sections from middle school books, and by being incapable of constructing a single logical argument.

The controversy began with this pretty innocuous statement by Ben Carson:

German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s and by the late 1940s Hitler’s regime had mercilessly slaughtered 6 million Jews and numerous others whom they considered inferior. Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating deceitful propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.

Ms. Strauss leaps upon this with her opening salvo:

As has been noted by many in recent days, Jews were not allowed to carry guns under Nazi law, so the notion that disarmament helped increase the victim totals is nonsensical.

I don’t know about you, but that makes no sense at all. It sounds like she’s saying that the Nazis already disarmed the Jews, so that disarming them is irrelevant? I mean, it sounds like she’s agreeing with Carson’s statement (the Nazis disarmed the Jews in the 30’s) but then claiming that because it’s true he’s wrong. Not to mention that he said nothing about victim totals – he simply said that the Nazis’ job was easier.

Well, let’s continue with her second major point:

Jews resisted as best as their circumstances allowed. Middle school kids learn this.

So now I’m scratching my head as to where Carson said they didn’t resist. Because he said that the resistance was “relatively little,” not non-existent. And his measure was not how much effort the Jewish resistance made, but how much resistance the Nazis felt. Which was trivial.

In continuing to try to battle the “Jews did too resist” strawman she created, Ms. Strauss then completely destroys her own argument with this quote from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum:

Most Jewish armed resistance took place after 1942, as a desperate effort, after it became clear to those who resisted that the Nazis had murdered most of their families and their coreligionists. Despite great obstacles (such as lack of armaments and training, conducting operations in a hostile zone, reluctance to leave families behind, and the ever-present Nazi terror), many Jews throughout German-occupied Europe attempted armed resistance against the Germans.

[Emphasis mine] Yup, she chose a quote that says that the lack of armaments (obviously due, in part, to the disarming of the Jewish population) hampered the resistance movement.

Game, set, match. Perhaps Ms. Strauss should try reading beyond the middle school level. Or at least understanding what she reads.


1. skinbad - October 12, 2015


My mom (old, white, conservative) is all in for Carson. She’s sending him money, has a picture of him and quotes of his taped up in her house.

I visited an old, white, male conservative neighbor yesterday. He said there is one candidate that he believes is a good, smart man and he can’t understand why the media keeps going after him in such a dishonest way. At first I thought he was going to say “Trump,” but I said “who is that?” He told me to guess. I said “Ben Carson?” He said, “yes.”

I guess in my mind, he has the outsider “Trump” appeal for non-lunatics.

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