Now that I think about it, it may have a polite name: Cognitive Dissonance. Of course, since the left is determined to keep you confused, it creates new descriptors and terms that have very little to do with Reality. If you're of a certain age, you might remember when we called Sanitation Engineers garbagemen. Remind me again exactly how much engineering goes on in a garbage truck...
Anyway, I ran across this post over at BadBlue this morning that typifies this strange habit of the left called The Perverse Logic of Protectionism from Cafe Hayek. Please bear with me as I attempt to outline this debate tactic. While the link deals with economics, the larger point is what I want to address.
At the link, the letter's author is attempting to refute protectionism by using extreme absurdities to make his point:
...Dr. Krugman in 1997 certainly understood that if high unemployment at home were indeed a good reason to restrict competition, there would be no reason to restrict only that competition that comes from abroad. Restricting all competition would be justified.
Huh? Maybe it's just me, but how do you get from advocating for American jobs to restricting all competition? It's as though you jump to the first hopscotch square and the other person is playing a game of lawn darts with you as the target.
In much the same way, we hear these types of strange arguments from the left a lot. Take illegal immigration for example. Mention to a leftist liberal (but I repeat myself) that you want to secure our Mexican border and you'll likely get something back like, "You're against immigration! You don't think anyone should be able to have a better life by coming to America! H8er!"
Huh? Not only was that not what I said, it wasn't even close to what I meant. The simple fact that we have an Immigration department for some very good reasons is completely lost on these types of people. We have borders for the same reason we have front doors on our homes.
The same leap by lefties to some outrageous conclusion can also be seen when the subject of the environment comes up. We've seen this on the national political stage many times. Those of us who keep up with such things know that we currently have the cleanest air and water in history, thanks to common sense regulations. But zealous regulators and agencies aren't content with that success. Now, we have entire sectors of the economy being eliminated by unnecessary, strangling over-regulation. Like the coal industry. Environmental regulations are now being used as a weapon against capitalism.
But if you dare suggest to a lefty that we dial those regulation back a bit, perhaps to preserve the creation of wealth, jobs, and the tax revenue they generate to support those agencies and cleanup efforts, you'll find yourself on the bitter end of a spittle-flecked argument of outrageousness that goes, "You want dirty air and water! You want children to die of asthma from air pollution! H8er!" and worse.
See what I mean? It's like your argument goes in one ear of a lefty, and since there's nothing inside to capture and process it, it goes right out the other ear.
Proving, I suppose, that it's just unfair to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.