A Response to Instapundit

By
Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I see that my post knocking reporters for covering the “Max Baucus was drunk” video got linked by Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, who 1) misunderstood my point and 2) made a silly assertion about Joe Biden that was promptly debunked. Did Reynolds make those mistakes under the influence of some intoxicants? It’s irresponsible not to ask.

So, here’s Reynolds:

SO, MAX BAUCUS WASN’T DRUNK, because Joe Biden had an aneurysm?

No, the Baucus video reveals nothing because similar videos have been published to make Biden — who does not drink, and whose occasional slurring has a medical explanation — look like he was drunk. Reynolds continues:

And — though this is an aside, and not really relevant — if Biden is a teetotaler, as Weigel says, what’s he being served in this White House video? Or was the beer just for show, to bolster his “ordinary guy” credentials? UPDATE: Bucklers NA Beer? More here. So, yes, for show.

Yep. Biden, like plenty of teetotalers, drinks non-alcoholic beer. If Reynolds thinks that’s a sham to bolster “regular guy” credentials, he should probably see this June 8, 2007 photo of former President George W. Bush.

bush_beer

Reuters

That’s Bush enjoying a non-alcoholic beer at a G8 summit. I did a quick query for Reynolds’s post attacking Bush for this fraudulent show of “regular guy” solidarity, but I guess the search engine is broken.

Follow David Weigel on Twitter


Comments

64 Comments

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antsydrew
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

Has Glenn ever issued a sincere retraction of one of his drudge-bait smear links that wasn't just an excuse to bash the intended target more? Utterly classless.


Instapundit » Blog Archive » SORRY, STILL NOT SEEING THE ANEURYSM CONNECTION. Weigel’s snark notwithstanding, it was a weak poin…
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[...] STILL NOT SEEING THE ANEURYSM CONNECTION. Weigel’s snark notwithstanding, it was a weak point. As for the Biden angle, note that I [...]


Instapundit » Blog Archive » SORRY, STILL NOT SEEING THE ANEURYSM CONNECTION. Weigel’s snark notwithstanding, it was a weak poin…
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[...] STILL NOT SEEING THE ANEURYSM CONNECTION. Weigel’s snark notwithstanding, it was a weak point. As for the Biden angle, note that I [...]


Instapundit » Blog Archive » SORRY, STILL NOT SEEING THE ANEURYSM CONNECTION. Weigel’s snark notwithstanding, it was a weak poin…
Pingback posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

[...] STILL NOT SEEING THE ANEURYSM CONNECTION. Weigel’s snark notwithstanding, it was a weak point. As for the Biden angle, note that I [...]


riffle
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

There are a lot of two-bit attorneys, so it doesn't surprise me that Glenn Reynolds is one.

But the University of Tennessee must have really looked hard to find such a shoddy two-bit hack law professor.


letalismaximusesq
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:21 pm

Yeah, but was Baucus drunk or did he have a aneurysm?

Cuz, you know, something sure seemed to be wrong with him.


24AheadDotCom
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

Catfight!

Maybe the two of you could make up and do us all a favor by going Galt together.


buzz
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

1. Biden has made stuff up his entire career to appear to be a blue collar guy. Got any other pictures of him drinking fake beer, or was it this one time?
2. Bush, as far as we can tell, is no longer President or involved in any level in government. Appears both Biden and Baucus both are. Your Hey Look at The Other Guy defense is weak.
3. Glen Reynolds has been posting for years, Yet your 'fans' here in the comments are unable to argue actual postings, but rather insult the messenger. The lazy and ignorant path. Not surprised.


CaptainVictory
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

“[T]he Baucus video reveals nothing because similar videos have been published to make Biden — who does not drink, and whose occasional slurring has a medical explanation — look like he was drunk.”

That's what we call a nonsequitur. Reynolds was justified in pointing it out.


Morgan
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

Man, it was just a question– he looked weird. Stuff like that is not off limits for asking. And Biden has nothing to do with it. You make the connection because they're both Dems? What does Biden's aneurysm have to do with Max Baucus, did he have one too?

The one similarity between the two is that there is also a likely explanation for Baucus. But the question is certainly not off-limits, and saying 'Biden had an aneurysm' is not an answer for what was up with Baucus.


trinidad1107
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

Why is it that simply because a guy has a 'D' or 'R' next to his name, people believe they should defend or even lie to protect him or her? The guy had obviously been drinking at lunch or whenever! If f'ed up and he will deny it and his PR will deny it, but pleeease to all the morons who feel the need to defend someone who they don't even know and try to spin what we can clearly see and hear….STOP!


dandapani
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

And I supposed the Drunk Biden singing the Village song YouTube is a fake, also.


Steve
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

>”the Baucus video reveals nothing because similar videos have been published to make Biden — who does not drink, and whose occasional slurring has a medical explanation — look like he was drunk.”

So what is the explanation for why Baucus looks drunk? You say it's not due to Bidens reason – what then?


zaggs
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

Wiegel, either prove Baucus was not drunk or shut up. You're the one calling it a smear so back up your assertion.
Also is Bush at a media event for the G8 summit in your picture? I mean its kinda hard to give some sort of cred at a non media event unlike the one that had Biden drinking the brew.


George
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

Agreed – Reynolds was entirely correct in pointing out that Biden's issues have nothing to do with Baucus and reporters are entirely correct in asking what's happening. If there is nothing happening, then Baucus can come right out and say there's nothing there. No reason for Weigel to be a protective lapdog for the senator.


Jeffersonian
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

So exactly what was your point here, Dave? Did Mad Max have an anyeurism?


asdf
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

“Shut up, he explained.”

So far, none of Wiegel's defenders have been able to produce any good defense of the Baucus video. “Biden had an aneurysm” doesn't tell us a thing about whether Baucus was drunk or not.

Are you arguing that Baucus had an aneurysm, too? Why haven't we heard this before? Why haven't we seen him acting inebriated before?

Your best bet to defend your cronies right now is to ignore this story and hope it goes away. Invective will just fan the flames and reveal more damaging information. Unless you genuinely believe he was sober… but somehow I doubt you do.


mojavewolf
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

Mr. Reynolds didn't “bash” anyone, he correctly bashed a weak argument using a rhetorical question to show its absurd conclusion. I see not a word on Mr. Weigel himself. You, however, managed to throw in “drudge-bait smear links” showing that you yourself are not above ad hominem. To answer your own rhetorical question, the short answer is yes, Mr. Reynolds has corrected the record, including on this point, although I'm not sure how one would “retract” a link, anymore than one would retract reading a newspaper.

Mr. Weigel, I did not read Mr. Reynolds point as a “silly assertion” – as I have stated it's a rhetorical question meant to point out weak reasoning. It's irony, you know, saying something different from ones literal meaning. It's pretty common and if you aren't picking up on it, you are misreading an awful lot of people.

Back to the salient point, unless the video was doctored (ala Jeff Goldblum on Apple), why did Sen. Baucus sound so odd?


letalismaximusesq
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

Oh, and you are LYING about George W. Bush.

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, ever actually “enjoyed” a non-alcoholic beer.

Case closed. End of story.


mikkins
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

This is just silly, If Baucus's slurred speech, rambling, and unsteady appearance are due to a medical condition, why hasn't the man been rushed to a hospital? Why hasn't Mr. Baucus said he has a pre-existing medical condition? If he did have a existing medical condition, how come we haven't seen this behavior before?

Your defense of the man is weak. Very, very weak,


zzz
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

Oh go look for Mexicans on the border or something.


fenrisulven
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

Watch David Weigel chase his Strawmen around in circles. Typical. Hey, why don't you go play with your Tu Quoque some more.

And “Voting While Drunk” sure explains the train wreck of our current Congress.


Gmama
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

Biden drinks non-alchoholic beer, like Bush, and slurs words because he has a medical condition, therefore even though Baucus appears drunk, slurs words and ambles on in the fashion of a drunkard and has no medical condition to explain his actions, he's sober!

This is crystal clear logic if you are a democrat hack!


paulzummo
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 3:24 pm

Man, you're a hack. Nobody misunderstood your point, we all just thought it was a stupid non sequiter. Obviously you've never caught on to the first rule of holes.


antsydrew
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

“Mr. Reynolds didn't “bash” anyone”

Of course he did. In this case, he bashed Biden.

“You, however, managed to throw in “drudge-bait smear links” showing that you yourself are not above ad hominem. “

It's not ad hominem to point out Glenn's MO: he selects his links to hype partisan attacks and smears. The fact that he phrases them as innocent questions or even just “here, look at this!” is sort of irrelevant. It's all part of a very obvious ideological frame.

And when he corrects some of the aspects of a smear that he can no longer fully defend, this bizarrely never changes his attitude or conclusions: in this case he simply pivots to slam an associated political opponent.

Why did Baucus sound odd? Watch some other videos of him talking. Unless you think he's drunk all the time, a pattern emerges. That's the way he talks. You think he was drunk in this case, YOU demonstrate it. Or else stop tossing around the smear. Weigel's point was that this particular smear gets thrown around a lot, and there are a lot more explanations for how someone talks than intoxication, and what conclusion you jump to says a lot more about what you'd like to be true than the reality of the situation.


conor_ob
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

Bush drinking NA beer may indeed be a stunt to boost his regular guy creds. So how is that a defense of Biden? And anyway, Bush generally didn't need to boost that side of himself — probably the opposite — whereas Biden has a reputation for pomposity and arrogance. And Bush never held a regular guy “beer summit” at the White House, so I don't recall him ever publicizing his choice of beers.


UsmellFunny
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

Dave -nstead of being a hack carrying water for one of “the boys,” why don't you actual do some reporting and find out why Slurry McSlur was slurring his ill-tempered little rant? You could do something newsy like ask a question….or you could just make assertions based on your total lack of anything relating to what was going on inside the skin of the slurrer. Maybe you are a mind reader. But then, maybe you just have an aneurysm so you THINK you're a mind reader. I had a neighbor who thought his cat was trying to kill him…but he didn't slur…nor did he insanely rant against Senators who supported the will of the majority of the american people.

Hmmmm…I wonder which is worse…voting while drunk or voting while blood is oozing into your brain from a leaky blood vessel. I also wonder which is worse, blogging while stupid, or blogging about someone blogging while stupid. I'll let you and Prof. Reynolds work that out.


Murgatroyd
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

Mr. Weigel, you've proposed two possible explanations for Baucus' behavior. Either he was temporarily incapacitated by being drunk as a skunk on the Senate floor and disgracing himself, or he was incapacitated — possibly permanently — by a cerebral aneurism, in which case he's unfit to hold office due to medical incapacity. Either possibility isn't a credit to the judgment ot character of Senator Baucus.

Got a third explanation? I know! Maybe he was just auditioning for the part of Bluto Blutarsky in a remake of Animal House!

“You guys up for a toga party?”


getreal
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

“No, the Baucus video reveals nothing because similar videos have been published to make Biden — who does not drink, and whose occasional slurring has a medical explanation — look like he was drunk.”

Nothing? No-thing, eh? Nada?

Great, when a cop pulls me over, I will tell him my slurred speech etc. is nothing, because Biden has videos out there where he did the same thing, but wasn't drunk.

Nothing. lol


Daniel
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 4:20 pm

Do you really think it wise for a president to drink alcoholic beverages at an international summit?
I guess you mean to imply that Biden is no worse than Bush, which you consider a high complement. But Biden was not representing his country at a summit so your argument doesn't quite prove your point.!


MM
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

Glenn Reynolds misunderstanding something to make a silly assertion? I am shocked.


MM
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

How do you prove someone wasn't drunk?


24AheadDotCom
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

Bum fight!

In this corner, Glenn Reynolds. In the other corner, Dave Weigel.

It's the Thrilla in Galt's Gulch.


moptop
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

Yeah sure,. Not only was Baucus not drunk but his speech impediment has caused him trouble in the past, for instance, somebody mistakenly thought that he had nominated his lobbyist girlfriend for US attorney.


J.R.
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

So… by using your “logic:”

Biden slurs his words because of an aneurysm.
Therefore if Baucus slurs his words, its not because of alcohol, but because of an aneurysm.

Cool! Can I play too?

Rod Blago is a Chicago politician, and a criminal.
Therefore, all Chicago politicians (Obama et al) are criminals.

Andrew Sullivan is a gay blogger.
Therefore, all bloggers are gay.

Tiger Woods is a pro golfer, and a man whore.
Therefore, all pro golfers are man whores.


chrisjay
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 5:51 pm

conor
have you ever heard oberst's open-letter song to Bush?
you should change your name to
toby_kth


Murgatroyd
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

Weigel's logic is more like Woody Allen's in the movie Love and Death:

“All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore … all men are Socrates!”


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flarep61
Comment posted December 29, 2009 @ 10:02 pm

Max Baucus Delivers The Best Ted Kennedy Impersonation Ever. More Lyin Than Ole Teddy would have liked, but an absolute slurrofest! Who needs red nosed Ted when we have Max!
Way to go! Show the world what happens when your National Socialist agenda is rebuked.


ken b
Comment posted December 30, 2009 @ 12:48 am

This is so weak it's funny. Weigel is arguing that, just as Biden's slurring did have a non-alcoholic explanation so might Baucus's. Logically possible. Generalissimo Francisco Franco might logically be alive, suggestive medical evidence to the contrary; doctors have misdiagnosed death before; mistaken identifications have happened before.


Steve
Comment posted December 30, 2009 @ 10:17 am

“this particular smear gets thrown around a lot”
/raises eyebrow


Daniel
Comment posted December 30, 2009 @ 11:46 am

Do you really think it wise for a president to drink alcoholic beverages at an international summit?
I guess you mean to imply that Biden is no worse than Bush, which you consider a high complement. But Biden was not representing his country at a summit so your argument doesn't quite prove your point.!


NickyJunior
Comment posted January 1, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

Ha ha ha Baucus sounded like the Cowardly Lion from the Land of Oz, he said the word “courage” so many times.

But the only “courage” Baucus had that day comes in a bottle and is manufactured in Lynchburg Tennessee.

The names “Jack Daniels” and “Max Baucus” should be forever linked, except that would be a horrible slur on the name “Jack Daniels”.


NickyJunior
Comment posted January 1, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

Ha ha ha Baucus sounded like the Cowardly Lion from the Land of Oz, he said the word “courage” so many times.

But the only “courage” Baucus had that day comes in a bottle and is manufactured in Lynchburg Tennessee.

The names “Jack Daniels” and “Max Baucus” should be forever linked, except that would be a horrible slur on the name “Jack Daniels”.


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