Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Delusions of Grandeur

Sigh. I probably shouldn't be spending time on this, but classes just got out, so what the heck? Jim Durbin, the guy who claimed that he single-handedly defeated the public option is back again trying to convince the world how brilliant he is. His latest claim is that by putting out false information and withholding a correction for several months, he somehow lured "liberals" into "admitting" that Kenneth Gladney was injured.

First of all, I'd just like to remind people that Durbin was claiming back in January that there was a massive government conspiracy that led to Kenneth Gladney's brother being fired by the local animal control department. Durbin uncharacteristically actually backed off that conspiracy theory after he realized how ridiculous it was, but it's hardly his only one. Anyway, back to the matter at hand, how exactly does Durbin think he "tricked" liberals into admitting Gladney was injured?

He never really makes this claim clear, just like Dana Loesch never explained the title of her post, "Are Liberal Bloggers Finally Admitting that Gladney was Beaten?" I guess the logic is supposed to be that if you acknowledge that medical records exist, that is equivalent to agreeing that Gladey was injured and/or beaten. But that doesn't follow: everyone agreed that Gladney decided to go to the hospital after the incident, so of course he would have medical records. So everyone can acknowledge the obvious fact that there are medical records without making any claims about the extent of his injuries. The interesting question is "to what extent was Kenneth Gladney injured?" In particular, was he injured in a way that explains the fact that he was running around immediately after the injury but then showed up in a wheelchair two days later?

Now I can already imagine Durbin's response. He'll likely say, "this proves that Adam doesn't have access to primary sources that I do and therefore his story about what happened that night is FALSE!" But, as I explained on multiple occasions, I actually don't have a story about what happened that night. All I've been doing is evaluating the evidence that's available. Here, once again, is a quote from my original post:
First, let me point out that I was out of town that week, and so couldn't be at the event. So I am not claiming to know what happened. In fact, I feel very similar to how I felt before the Iraq War: I didn't know that Saddam Hussein did not possess WMDs; I just knew that no one had provided me with any good evidence that he did. Likewise, right now I have yet to be provided with any good evidence that Gladney was the victim rather than the instigator (or co-instigator) of last Thursday's events.
I still feel that way. If Jim Durbin would like to present the evidence that he thinks is so convincing, he's welcome to do so. But so far the right-wing has failed to make a compelling case, so they don't have a good reason to be angry at the rest of the world for not jumping on to their bandwagon.

One last note, Durbin also recently wrote a post suggesting that Media Matters started writing about this case after a donation from SEIU in November. Unfortunately for Durbin, Media Matter actually started writing about this on August 8. Nice try though.

For background info, see "The Case Against the Tea Party/Kenneth Gladney Story"

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