Aristotle's key error exposed: We know Steve Scully the tiniest bit, from way back in the award-winning guest star appearances on C-Span's Washington Journal days.
We know Steve Scully the tiniest bit. Like everyone else, we like Steve Scully a lot.
Last Sunday, at 7 AM Eastern, Scully fielded a series of calls from the rational animals. We're going to say that these phone calls may have exposed Aristotle's error.
Back in the day, Doctor Dolittle gained worldwide fame by talking to the animals. By way of contrast, Scully speaks only to rational animals, the ones who pick up the phone and call Washington Journal.
Last Sunday, the topic was the Kavanaugh hearings and the way it might affect voting patterns in next month's elections. Steve's second caller, Jim from Delaware, took a shot at Aristotle, though only indirectly.
Trigger warning! This is not what we liberals have been hearing on our own cable channel since last Thursday's Senate hearing. Beyond that, Jim's comments, which we'll post in three parts, may not always seem to make complete total rational sense:
JIM FROM DELAWARE (9/30/18): Good morning! Based on the reaction of my friends, I think a lot of them are going to vote now that probably weren't going to vote.Jim was calling on the Republican line. After Scully asked a follow-up question, Jim further detailed his views:
They're going to vote Republican, definitely, because I think Trump and this whole hearing has exposed the fact that, no matter who they put up, they would have drawn people out of the woodwork to testify against, against whatever the nominee was going to be. This has just become a standard tactic of the Democrats in order to thwart the Trump agenda.
And it's just made people sick, this whole thing, especially here in Delaware, where she's been hiding in Delaware for the longest time. And I truly believe that our senators are complicit in this, the whole conspiracy to keep Kavanaugh or anybody that is nominated by Trump off the Court.
So I think people have blood in their eye and they're ready for a fight this time around, big-time, to support the president.
JIM FROM DELAWARE: If they do an FBI investigation, I want them to investigate everybody. I'm talking about all the associations that Feinstein dealt with, all the associations that Ms. Ford had over the years with Democratic operatives.Jim's position? He hopes the FBI speaks to everyone Blasey Ford spoke to on the beach in San Francisco.
I want her to have those people who she talked to on the beach in San Francisco talked to. I want everybody that she talked to down at Rehoboth Beach, [Delaware,] or wherever she was down at the beach, I just want everybody talked to. Let's get to the bottom of where this came from. And that's the only way an FBI investigation is going to satisfy me.
When was Blasey Ford on the (cold, forbidding) beach in that (foggy) place? Like you, we have no idea! But in Jim's view, Blasey Ford was drawn "out of the woodwork" to lodge her accusation as part of "the whole conspiracy to keep Kavanaugh or anybody that is nominated by Trump off the Court."
According to Jim, Blasey Ford "has been hiding in Delaware for the longest time." She seems to have had quite a few suspicious conversations with people on various beaches.
Blasey Ford has been conspiring with various people on the shores of two different oceans. Jim wasn't asked to explain this idea, but so it goes, on a regular basis, when we the people call Washington Journal to air our political views.
Jim went on a bit longer this day, occasionally flirting with the possible truth:
JIM FROM DELAWARE: I just have a feeling that there are so many RINOs on that Senate committee that are so sensitive to being criticized in the press for being anti-woman that they are not going to really push as hard as they should. They have to stand up. This is a big issue, because no matter who was appointed was going to face this sort of stuff."Jim, thanks, from New Castle, Delaware," Scully said. On Washington Journal, by rule, moderators tend to accept whatever the caller has said.
I am sure there is a war room somewhere in this country where they just strategize on how to destroy this individual, that individual. It doesn't matter whether you are liberal or conservative or moderate, if you are put up by Trump, there is an effort out to put a target on your face, without a doubt.
In our view, Jim may have been a tiny bit weak on the shape of Trump-era politics. He seemed to think that there is a chance that Trump might nominate a liberal to serve on the Supreme Court.
He thinks the Dems will try to destroy such liberals if Trump decides to name them. He thinks the Senate Judiciary Committee is largely peopled by RINOs.
No, that doesn't seem to make perfect sense. But neither does the famous definitional claim which is widely attributed to Aristotle—the famous claim in which we the people are defined as the "rational animal."
Are we humans "the rational animal?" Does that famous statement capture who, or what, we actually are?
As the weeks and months roll on, we'll be exploring that question in more detail. This Sunday, though, Scully's next rational animal had called on the Independents line—and he took a novel approach:
ALLEN FROM OHIO: Well, it's not really going to impact my vote. I consider myself independent, but I have a tendency to vote Republican. When I was watching the hearings—and I have a four-year degree in urban studies from Cleveland State, and I understand Ms. Ford, or Dr. Ford, has this Ph.D. And you know what, I've had a lot of experience, and I hate to sound judgmental, but I have had a lot of experience with professors, and people with Ph.D.'s, they can be a little goofy, OK? And you know, there is something—she just doesn't seem to make sense. She's not credible. Not credible at all.According to Allen, Blasey Ford had possibly seemed a bit goofy, and she wasn't credible at all. To Allen, who has a lot of experience, it looked like a Ph.D. thing.
"Allen, thanks for the call," Scully politely said.
As the first half hour rolled on, so did the off-kilter calls from all the rational animals. We can't transcribe every call, though you can listen to all the calls here. But the seventh caller, on the Republican line, heatedly offered the thoughts and the claims shown below.
Warning! We can't vouch for this caller's "facts:"
HOWARD FROM FLORIDA: This has been a headache. OK? Because since the inauguration, OK, since the inauguration of Donald Trump, the lawyer representing Miss Ford was at the Women's March. She stated on that stage that she's going to do whatever it takes to take down this president and everybody that he nominates.In Howard's view, this was all prefigured long ago, at the women's march.
This woman said that! There's also word that Miss Ford was also at that march. This has nothing to do with rights of a woman. Yes, if that happened, then by all means she deserves justice. But if Kavanaugh did not do it, OK, then he deserves to be heard.
Rationals, can we talk? It would hardly be surprising if Blasey Ford's lawyer, Debra Katz, attended the women's march. That said, we find no report which says that she did, and we certainly find no report which say that she made the statement Howard reports.
Blasey Ford did not attend the march. "Howard from Fort Lauderdale, Florida," Scully said at the end of the less than fully rational call.
Scully's eleventh caller this day called on the Democrats line. She too wants to see a tough probe—a probe of Blasey Ford's "drinking habits" and her "drinking background:"
CAROL FROM NEW YORK: Good morning. I'm a woman. I'm a lifelong registered Democrat. However, I have some problems with the situation going on with Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford."Carol, from New York."
First of all, I guess I'm glad to have an investigation, but I would like it to also investigate Dr. Ford and go into her drinking habits.
On the night, or the day, of this occurrence, I'd like to know how she got to the house and how she got back. I'd like to know what her parents thought of her behavior that day.
I'd like to know about the money track that Dr. Ford was talking about. Immediately afterwards she had 500,000 in her GoFundMe page. Where did that come from? What's the trail of that? How did she get 500,000 so quickly?
I would like to thank Mr. Flake for encouraging more and more protesters to trap our legislators in elevators and scream at them. There's going to be a lot more of that. Those two women are going to be heroes, and this has nothing to do with the MeToo movement...
I'd like to wait this out, but she needs to be a little more investigated into her drinking background. Perhaps she drank so much that night that when she was pushed from behind, maybe she was not correct on who pushed her into that room. I just have a lot of questions so thank you and have a good day.
Carol wants to know what Blasey Ford's parents thought of her behavior that day. Since Blasey Ford says she didn't tell her parents about what allegedly happened, this doesn't necessarily make complete perfect total sense.
Carol is also concerned that protesters will now be encouraged to trap our legislators in elevators and yell at them. She seems to think that Blasey Ford is the one who may have been drunk that evening—which of course is always possible.
The next caller completed Scully's "daunting dozen." It was Jacqueline from Philadelphia, calling on the Republicans line. She loves to people watch:
JACQUELINE FROM PHILADELPHIA: Hi! I was questioning Dr. Ford. I love to people watch and watch their actions, and first of all, if I have a "Doctor" in front of my name, I don't think I would be speaking in that teeny-tiny voice. I noticed that right away.This caller didn't like Blasey Ford's teeny-tiny voice. She doesn't know if she liked Kavanaugh's crying.
I'm a kindergarten teacher and I don't talk to my kindergarten children that way. I speak firmly, I speak up. And I noticed that right away. I don't know if she's guilty or innocent.
And then as far as Brett Kavanaugh, I'm not so sure I liked that he was crying. I was people watching him too and I don't know if I like that. So I just wanted to make that comment. I kept the sound off on some of the things.
By now, it was 7:30 AM Eastern. Several of our youthful analysts had gone semi-catatonic.
"They don't sound like rational animals," one youngster managed to cry. "What was Aristotle talking about when he authored that famous assessment, the one we hear all the time?"
We thought the youngster was asking good questions. That said, we warned this youngster against going totally tribal.
You see, we also thought that some less-than-rational, great ape talk had been coming from some in the mainstream press, even from some on the left! Skillfully, we warned the youngsters:
We humans have been fashioning this great ape talk for an extremely long time.
Tomorrow: Doctor Dolittle meets sacred Descartes