S.E. Cupp receives a “B,” but let’s not forget the curve

A number of people are criticizing S.E. Cupp’s Daily News article, “Pot could put progressives in a tough spot”. And, indeed, it’s pretty bad.

Here’s my attempt at subjecting parts of the article to the kind of criticism I give to student papers:

The same argument used against guns is used for pot: that legalizing pot and making it more available will reduce crime (Source?) No good liberal would say the same of guns, though there is substantial evidence to prove more guns equal less crime. (Such as?)

We’re told (Indefinite pronoun. Define “we.” And “told” by whom?) pot users will “responsibly” use marijuana in the privacy of their own homes. (This appears to be a direct quote. What’s your source?) But what barometer are they (Indefinite pronoun. Antecedent has not been identified.) using to determine that persistent recreational drug users, who have presumably broken the law before by possessing marijuana, are responsible people? (Non sequitur.) And why aren’t lawful gun owners afforded the same level of trust?

If progressives want to keep gun control “gun use” in the crosshairs – and many have said they do (Such as?) – they’ll have to reconcile this intellectual incongruity. (False equivalence.)


A successfully-delivered state-run program would send a clear signal that government functions (“can function”) more effectively at the smaller, local level and that federal bureaucracy, whether in drug enforcement or, say, health care, can only (“sometimes”) muck things up. (Logical fallacy. See #1 below…)


1. A single case proves little or nothing, as explained by this example found at the web page, Some Definitions of Science, posted by Dr. Bruce Railsback, from the University of Georgia:

A carpenter, a school teacher, and scientist were traveling by train through Scotland when they saw a black sheep through the window of the train.

“Aha,” said the carpenter with a smile, “I see that Scottish sheep are black.”

“Hmm,” said the school teacher, “You mean that some Scottish sheep are black.”

“No,” said the scientist glumly, “All we know is that there is at least one sheep in Scotland, and that at least one side of that one sheep is black.”

All we know is that there is at least one instance in the U.S. where state drug law has gone against the Federal government. Extrapolating this to all State vs. Federal government issues can lead to controversy. C.f. the history of the Thirteenth Amendment for more information.

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