Stupidest political talking point

You know those political talking points/issues/memes that pop up for a few days and then go away? For instance, back during the campaign, the idea that Obama had insulted Palin by using the phrase “putting lipstick on a pig”? Or that we should rename French Fries to “Freedom Fries”?

In your opinion, what’s the stupidest one in recent memory?
For me, it’s the idea that we should change the phrase “suicide bomber” to “homicide bomber”, to make it seem worse. This is dumb for various reasons:
(1) The reason the phrase is used is not some nefarious leftie PC scheme to ennoble the Palestinians. It’s because it’s a clear description of the distinction between “leave a bomb with a timer and depart” and “strap a bomb to ones self and detonate it”. Both involve homicide, only one involves suicide.
(2) While almost all of us agree that suicide bombers are horrible, evil, acts, and while most of them are supporting a cause that many of us disagree with in whole or in part, there’s no denying that willingly giving your life for a cause you support is something that takes bravery, at least in the instant, and something which is usually greatly celebrated and admired in our culture. No terminology is going to change that.
(3) Even ignoring all that, the term has been in use for ages. Terminology changes VERY slowly no matter what, even when the justifications aren’t idiotic, so the attempted change was hopeless to begin with.

A close second is the idea that it was somehow outrageous or offensive for Joe Lieberman to have pointed out during a debate that Dick Cheney had a lesbian daughter… which was of course public knowledge.

Note: obviously people are going to notice and remember more stupid talking points from “the other side”, and the SDMB definitely slants to the left in a US-politics spectrum, so can we take it as a given that more rightie talking points will be mentioned than leftie and not make a federal case out of it? Thanks…

Death panels.

Agree completely, and FWIW, they use the term “suicide” over here (and let’s face it, we have at least as much cause to hate them as you do).

Just a note–“freedom fries” wasn’t just an idea somebody floated, but was actually implemented in House cafeterias, for three years, at the direction of Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio. Also, “freedom toast.”

First thing that came to my mind was the argument against opening up more domestic oil drilling.

1 Even if we start drilling today it will be x years before it helps.

So doesn’t that mean we better start now, instead of waiting for the next crisis and using the same lame excuse again.

2 We don’t have enough oil to become independent so its just not worth drilling more.

If we can cut the amount of oil we import by 1% that is money we don’t send over seas more jobs and less dependency.

Other arguments I can see some merit in, but those just get under my skin.

I agree with all your reasons–as well as the fact that virtually all bombers are homicide bombers, otherwise what’s the point of the bomb?

In terms of existing production capacity relative to estimated reserves, the United States is already the most intensively-drilled country in the world.

Drilling more means we take ourselves out of the oil business sooner.

So we are just saving anwr and the Bakken Formation till when 2100 ?

even if what you say is true lets get what we can now and continue working on alternatives so if we do run out we will be covered.

Estamated reserves very greatly by some estamates we have more untapped oil than Saudi Arabia

but this is becoming off topic so it will be my last reply in this thread

Don’t remember this one too clearly, but based solely on the information here, I’d say what makes it outrageous is the fact that it was an obvious attempt to use the homosexuality of his child against him. Everybody might ‘‘know’’ that Cheney has a lesbian daughter, but who actually gives a shit? Homophobes and bigots. Thus I would conclude that Lieberman’s move was clear pandering to homophobes and bigots. Which is, of course, outrageous.

Also, I don’t think it gets much dumber than ‘‘freedom fries.’’

Gosh, there are so many. How do you expect me to pick just one.

The idea tha Al Gore claimed to have invented the internet comes to mind. So does the notion that raising the minimum wage will cause inflation. So does the idea that the First Amendment prohibits all government funding of religious activity.

But in the end, I have to give the crown to Steven Levitt’s claim that solar panels contribute to global warming. It’s just such a creative piece of outright idiocy that I can’t imagine anyone topping it.

flag pins, the pettiest thing I have ever seen in politics

And whether you should put you hand over your heart when you pledge allegiance or just when the SSB is sung. Then there is “supporting the troops”, as though trying to get them the fuck out of danger is not supporting them. But Death Panels is still the worst.

My favorite use of the phrase “homicide bomber” comes from this Fox News story from February 6, 2004 (which has been sitting out there on the Internet for over seven years now):

(It’s an AP wire story, and Fox News apparently just did a find-and-replace on the term “suicide bomber”. At least originally, you could find versions of the same piece at other news outlets with the term “suicide bomber”.)

How about issues that have NOTHING to do withthe office people are running for?

To use one example, during all the years I lived in New York City, the death penalty was always a major issue in mayoral races. And I could never figure out why.

The mayor of New York city can’t execute anyone! And the mayor of New York City has absolutely no say in whether the death penalty is legal- that’s up to the state legislature and the governor.

So, why did anyone bother to discuss the issue?

The same holds true in many races- who CARES if the state comptroller is pro or anti-abortion? Who cares what the county sheriff thinks about school prayer?

The notion that “you can’t raise taxes in the middle of a recession”. Sure you can. FDR raised taxes in the Depression while simultaneously lowering the unemployment rate.

“We’re taking our country back!”

(translation – ‘we lost the last election!’)

Originally, I thought “death panels”, but today I came across a (surprisingly inoffensive because of its wishy-washy bent) opinion piece asking: Is God Punishing Japan?. Brought to mind, once again, how much I despise the whole “God is punishing X (because I disagree with X)” idea.

I can’t think of much that’s more stupid than claiming, “I know the mind of $DEITY”, nor much that’s more revolting than doing so for political ends.

The whole thing’s stupid, but note that in any case, the word “suicide” already has very negative connotations in american culture IME. It’s considered like throwing one’s toys out of the pram and spitting in the face of god.

(Of course a soldier bravely diving on a grenade is held in the highest esteem. But, rightly, that wouldn’t be labelled “suicide” anyway – the death here is incidental, whereas a suicide bomber actually wants / needs to die).

I think the essential motivations are pretty similar. In each case, the individual is choosing to sacrifice himself (he believes) for his comrades and cause. And the choice need not be made in a context of violence. The parent shielding the child in the collapsing building is the same. Keeve just explained the concept in this thread in response to an OP that managed to be both overthought and dumb.