Saturday, April 27, 2013

Confusing fact and fiction

Good piece by Megan McArdle:

Memo: The Aaron Sorkin Model of Political Discourse Doesn't Actually Work

Jed Bartlett doesn't win policy debates because of his amazing tactical skills, his overpowering arguments, or the sheer persuasiveness of his granite-faced brand of urbane folksomeness. He wins them because Aaron Sorkin is a liberal and he wants Republicans to lose on the major issues. Unfortunately for liberals, Tom Coburn and John Boehner don't have their lines faxed over from Hollywood every morning.
In a similar vein, Mother Jones finds the Tsarnaev brothers "confounding."

The 11 Most Mystifying Things the Tsarnaev Brothers Did
MoDo thinks that Washington is like an episode of West Wing. Apparently, MoJo thinks the average terrorist is a villain out of "24" or a "Die Hard" movie. This leaves them "mystified" at the brothers poor tradecraft.

If they had watched a couple of episodes of "The First 48" they would have no cause for surprise. The typical criminal is no brain surgeon. The bombers probably made fewer mistakes than your run of the mill street criminal.

That's what most terrorist are-- at least in part. Strip away the ideological motivation/justification/rationalization, and you find a street thug.

This is not to minimize the danger such terror-gangsters represent. The Mumbai attackers were no geniuses yet they killed 164 people and held a huge city hostage for three days. Terry Nichols hardly fit Hollywood's idea of a terrorist, yet he helped build a bomb that killed 168 people.

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