Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Josh Marshall: Rand Paul is "deeply unlikeable" on a "personal level"

So I was reading Althouse, which is one of my go-to places for some lite thought-provoking bloggishness, and I came to this post about Josh Marshall's thoughts on Dr. Rand Paul. Paul is running for the U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky, and scored a big victory in yesterday's primary. Josh believes Dr. Paul is a "deeply unlikeable guy," and not just because he's a Republican - no, he's unlikeable "on a personal level."

The interesting thing about this post is that Josh appears to use a lot of therapy-speak. I realize he's not a professional journalist, in the sense that he doesn't have to be objective (or he doesn't have to try to be objective, I should say) when he's writing about persons, places, or things. But Josh seems to have written this as if he was talking to somebody, and he wasn't sure about how he viewed things, and he wanted to check them out. It is my impression that he qualifies his statements to make sure they're accurate.

Do you see what I mean?

  • "So is Rand Paul, on a personal level, just a deeply unlikeable guy?" Josh is asking a question of his readers. He's not actually saying that Paul is an unlikeable fellow - he just wants to know if his readers think that way.
  • "But I am getting the impression that Paul..." Josh doesn't know something for sure - he's just getting the impression. He wants to check it out, see if he's right, and make sure that his observational prowess is still good.
  • "... aside from just being very unlikeable in personal terms..." OK, Josh shows his hand here and writes definitively that Dr. Paul is very unlikeable. Or is he still talking about impressions? This is kind of tough, and gives Josh a cushion in case he has to backtrack and say, "No, no, I didn't say that Dr. Paul is very unlikeable. It's just my impression that he is unlikeable."
  • "... may be a much more devisive figure..." Josh believes that Dr. Paul is devisive. That pretty much goes without saying, right? But he could be even more devisive than Josh had previously thought.
  • "I get the sense..." Oh, my! Josh's feelers/sensors/antennae have activated!

I'm sure we're getting the same impression. Or am I completely off base?

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