A few years ago, a group of banks in a small city got annoyed at the better deals offered by a little Savings and Loan. So they sued the S&L for inviting customers to “Do your Banking with us” when it was not a bank.
The S&L responded in court that banks are not S&Ls, so they must be kept from ever using the words “Savings” or “Loan”. The banks quickly dropped their suit.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
I usually enjoy goose-and-gander arguments. They involve applying a standard or rule in reverse. If you are going to impose a rule on me, see how it fits you.
For example, a Republican friend recently argued that it was unfair to tie Senator McCain to the popular-as-typhoid President Bush. So I asked if he objected to Senator McCain and President Bush tying Senator Obama to Hitler, by way of a Republican appeaser from 1938.
Now, a fair challenge to goose-and-gander is simple. Just show how one side applies but the other side does not. A second alternative is to find some mitigating factor that only applies one way.
For example, here's that same Republican totally demolishing me. He had sneeringly demanded whether Senator John Kerry had ever released all his combat records from his two tours as a volunteer in Vietnam. Turns out he had. So I asked if President Bush or Vice President Cheney had released all of their combat records.
My friend pointed out that my goose-and-gander argument did not really apply, since neither Bush nor Cheney had ever been in combat.
Why don’t you try it? The National Rifle Association recently held their national convention. It’s the one where some appreciative laughter could be heard at a joke about the ancient tradition of assassinating black political leaders.
Seems that NRA leaders had banned firearms in the hall. Anyone want to take a try at a goose-and-gander argument?
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