Matt Barber: I Know You Are But What Am I?

Matt Barber’s latest column is quite a work of art. 

Still upset about the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled his good friend Peter Labarbera’s Americans for Truth a hate site, Barber begins by attacking “progressives” for their use of ad hominem attacks … by likening them to pig farmers: 

“Progressives” are like pig farmers. In an effort to bury opposing viewpoints they sling pejorative slop, labeling as “bigot,” “hater,” “wingnut” or “racist” those with whom they disagree. It’s the height of intellectual sloth.

The ad hominem approach – chief among logical fallacies – undergirds an effort to both marginalize conservative viewpoints and avoid arguing on the merits the controversies of the day. For liberals, to set sail in fair debate is to navigate treacherous waters.

Apparently unaware of the irony of decrying ad hominem attacks by launching ad hominem attacks, Barber then moves on to making a point that is actually semi-reasonable, at least by his standards, in which he agrees with the SPLC’s designation of Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group:

Cult leader Fred Phelps and his Westboro brood of “God hates F-gs” fame are infused to the marrow with pure, unadulterated hate.

Phelps hates homosexuals. He hates the military. He hates America. He apparently hates everyone. But he also hurts people. Intentionally, I believe.

The point Barber is trying to make is that it is people like Phelps who are the “real haters” and it is unfair to lump people like LaBarbera or Barber in with these sorts of bigots … and then Barber proceed to proclaim that it is really “leftists” who are the Phelps-like bigots: 

So, Fred Phelps aside, every time you hear some lefty like Anderson Cooper or Keith Olbermann despicably refer to Bible-believing Christians as “homophobes,” or who call grandma a “teabagger” (slang for a vile homosexual act), consider who the real haters are.

Whenever Mark Potok, Rachel Maddow or some liberal politico in Congress attempts to equate conservative Joe to a “right wing extremists” or a “domestic terrorist,” contemplate who the true bigots are.

The palpable irony is that leftists – with their slanderous name-calling, harsh judgments and ad hominem attacks – are, in truth, more like Phelps than those they falsely accuse.

So, to recap:  Liberals engage in ad hominem attacks when they equate anti-gay activists like LaBarbera or Barber to bigots like Fred Phelps, and that is unfair … because it is liberals who are bigots just like Fred Phelps.