Friday, July 26, 2013

HNN On Barton's Newest Claim

Check it out here.


Bill Fortenberry said...

Okay, if we're gonna nitpick Barton's statement, then it's important that we nitpick what he did not say just as much as what he did say. Here is what Barton said:

You’ve got about 6,000 universities in America and they found four professors who criticized what I did. Well, 6,000 universities, you probably have 60,000 professors and they found four who didn’t like it.

This is what Barton did not say:

You’ve got about 6,000 universities in America and they found four professors who criticized what I did. Well, 6,000 universities, you probably have 60,000 professors and they only found four who didn’t like it.

jimmiraybob said...

wsforten - "This is what Barton did not say: ...and they only found..."

The "only" is implicit - implied.

Barton says just enough to let his audience draw the conclusions he wants and leaves himself a route of plausible deniability. You've served him well.

Now, I have some very special cure all tonic to sell you. Of the 6,000 snake-oil specialists that I imagine to exist I know of four that use another elixir. And, I might add, we don't know if those four are still beating their wives. I mean really, could you trust a snake oil specialist that beats their wife?

Tom Van Dyke said...

Mr. Fortenberg, David Barton screwed the pooch with this last Jefferson bit. Although his attackers are often unfair and inaccurate themselves, this time Barton is too far gone to be salvaged.

Time for him to join Erich von Daniken and Hal Lindsey in the Thank You and Goodbye File.

Bill Fortenberry said...

I have no loyalty to Barton per se. I just think that Throckmorton is reaching a bit too far in his accusation. Here is what I posted on Throckmorton's site in regards to Barton's comment:

As stated, Barton’s words leave room for two interpretations, and you are only focusing on one of them. He could have intended to imply that there were only four professors in all of America who disagreed with the conclusions of his book. Of course, if we applied this view to his later statement about Christian historians being taught by pagan professors, then we would have to conclude that Barton thinks all the Christians who disagree with him were taught by just four professors. This would be ludicrous to say the least.

The other possibility is that he was implying that with 60,000 professors in America, it would be fairly easy to find four who disagreed with him. This view of Barton’s statement is consistent with his statement just prior to the above quote in which Barton said that he forewarned the publisher about the criticism that his book would receive. If Barton thought that there would only be four professors in all of America who disagreed with him, then such a warning would have been completely unnecessary.

Both cases are equally valid interpretations of what Barton said, and I think that it would be best to reserve judgment unless and until Barton clarifies which of these two ideas he intended to convey.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Mr. Fortenstein, I have my own battles with Warren on these same grounds, but I think Throckmorton's on solid ground here.

Barton's insinuating that only some ideological opponents are faulting his work, but the truth is even putative allies such as Daniel Dreisbach and Tommy Kidd cannot support him on this latest Jefferson thing.

Which Warren rightfully and righteously links to

Pretty much there's not a single historian, left or right, Christian or atheist, who's getting Barton's back on this latest Jefferson mess.

And I say this as someone who's previously taken the stance that some or many of his points are at least arguable. But no more--he has indeed "jumped the shark*" and is unsalvageable. For the good of everything he believes in [God and country), he should go away.

But unfortunately, this is how he makes his living now, so he will not [cannot] quit. But it will never be the same.


Jonathan Rowe said...

Yeah I think once Barton is gone that leaves market share for Mr. Forten. to capture. And Barton made quite a mint while he had that racket going I understand.

Though I think WSForten's position is too hair splittingly nuanced for the masses he seeks to reach.

I don't think that, among other things, Bolingbroke as a Christian will sell.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Yes, but his Locke is excellent.