The Implications of Implying
It appears that the new favorite debating trick of the left is, when no hard evidence is available to prove their point, to claim that it is implied.
The stifling of dissent in America?
Well we don't have any actual examples but the Bush administration has created an "atmosphere of fear".
Loss of civil liberties under the Patriot Act?
We can't give you specifics but there could be abuses.
The Bush administration linking Iraq to 9/11?
While the administration never came out and claimed it, they implied it was true.
The latest example is the whole "imminent threat" from Iraq as justification to go to war. Andrew Sullivan has done an amazing job covering this and cataloging the various media outlets that have tried to claim that President Bush said there was an imminent threat despite the fact that in reality he said quite the opposite. Here's what the President said on January 28th, 2003:
"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option."
It's pretty clear that the President is saying we can't wait for an imminent threat to act, ergo the threat isn't yet imminent.
Thanks to the work of Sullivan and others like Tony Snow of Fox News, the left has started backing off the claim that Bush said the threat was imminent. Now the argument is that the an imminent threat was implied. From an editorial that appeared in Saturday's Minneapolis Star Tribune:
While they're at it, those officials will keep hitting away at the WMD issue, insisting that if Saddam Hussein didn't have them, he still wanted them, and thus the invasion of Iraq was fully justified. Never mind that the new message is about 180 degrees off the message delivered by Bush and his team before the war. Then, the threat from Iraq's WMD programs was so urgent that a preemptive war was justified. Not a preventive war, a preemptive war, implying imminent threat.
The beauty of that argument is that it's almost impossible to refute. Since the act of implying is mostly a subjective rather than objective process, it is very difficult to prove that a particular implication is not accurate. In a way implying is almost like feeling. And we all know that you can't tell someone how they should feel. Or prove that their feelings aren't valid.
It really should come as no surprise that the left has once elected to shrink away from logic and fact based arguments and instead hide behind their old friend feelings. At this point it's the only thing they have left.