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Figaro rips the innards out of things people say and reveals the rhetorical tricks and pratfalls. For terms and definitions, click here.
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    Eddie Haskelling Paul Ryan

    Ann Coulter, the demonizing rightwing agitbabe (and object of Figaro’s pervy fantasies), had to get on board with Mitt Romney’s suprising choice of a running mate. Problem is, Ms. Coulter had been backing the substantial New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie—presumably because the other potential picks weren’t potty-mouthed enough for her.

    So what do you do if you’re caught marching out of step with your political party? Deploy an Eddie Haskell Ploy!

    I think Paul Ryan is the perfect pick. I didn’t see it until Romney did it. 

    Figaro named this figure of thought after the smarmy kid in “Leave It to Beaver,” the one who sucks up to Mrs. Cleaver. Use the Eddie Haskell Ploy to enthusiastically endorse an opposing choice when you know you’re going to lose. It’s a great way to improve a relationship even while you lose the immediate battle. 

    In Thank You for Arguing Dorothy Jr. uses an Eddie Haskell when she says she won’t be going to a party—one her parents would never let her attend. The host’s parents won’t be there, Dorothy says, and (looking dramatically serious) “there’ll probably be alcohol!” (Page 64.)

    Too many people try to win arguments by scoring points. Smart people score relationships—or, in Ann Coulter’s case, the love of deep-pocketed Republicans. Nice Eddie, Ann! Keep at it, and one day your latest book may rival the sales of our book!

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    Reader Comments (1)

    Isn't there any way to win an argument in the sense that you prove your own point, without losing face to the public, and without caving on your own beliefs? It seems a lot of the tactics I'm reading in your book involve a steady backward battle reminiscent of pirates of the carribean. Any offensive tactics involve a lot of mind play, and not how to actually make your opponent appear as a legitimate loser in the debate.
    September 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWade

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