I am hearing a lot of this in the wake of the Donald Trump–Morning Joe tweeting scandal.  In this case, “howeverism” is a rhetorical strategy being used by conservatives and Trump supporters, but it could apply to people of all parties and affiliations.

I’ll just explain it with my tweet:

Howeverism is an example of how politics pervades almost every dimension of public discourse.  Trump’s tweets about Mika Brzezinski require complete moral condemnation.  Howeverism weakens moral condemnation with an unhealthy dose politics.

2 thoughts on “Howeverism

  1. “Howevers” have a legitimate purpose when they are used to show that the person complaining about the behavior of one person inconsistently fails to complain about the same sort of behavior when done by another person. The reason for such inconsistency is not infrequently partisanship, etc. “Howevers” are not legitimately used to justify or excuse misbehavior.


  2. There are “howevers” that are followed by excuses, and then there are “howevers” that simply establish context. Those who have no “howevers” tend to see “all things Trump” in a vacumm and are treating this episode, as so many others, in a surface, non-contextualized way. Both parties in this unfortunate silliness are to blame.


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