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Scenario:political party A is in power currently and previously political party B was in power. Political Party B while in power few years back did something questionable.(misuse of power).

I, including a lot of other people who share the same ideas criticized this vociferously.

Now Political party A is doing this same questionable thing while in power currently.

As usual Me and the same people who share the same ideas are criticizing this questionable thing.

The retort we get from Party A loyalist is why didn't you criticize Party B when they did this.

This retort is dishonest according to me because it automatically puts burden of proof on me to do the below two things before even trying to discuss the current issue.

  1. Open my Criticism of Political Party A by starting to first criticize party B.

  2. Provide proof that they I and people like me have in fact criticized Party B

This in turn takes the focus on the current issue and dilutes it with other partisanship.

Party B did need to have a separate focus and needs to be dealt with but conflating those two will not solve either problem but divide us more.

My Question is there a name for this fallacy of argument (the retort by party loyalist)?

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Ultimately, the truth value of a statement is independent of the person saying it. Even if it was Adolf Hitler himself speaking out against antisemitism, his character and former actions would not be tied to the truth or falsehood of the claim that antisemitism is wrong. This manner of rhetorical diversion is a logical fallacy, described as 'ad hominem.' It might be more specifically referred to as 'tu quoque,' if the attacker is claiming hypocrisy on your part. However, regardless of the truth of that statement alone, you may still hold views which are inconsistent, and that is a separate issue which ought to be resolved by considering the context and actions of both parties.

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I do not see the retort as dishonest. The response does shift the burden to you, but this shift is legitimate. Party A Loyalist is arguing: this situation over here is just like that situation over there, so why criticise one but not the other? Explaining the difference is the job of the advocate.

  • Hi Mark,thanks for your reply. They are not interested in my previous critisism. but only intrested in diverting focus away from their party.Even if I give all my previous accounts of critisism they are not interested in proving my hypocrisy which does not exist in this scenario. – rmaheshiyer Jul 2 '17 at 5:45

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