Originally Posted by AemJeff
But it is ad hominem, by definition. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. The real question is, "is it unfair?"
"Ad hominem" is tricky in politics because there is a way to go too far in attacking the person. Certain attacks on character or on family cross the line. However, you can't separate the person from the argument entirely in politics, and it is the person who is ultimately elected.
An example that Glenn and John might appreciate is the Clinton/Obama race. There were few differences in policy (policy being the political equivalent of the logical argument) and the campaign were almost entirely about personal qualification and personality. For instance the whole experience question is precisely
an "argument to the person." In the original context of logic, the experience of the person making the argument has no bearing on whether the argument is sound.
Basically what I'm saying is that there is a way to be too personal, but that it is a person running for office, not an idea.
In the context of the diavlog, McCain performing badly in the debate doesn't necessarily mean he'd be a bad president, but it certainly doesn't do anything to recommend him. Also on the pragmatic side, it doesn't help him to win.