The editorial board of the New York Times has taken a page from the playbook of progressive academics: Instead of questioning the grounds of its opponents' claims, it questions its opponents' motives. According to the board, if you're opposed to trying terrorists in civilian courts, either you're trying to keep Guantanamo open or you're blocking whatever President Obama wants. Why is it so hard to keep persons and arguments distinct? We don't confuse pitchers with the baseballs they throw; why do we (some of us) confuse arguers with the arguments they make? For the umpteenth time, a well-motivated person can make a bad argument, and an ill-motivated person can make a good argument. If all you do is question the motives of those with whom you disagree, you do nothing to call their arguments into question. Nothing! The focus of debate, if it is to be rational, should be on reasons, not motives. Maybe that's it: The editorial board doesn't want rational debate; it wants personal attack.