Nisbet has made quite a few enemies on ScienceBlogs (including PZ Myers, Mike the Mad Biologist, and PalMD), and has even alienated people like Orac who sympathize with his aims but don't like his approach. But now I think he's worn out his welcome, at least in this lurker's eyes; he has tried to make the case that the term "denialist" is a Godwin. Wait, what?
He's completely serious about this -- claims that we shouldn't use it because it lumps in creationists, anthrogenic global warming deniers, germ theory deniers, etc, etc, etc with Holocaust deniers. And he actually quotes people who fall into one or another category of denialism to support this. Mark Hoofnagle at ScienceBlogs' awesome Denialism Blog responds. Hoofnagle's response, as well as his analysis of Nisbet's unrelenting obtuseness and evident incompetence as an expert in communications, is pretty much as you'd expect, and I more or less agree. I posted the following on Nisbet's response to attacks on his position, which seems to be little more than the old conservative canard that amounts to "I may be wrong, but at least I'm more civil than you":
Matt, if there's one thing I've noticed about your work it seems to involve bending and accommodating, defending and (attempted) desensitizing, but it constantly and consistently shies away from going on the attack and trying to reclaim the high ground from the anti-intellectuals and shills who have stolen it. We've seen from the last three US Presidential elections that your strategy tends to fail miserably in politics; the main reason Obama succeeded where Kerry failed had at least as much to do with promoting his message in states where no one expected it to take hold as it did any of the candidate's personal charisma (even though Obama has way more of it than Kerry).
It's as if you're teaching an MBA course and telling your students the importance of turning a profit without explaining how to create income. There are no tools for success in your concept of framing, only those to keep the skeptical side from being marginalized too quickly. (And not only that; you've shown yourself to be terrible at the very communication skills you're trying to convince people to have.)