I'm always amused when people who advocate no limits to sexual behavior, no limits to 'family' structure, no limits to gender definitions, no limits to aborting fetuses, no limits to government borrowing or spending, no limits to government power, no limits to personal freedom get all bothered because someone said something that was 'over the line.'
They've been regularly eating camels for decades, then some gnat flies in their mouth and they need the Heimlich maneuver.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
From an Althouse commenter:
Friday, March 30, 2012
More good writing follows. H/T Rick.
Something's happening to President Obama's relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, "Nothing new there," but actually I think there is. I'm referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.
It's not due to the election, and it's not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn't happening.
What is happening is that the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who's not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it's his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it's a big fault.
The shift started on Jan. 20, with the mandate that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide services the church finds morally repugnant. The public reaction? "You're kidding me. That's not just bad judgment and a lack of civic tact, it's not even constitutional!" Faced with the blowback, the president offered a so-called accommodation that even its supporters recognized as devious. Not ill-advised, devious. Then his operatives flooded the airwaves with dishonest—not wrongheaded, dishonest—charges that those who defend the church's religious liberties are trying to take away your contraceptives.
What a sour taste this all left. How shocking it was, including for those in the church who'd been in touch with the administration and were murmuring about having been misled.
Events of just the past 10 days have contributed to the shift. There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for "space" and said he will have "more flexibility" in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he'd been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.
Next, a boy of 17 is shot and killed under disputed and unclear circumstances. The whole issue is racially charged, emotions are high, and the only memorable words from the president's response were, "If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon" At first it seemed OK—not great, but all right—but as the story continued and suddenly there were death threats and tweeted addresses and congressmen in hoodies, it seemed insufficient to the moment. At the end of the day, the public reaction seemed to be: "Hey buddy, we don't need you to personalize what is already too dramatic, it's not about you."
Now this week the Supreme Court arguments on ObamaCare, which have made that law look so hollow, so careless, that it amounts to a characterological indictment of the administration. The constitutional law professor from the University of Chicago didn't notice the centerpiece of his agenda was not constitutional? How did that happen?
Maybe a stinging decision is coming, maybe not, but in a purely political sense this is how it looks: We were in crisis in 2009—we still are—and instead of doing something strong and pertinent about our economic woes, the president wasted history's time. He wasted time that was precious—the debt clock is still ticking!—by following an imaginary bunny that disappeared down a rabbit hole.
The high court's hearings gave off an overall air not of political misfeasance but malfeasance.
All these things have hardened lines of opposition, and left opponents with an aversion that will not go away.
More good writing follows. H/T Rick.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Well said (in a comment to the linked post):
The old joke goes, "Once black, never back." Well my spin is "Once abort, you're in the cohort" Once you've crossed the line into an abortion, or know friends who have had abortions, or have been the sperm donor to a female who was obliged to have an abortion, you're pretty much hooked into the lib thinking system, because the only alternative is to believe you just killed your own child.
And the longer liberalism persists, the bigger this problem grows because one of the fundamental arguments of conservatives becomes more and more unbearable to contemplate -- that you are part of a movement that has killed 50 (soon to be 55, then 60) million babies for NO REAL REASON!
And that is why liberals have to shred the past and all previous norms of decency and even reason itself. Because as long any of these things stand, liberals stand accused of perpetrating one of the ghastliest crimes in all of history.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Sunday, March 04, 2012
It’s a useful distinction to consider. A particular moral idea governs left-wing views on social and health matters, and the left’s purpose with political advocacy is to put the power of government behind that view. By examining the left’s very different policy approaches to eating and sex, we can discern the features of the morality at work.
The left’s governmental approach to sex today involves, among other things, the following:
The suite of policies advocated by the left is designed to encourage sex but limit procreation and STDs. The social “good,” therefore, is deemed to be unfettered sex, while the social “ills” are the birth of children and the suffering (and infectiousness) incident to STDs.
Let’s compare this moral view and its program construct to the left’s policy attitude toward eating. In this latter realm, the social “ills” are thought to be obesity and the medical problems that come with it. But what is the social “good”? Is there one? It’s hard to say, because eating – which can be a most enjoyable activity, and far less avoidable than sex – is not, in the left’s moral view, considered a “good” to be promoted on whatever terms the individual prefers.
The left’s governmental treatment of eating is very different from its treatment of sex. It runs on these lines:
It is hard to make the case that eating a lot is worse than having a lot of sex outside of commitment and marriage. At the very most, the two practices are a moral wash, one no worse than the other. Both involve doing discretionary things with one’s body. Both involve courting well-known consequences. Both involve the strong potential for inconvenience to oneself and the larger community. It is making an arbitrary moral judgment, to insist that what causes obesity should be dealt with through coercion and the limiting of options, while what causes unwanted pregnancies and STDs should be the object of solicitude, and public programs based not on denial but on mitigation.
We know that eating in moderation and limiting certain foods generally results in better health than eating, indiscriminately, lots and lots of things we enjoy for only a brief moment.
But we also know that not having sex prevents pregnancy and STDs with unparalleled effectiveness. We know, moreover, that disciplining our sex drives, keeping sex within marriage, welcoming the children that come from it, and raising them with a father and mother are substantially more effective in preventing STDs, “unwanted” children, poverty, delinquency, addiction, and hopelessness than are government programs to distribute condoms and subsidize abortion providers.
If government treated obesity the way it treats sex, it would encourage schoolchildren to explore their enjoyment of Twinkies, Oreos, and moon pies; it would employ professionals to devise ways of suiting government policies to the principle that our bodies belong to us and we can put whatever we want in our stomachs; it would hold legislative hearings on the overriding importance of the freedom to eat what we want; it would resist the very idea of remedies that involve the individual eating less, or eating different things; it would pay for liposuction, cholesterol drugs, heart surgery, and diabetes-mitigation measures but not for programs of diet and exercise; it would encourage the development of drugs that could prevent fat formation regardless of what one eats; and it would make it a basic human right to be able to eat whatever one wants and have the consequences mitigated by the public.
There really is no case to be made that government should not do this. If, that is, we accept that government’s current approach to sex and its consequences is appropriate and warranted.
Ultimately, no discussion of these issues would be complete without the observation that if government – and the federal government in particular – wasn’t involved in them in the first place, it wouldn’t matter nearly as much when the people’s opinions and our moral perspectives on them differed.