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anathematic analogy

So, what do people think of the following comparison?

Republicans : Howard Dean :: Democrats : Sarah Palin

Think of the single colons in the analogy above as a specific amount of hatred and vitriol, the exact amount by which group A considers person B to embody all that is evil and wrong about the opposing party's views.

Are the colons about the same size?


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
Republicans : Howard Dean Clinton (pick one) :: Democrats : Sarah Palin

Sep. 8th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
I agree that yours is a better analogy. For instance, Democrats hate Sarah Palin because of what she did as mayor and gov. Republicans hate a Clinton because of what (s)he did as gov, sen, pres. Almost no Republican (or Democrat, for that matter) remembers what Dean did while governor of Vermont.

I also suspect that, if the Democrats manage to pull out a victory in all three houses this November and especially if the 50 State Strategy pays off with a couple of surprising victories in deep red territory, some Republicans may begin to view Howard Dean as Democrats view(ed) Karl Rove.
Sep. 8th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)
Almost no Republican (or Democrat, for that matter) remembers what Dean did while governor of Vermont.

The only thing I can even remotely remember about Dean is "YEEEEEHAAAAAAAWWWW!"
Sep. 8th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
Hm. I don't hate Sarah Palin, but I largely don't like her candidacy on the basis of her unpreparedness and (to be blunt) her being so obviously a sop to the Christian right.
Sep. 8th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
I do hate her a little, although I know it's useless to hate public figures, because she's such a vicious hypocrite--at woman getting power by supporting misogynist politics. It blows me away that she can parade her daughter's "decision" to have a child when she'd rather not give that choice to anyone else, for instance.

But I agree with your objections and I think they'd be sufficient without the rest of my anger.
Sep. 8th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
I think if I were still living in the US, I'd probably learn to hate her. Here, I never actually hear her talk, and I only read about her in blogs and the NYT (and in my Canadian paper). If I were in the US, I'd start hearing her on the radio or in ads, and I expect I'd start yelling angry things at the radio before too long.

Being an expat sometimes is much easier.

(But right now I have two elections to deal with. It could be better.)
Sep. 8th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
It blows me away that she can parade her daughter's "decision" to have a child when she'd rather not give that choice to anyone else, for instance.

I keep hearing this thought, and it keeps bothering me.

If you start from the premise that "Doing X is Wrong and should be Illegal," why is is wrong to simultaneously praise an individual for deciding not to do X when they have the legal right to, and also to fight to make X illegal?

I don't agree that the X in this case (having an abortion) should be illegal, and I gather you don't either. And I have no problem with objecting to Palin on the grounds that she does. But given that she does, the rest doesn't seem at all hypocritical to me.
Sep. 8th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
I think it's sort of subtle.

If you believe that abortion is murder (and believe that everyone should agree with you), then it is not particularly praiseworthy that someone decides to not murder their baby - it's a no-brainer, not a hard decision. I would not talk about how I am *proud* of my friends that they do not go onto Facebook and pretend to be a cute boy to drive their neighbors' kids to suicide (to take an example that I think most people agree is currently legal but wrong.)

That she praises her daughter for making a hard decision here implies that she realizes it *is* a hard decision, that both choices can have a painful cost. Which is I think how many pro-choice people regard the decision.
Sep. 8th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
Hmm... true. But I think the fact that the issue is controversial is relevant. Even if you believe that abortion is murder, and believe that everyone should agree with you, it's still true that a lot of people don't. A lot of people in Bristol's shoes would have had an abortion, and that does make it noteworthy that, given the choice, she made THAT choice. From Palin's perspective, that reads as being praiseworthy and prideworthy that Bristol made the RIGHT choice on her own, even if you think she shouldn't have been ALLOWED to make the wrong choice.

If lots of people DID go onto Facebook and drive their neighbors' kids to suicide - if there were a strong culture of doing that, and national figures who advocated it, and some people thought you should learn how to pretend to be a cute boy on Facebook in school, and you knew it happened all the time - I think then you might very well feel more pride in your friends for not doing it in a culture that makes it seem okay.

To propose a different example: hypothetically, I think you might talk about how proud you are that your daughter didn't go out and get stinking drunk on her 21st birthday, for example. Lots of people do, and she didn't. And you might say even if you think it should be illegal for her to do it - for a few years last century it would have been.
Sep. 8th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you for injecting some sanity. The democratic media have been really pissing me off by trying to make a big issue of what basically amounts to Palin acting in accordance with her stated beliefs.
Sep. 8th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
The issue isn't praise--it's how careful she's been to say "Bristol made her own decision, and we're glad she chose this one." She's been pushing the idea that she didn't FORCE Bristol to carry the pregnancy to term, that she felt it was appropriate for her underage daughter to decide whether or not to have an abortion, that she did not make the decision for her daughter. That's absolutely inconsistent with a belief that abortion should be criminalized.
Sep. 8th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
Okay, I haven't heard or read Palin's actual statements on this subject, so I might be speakin ex recto here. If you care enough to point me at a source of her actual statement, I'll look, and retract what I say here if I'm actually wrong. (I did a very quick search myself just now but all I was finding was short quotes taken out of context.)

But I'm finding it improbable that Sarah Palin "felt it was appropriate for her underage daughter to decide whether or not to have an abortion" (emphasis mine). It seems much more likely that she felt it was appropriate for her daughter to decide not to have an abortion. She's proud of her daughter for making the right choice on her own - that doesn't mean in any way that she would have felt it was okay for Bristol to make the other choice.

"I'm glad you choose to obey the rules. If you didn't, you'd have to be punished." That's a perfectly valid and even common sentiment, I think.

Have you ever seen a TV drama where there's a protagonist pointing a gun at someone, ready to murder... and then they decide not to do it, drop the gun, do the right thing? I can't think of a specific example off hand, but it seems like a scene I've seen dozens of times. Usually there's an authority figure standing nearby, quietly saying "Don't do it. Give me the gun. Don't become a murderer," and waiting for the protagonist to make his choice. Does our happiness that he decides not to become a murderer imply that it would have been okay if he had decided to kill? Does it imply that we think murder shouldn't be a crime? I don't think so.
Sep. 9th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
I'm looking at phrases like "Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, the aides said." (Here.) Obviously these are all very brief statements and we can read them however we want, but that also means the wording was very carefully chosen. In a political climate that uses phrases like, "It's not a choice, it's a child," I think it's a little naive to try for a common-usage interpretation.
Sep. 9th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
Not Unprepared, more of the same
My problems with Sarah Palin aren't that she is unprepared; that is the Republican frame of reference in which to evaluate Barack Obama, and I don't buy into it. I could be convinced that it is a useful yardstick to measure with, but I'm skeptical.

My problems with Sarah Palin are that she is a creation-in-the-schools-ist who abuses any power that comes her way, fires people for disagreeing with her, and replaces them with people whose primary qualification is loyalty, and who can't balance a budget to save her soul.

We've had too much of all of those in the last 8 years, and I don't want any more.
Sep. 9th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC)
Act 60 is enough to remember. I lived in Vermont under Dean, I am very glad y'all decided not to try to foist him off on us as a choice for the US.
Sep. 8th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
From what I've heard about how she governed in Wasilla and in Alaska at large, Sarah Palin sounds like she's a pretty big colon. :-)
Sep. 9th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
I think the republicans hate the Clintons way more than the Dems hate Palin though. Of course, there's still plenty of time before the election to change that... but Clinton-hatred runs very, very deep.
Sep. 9th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC)
And that was kinda what I was trying to say... it's more of a Dean-level dislike of someone who was unheard of, but clearly way too {liberal,conservative} to be a mainstream candidate. But someone who could be picked as a VP candidate to appeal to the wacko far-{left,right} base.

Though Dean (in my opinion) was way less liberal than people made him out to be at the time, back in '04.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )