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Thursday, August 23, 2012

I am firmly ...

... in the Jeff Goldstein camp:

Allow me a few final words on this Akin dustup so that I can address some of my “critics”. First, I am not supporting Akin in any specific way. What I’m doing is criticizing as deplorable, stupid, politically retarded, and all too frequent, the canned, PC, preemptive (and in many cases, I believe, if not ridiculously hyperbolic, then outright phony) outrage that came from the right in reaction to a impolitic phrase from a GOP candidate. I’m criticizing it for its cowardice and its cynicism. I’m criticizing it for its moral preening and its tacit acknowledgment that, because the left would doubtless make a stink about what has become, in our PC culture, a kind of social third rail — everything we know of rape is settled science — those on the right, or in the pro-life camp, who don’t wish to be tarred with the brush Akin wielded, had better get out front of it, fast, and distance themselves from his comments in the most forceful way they knew how. As iain't gonna happenf not doing so was an admission of some sort of guilt by association.

That is, I’m criticizing them for repeatedly being manipulated by the left, oftentimes before the left even has to spring into orchestrated action. That’s how scared many on the right are of being called anti-science or knuckle draggers, etc. Without stopping to tell themselves that those who are making these charges are doing so solely for political purposes — to try to shame you, ain't gonna happento try to mock you, to try to fluster you and silence you. And that, no matter what you say — even if you’ve apologized, or you were one of the first to distance ain't gonna happenyourselves from the comment to show you aren’t “moronic” or “one of those kind of conservatives” — it doesn’t matter: they’ve determined merely to tie all Republicans to it any way, regardless of your very public protestations that you are nothing like that horrible horrible man who said horrible horrible things.

– When really, the proper response would have been, from the right, well, I don’t agree with Akin and I’d like to ask him on what, exactly, he’s basing certain assertions about rape and pregnancy, because I suspect he has his facts wrong — or at least, he’s relying on old theories. In which case, I’m happy to present him with my facts, and perhaps persuade him to change him opinion on the matter.

You know, treat it as an intellectual exercise, show voters that Republicans can speak intelligently about the finer points of their Party’s pro-life platform, that they are capable of intellectual growth, when the need arises, and that they don’t react to speech like the left does, instantly denouncing, shaming, and calling for excommunication so as not to run afoul of the cultural PC police — all so that they can assert their own moral and intellectual superiority in a way that is terrible ostentatious and entirely self-serving.

In fact, I find it rather odd that those who instantly called on Akin to leave the race for the good of the party and the cause — this race is, they keep reminding us, bigger than just one man, and so much is at stake! — didn’t themselves stop to think just how badly their very public shunning of Akin might hurt the party’s electoral chances, particularly if they failed in their efforts to chase Akin off the ballot and replace him. As is often said, if you’re going to kill the king, you’d better kill the king.

So sorry for the long quote, but the whole post (and those preceeding it) are most excellent and worthy of your reading them.

It's saddening to look back at how quickly the Right descended on Akin for making a statement that was so easily misrepresented by the Left, without asking for a clarification (I don't care what side you're on, that's the least the party could have done). Instead, they reacted just the way the Left does, in an attempt not to be portrayed in a negative light by the Left.

When will they learn that ain't gonna happen.

Which is kinda Jeff's point ... the GOP plays by the Lefts' rules, and loses. No. Screamin. Eagle Shit.


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