Minutiae
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The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
--Cornelius Tacitus (c. 116 A.D.)

Monday, November 11, 2002
They still haven't learned anything. Can they be hoping for the war to be a complete disaster so they can say they were against it? Is that the only chance they think they have? Have they looked at any polls?
posted by Rachel 11/11/2002
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I've never been that fond of Garrison Keillor. I never found his radio bits that funny or enchanting and his unrelenting hatred of Jesse Ventura baffled me. This piece in salon has already been roundly criticized, but today I think Andrew Sullivan sums it up:

"MORE LEFTWING SMEARS: No one should expect Garrison Keillor to like Norm Coleman. Keillor only supports left-liberal Democrats and was brutal toward Jesse Ventura. But his column in Salon went further. Check out this paragraph:

Norm got a free ride from the press. St. Paul is a small town and anybody who hangs around the St. Paul Grill knows about Norm's habits. Everyone knows that his family situation is, shall we say, very interesting, but nobody bothered to ask about it, least of all the religious people in the Republican Party. They made their peace with hypocrisy long ago. So this false knight made his way as an all-purpose feel-good candidate, standing for vaguely Republican values, supporting the president.

There's a word for this: it's a smear. Keillor won't give evidence; he parlays underhand gossip; he is exploiting someone's private life to hurt him politically. Every aspect of this paragraph stinks to high heaven. But that in itself is instructive. This kind of bile helped the Dems lose the last election. And yet they keep on hating."


Keillor supported Clinton.

"He did it; we're sorry he did; he must be sorrier than anyone else that he did it. Time to grow up and move on... "How someone of such surpassing intellect and such protean political talents could indulge in such conduct...remains the most puzzling question about William Jefferson Clinton," the Times pondered. This is not a grownup question. "How could he have done it?" People do such things. It has no relation to intellect or political talent. It has to do with being human, and there is a lot of human nature in everybody, including our Bill."

Going after Coleman on the basis of unspecified rumors is really rich. Then of course there's the condescension about the tuna sandwich in a steakhouse. As Lileks said, you don't win any friends by telling people their choice was stupid if not actually evil.
posted by Rachel 11/11/2002
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I like it.
posted by Rachel 11/11/2002
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Holy crap! Europe really is going to hell in a handbasket!
Update:
Some discussion of same by a law professor.
posted by Rachel 11/11/2002
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Homage to Lileks again.

"When I was an angry little lib in college, I wrote a piece called ďDiary of a Bad Conservative,Ē and I really donít want to read it again - the wince factor would be too high. I know it's smug beyond belief, which is why I remember it. In short: 'contradiction in the enemy is a sign of hypocrisy, which invalidates everything they believe in; contradiction in one's comrades is a sign of humanity, which validates their higher beliefs.' That was me in a nutshell. I canít speak for others, but I know that my shift in opinions over the last few years did not cause me to lose respect for folks who think differently, unless they profess a particularly fluorescent brand of idiocy. What they think now I thought then; I donít think I was eeeevil then, and I donít think they are now. I wasnít completely comfy on that side; Iím not completely comfy over here. So it goes. But I donít ascribe an moral inferiority to friends and neighbors who have a different path to common objectives - unless they insist on proving they're willfully stupid, and live in an ideological exoskeleton that dictates which way they must move regardless of new data.

An old friend who still believes what we believed in college took me to task the last time we met, and wondered where Mr. Middle Ground had gone, why I no longer seemed interested in finding commonality. The simple answer is that there is no common ground with people who think youíre a political leper, a winged monkey in the service of a green-skinned Nancy Reagan in a witchís hat. Respect works both ways, and if itís not returned, then something changes. Thereís a difference between thinking someoneís strategies are wrong, and thinking them a knave who acts from ignorance at best, and more likely acts from malice. If thatís what you think, I am not interested in changing your mind. I am not interested in working together. I am not interested in suffering your insults or your condescension or any other form your preconceptions take. I am interested in defeating you, and getting down to work with the people who come in your place, and grant me the respect Iíll give them.

Unless they turn out to be florid Commie wankers, too. Then Iím just going to stay home and watch Sopranos reruns. Sure, Tony's a womanizing criminal thug, but you mess with his family and he'll have you whacked.

See? There's always common ground, if you look for it."

posted by Rachel 11/11/2002
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