piranha: red origami crane (Default)
[personal profile] piranha
the minnesota supreme court decided against norm coleman, and he's now actually conceded.

i've heard it argued (in the context of politics) that for liberals hypocrisy is the greatest sin, while for {religious} conservatives belief in the right values is more important, even if one occasionally fails at upholding them (because humans are imperfect sinners who are bound to fail at times).

as a broad generalization, i am inclined to believe that conservatives tell themselves that, and i have taken it under consideration when analyzing political events. but frankly, i think looking closely at actual cases makes them often hypocritical even under their own rules for behaviour.

it does make sense in certain situations -- a religious conservative who believes that homosexuality is deeply wrong will rail against it, and vote against it, but might succumb to the temptation if he has homosexual urges, and will afterwards profusely apologize for his failure -- and be forgiven by many of his constituents. rinse, lather, repeat (though usually much more quietly).

while an outright gay liberal will never be forgiven by those people, even if he lives in a monogamous relationship and never cheats -- because he holds the "wrong" belief that being gay and acting on it is acceptable.

what doesn't fit with this model are examples of conservaties being forgiving of conservatives who do bad act X and apologize, but not of {religious} liberals who do bad act X and apologize. edwards boo, sanford yay. how come?

or norm coleman, who argued at the end of the election that al franken should concede for the good of the voters -- but who didn't concede himself when the totals looks favourable for al franken, and instead dragged the whole thing out all the way to the minnesota supreme court (who decided for al franken just today). coleman deprived minnesota of a senator for 6 months, while he originally asked franken to consider the voters of minnesota. first he wasn't in favour of counting every legitimate vote, then he was in favour of counting even illegitimate votes if it would get him ahead.

coleman is just an example of this (and he's of a different religion); but i have oodles of them (and with christians). how is that sort of thing not hypocrisy first and foremost? coleman seems to very clearly have different rules for himself and his opponent, not one set of rules for everyone which he occasionally fails too.

and in how far does expected failure and forgiveness-when-apologizing drive continued failure? sanford promised his wife fidelity, and failed. when she found out, he promised her again, and failed again. how often can one repeat that cycle before realizing one needs to change something in a fundamental way? psychologically this strikes me as insane impractical and foolish decisionmaking.

i actually wanted to go elsewhere with this noodling, but it'll have to wait until i've had some food with which to feed my neurons.

on 2009-06-30 23:54 (UTC)
nicki: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] nicki
I think, generally speaking, that with liberals you have a fairly wide scope for deciding what your values are, but once you decide you had best behave within them, where as with conservatives there is a narrow scope for what your values need to be, but a fairly wide one for behavior.

on 2009-07-01 03:50 (UTC)
Posted by [personal profile] matthewdaly
I'm not certain that there is a Grand Unification Theory of American political analysis. But it seems to me that in times of crisis that Democrats fall on their swords when they've lost the will of the voters and Republicans when they lose the will of the donors.

I think that Coleman is simply a part of Republican machine politics (along with Governor Pawlenty and his will he-won't he decision to sign the election certificate). I doubt it's a question of popularity so much as a bunch of plutocrats who attach a lot of value to the Senate being filibuster-prone for six months, and were willing to give jobs and legal support and probably book deals and speaking tours down the road for anyone who could help to achieve that. Evidently Coleman is looking into running for governor himself in 2010, so we'll see how quickly his warchest fills.

I don't quite believe that there is a double standard in how to handle politicians who commit sexcrime; I don't think there is even a standard to violate. To me, Sanford didn't let me down as much as Edwards because I never believed in Sanford in the first place. To me, the analysis begins with the behavior that is left when you take out the sex. Clinton lied to a grand jury in response to a question that he shouldn't have been asked -- meh. Edwards, as I've written about before, continues a presidential campaign knowing that the eventual allegations will compromise the entire Democratic field -- rawr! Sanford turned off his cellphone and left the Northern Hemisphere without giving the keys to the Lieutenant Governor. I suppose that was reckless but I can't make myself indignant about it because in truth the state didn't need to call for FEMA in that time. I'm sure that the people of South Carolina can sort this out to their satisfaction, and the only way that it impacts me is if it turns out to some sort of referendum that makes Newt Gingrich realize that his indiscretions shouldn't keep him away from elected office any longer.

on 2009-07-01 05:36 (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] sara
As I remarked to my spouse this evening, the problem with Mark Sanford isn't that he's a conservative, an adulterer, and a hypocrite -- I mean, he is all those things, there's no denying that.

I could get past that.

It's that he's also apparently a complete idiot that I dislike.

But then, I have friends with a kid in South Carolina who needs special ed help that would have been cut had the state not taken the stimulus money, and other friends whose sole source of household income for five people is a second-year teacher's salary, so I may be a wee bit biased.

on 2009-07-02 05:14 (UTC)
benedict: The hamster is saying bollocks. It is a scornful hamster (TIME OUT)
Posted by [personal profile] benedict
Oh! So that's what those headlines were about. Damn people.
aquaeri: My nose is being washed by my cat (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] aquaeri
This musing has, oddly enough, been inspired by my attempts to communicate with [livejournal.com profile] nellorat.

It seems to me that Republicans put a huge store by intentions. Sanford (as demonstrated) had good intentions to be faithful to his wife, whereas you can't even be sure a liberal holds that principle. What you see as foolish repetiveness of a pattern that's not working, they see as good intentions - he certainly didn't mean to hurt his wife, and that's apparently the most important thing.

And it does feel to me like there's a very deep divide between the "intentions are the most important thing" camp and the "actions and behaviours are the most important thing" camps. Particularly since I, through the idiosyncracies of my upbringing, seem to be somewhere down in the gulch between them, trying to climb out somewhere on the "actions" side.

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