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Flowers are red, and green leaves are green

Most of my life, I've had the stereotypes hammered into me: conservatives see things in black and white, while liberals see the grays in between. Conservatives believe in good and evil and absolutes, while liberals can weigh between the two and see the nuances, the distinctions, the diverse elements.

But lately, I'm starting to think that those stereotypes are overrated -- if not utterly wrong. For on more and more issues, it's the left that is calling things strictly binary, while the conservatives are more analog.

For example, on the matter of immigration. As the crack young staff of Hatemongers Quarterly noted earlier, conservatives divide immigrants into two categories: legal and illegal. Some conservatives are concerned about all immigrants, but the vast majority welcome the legal ones and deeply resent the illegal ones.

Speaking personally, part of my resentment for illegal aliens is that it denigrates those who are trying to come here legally. Every time we make it easier for people to skip the procedures, break the rules, and violate the law and still obtain residency or citizenship, we are spitting in the faces of those who are trying to do it the right way. It is on their behalf that I get so aggrieved.

But liberals, they don't see the distinction. An immigrant is an immigrant, whether they are here legally or not. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who worked for years and years to become first a resident of the United States and then a citizen, is no better than an MS-13 gang member who sneaked across the border. Albert Einstein and the alien who came here on a tourist visa and set up home are interchangeable. Madeleine Albright and the 9/11 hijackers who overstayed their visas are one and the same.

Another example (and one that almost always irritates a good chunk of the readership here) is gay marriage. If you don't wholeheartedly embrace it in any form, however it arrives, you're a homophobic, hateful bigot.

Right here in New England, we have several perfect examples of just how gray the matter is. In Vermont, the legislature passed a Civil Unions law -- and the people revolted and tossed them out wholesale, then replaced them with new lawmakers who repealed it. In Massachusetts, four judges declared gay marriage into law, and then the activists fought -- successfully -- to kill any and every single attempt to bring the matter before the people. They violated laws, regulations, and every shred of common decency to repeatedly thwart attempts to simply place the matter on the ballot, where the supporters' repeated assertions that there was widespread public support would be put to the test. And in the end, they succeeded.

But here in New Hampshire, we did it right. The legislature debated and passed a Civil Unions bill, and the governor signed it into law. As of January 1, 2008, gay people can't get married in New Hampshire, but they can get nearly all the benefits of marriage in a single, state-sanctioned ceremony. And I am glad and proud of that. Not only because it was the right thing to do, but it was done in the right way -- with the general assent of the people through our duly elected representatives.

And then there's abortion. I know, I've repeatedly said that I don't want to argue the issue, but simply discussing the stances should be safe.

Bill Clinton said it perfectly: he wanted abortion to be safe, legal, and rare. (While his words were a perfect summation of my own opinions, his deeds never came close to that.) To liberals, abortion is an absolutely sacrosanct right, and not a single law can be imposed that puts the slightest restriction on that right. Parental notification laws? Nope. Limiting the techniques used? Uh-uh. Restricting the time frame when they can be performed? Forget about it.

A good compromise seemed available when "health of the mother" became a valid reason for an abortion, but that soon became untenable when "health" started getting defined in the most nebulous fashion, where "emotional health" became a valid reason.

I guess it's a matter of your own personal bias whether something is a "matter of principle" or "stubborn infexibility."

Comments (38)

Scumer has been running the... (Below threshold)
(not) kim:

Scumer has been running the DoJ with the deliberate aim of creating more and more abortions every year. Ask McNulty,

Make that "Schumer."... (Below threshold)
(not) kim:

Make that "Schumer."

Those two are both sock-pup... (Below threshold)

Those two are both sock-puppets. Someone thinks my bit about Schumer is worth a disinformation campaign. He's also posting on the last Libby thread.

Desperate, huh?

Won't happen any more, Kim ... (Below threshold)

Won't happen any more, Kim -- at least, not from IP

Our apologies.


Thank you, J. It's a compl... (Below threshold)

Thank you, J. It's a compliment, really, though one I could do without.

They are dementors.=... (Below threshold)

They are dementors.

It's really a three-color p... (Below threshold)

It's really a three-color problem.

Black and white when it's important to them.

Gray when it's not.

...and that "infinite shades of gray" thing? Nope.

As long as they can suggest that there's a place somewhere between black and white, the darkness or lightness of that gray no longer matters. So you end up with only one color - on their terms.

It's anecdotal and limited,... (Below threshold)

It's anecdotal and limited, but generally I find nuance much better appreciated, and used by right wing writers compared to those on the left on the internets. There are flagrant exceptions.

For instance, that sock-pup... (Below threshold)

For instance, that sock-puppet was awkward and senseless. Didn't even seem to try to copy my style. Yes, an anecdote, but where did you see someone from the right pull that crap? OK, OK, selective reading, here.

Humour, too. The left has ... (Below threshold)

Humour, too. The left has gone humourless, or what little there is is debased. This is a BIG change from the past, and a sign of populist shift. The nuance bit you notice, J, is another sign of the same phenomenon.

I'm not sure which is more powerful: that shift in the energy of dialogue, or the perverting influence of Soros's money. He spends half a billion a year on public policy, and I don't see why he thinks he's buying anything worthwhile. At least where there is an already established robust democracy, his money cannot help but worsen things. What works for him against tyrannical regimes, has the opposite effect in ones which are not.

Not ALL flowers are red and... (Below threshold)

Not ALL flowers are red and not ALL leaves are green.... but ALL liberals are thorns.

I would suggest to all invo... (Below threshold)

I would suggest to all involved that the problem stems from the "state" getting involved in marriage in the first place. There would be no issue here if left with the church, society, custom, and etc.

The problem arises when the state, to curry favor and retain power, uses its treasury to pass out goodies to favored groups. Now there is some plunder to fight over.

Remember that marriage was society's response to leaving indiscriminate un supported bastards all over the place. Today the government supports all bastards, so marriage is trivialized as we begin the discussion of "gay marriage".

The entire concept of gay marriage is useless. It has no benefit except to shield an aberrant part of society from scrutiny.

Before anyone challenges "aberrant" remember the a society without gays can survive. Can you say that the inverse is true???

Maybe there's a gray area b... (Below threshold)

Maybe there's a gray area between killing someone and NOT killing them.... bloody red maybe?

What's right is right and what's left is wrong. It all boils down to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the bill of rights. The 'right to life' being the most important - for without life, what good are the other rights???

My father turned 95 on May ... (Below threshold)

My father turned 95 on May 1st. His first name is Gay. Homosexual self-gratifying corruptness is far from being 'gay'.

It's an exuberance, and a l... (Below threshold)

It's an exuberance, and a luxury.

Well conservatives are an i... (Below threshold)

Well conservatives are an intelligient bunch. They actually reason problems out to a solution and once that is done, it is promoted and supported. We are also an independent bunch. We reject anyone who tries to force feed or guilt trip us into changing our opinions. When the liberals fail to do that, then we are called names such as uncompassionate bullies, bigots,etc. Liberals for the most part are always sure of what they don't like and want, but not what they actually want. They do not execute ideas and plans, they wait for them THEN they become vocal about what should be done. Iraq is a great example.

Conservatives are consistant while liberal are inconsistent. Liberals believe the Bill of Rights is absolute. Free press and freedom of expression includes pornography of any type even if they personally dislike it, but the second amendment to the same Bill of Rights needs restrictions. Oh, I forgot, freedom of expression is good except for Limbaugh, Hannity, Fox News, etc.

Conservatives are more relaxed while most liberals are on edge and ready to screech and whine. ww

Bill Clinton said ... (Below threshold)
Bill Clinton said it perfectly: he wanted abortion to be safe, legal, and rare. (While his words were a perfect summation of my own opinions, his deeds never came close to that.)

Yet abortions declined precipitously under Clinton. That seems strange. So what's the ideological underpinning of a belief that policies that result in fewer abortions was a failure?

We can see from the following paragraph, in which Mr. Tea bemoans the defeat of all sorts of measures to criminalize different aspects of abortion.

This looks like another example of the well-worn theory that liberals prefer libertarianism on social issues and state intervention on economic and environmental issues, and conservatives are their mirror images.

Typical liberal JPE, you sa... (Below threshold)

Typical liberal JPE, you say abortions went down during Clinton, what does that mean. More births? More birth control? Less sex? Context man, I need context. Murders are down, so I guess that means it is good? No. This is the nuance JT was talking about with you liberals. ww

Jay, your broad-brush depic... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Jay, your broad-brush depiction of "liberals" and their view of this situation is overstated. There are a whole class of liberals -- including myself -- who believe that policy should be created to offer the greatest good to the greatest number of citizens. That's populism and it has a fine history dating back to Bob LaFollette and Hubert Humphrey (before he became LBJ's stooge).

Clearly just letting a bunch of illegals into the country with no restrictions does NOT benefit most Americans. A few rich folks get big gains from the cheap labor and the fact that they also drive down wages overall. But the average working man or woman, who is already under huge pressure from globalization is just given one more knife in the back by the millions of illegals here.

And that is why the anger over Bush's amnesty program is so great -- way beyond the usual near-even division you see over purely partisan bickering.

Hey Willie -- THIS liberal ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Hey Willie -- THIS liberal certainly believes that the Bill of Rights is absolute. And that does include both Limbaugh and pr0n, but it also includes guns and the right to privacy, and not that phoney baloney stuff where some people use as an excuse for uncontrolled abortion, but rather the principle that most things are none of the government's f-ing business without a proper warrant.

And even more than Iraq, that's why I'm so strongly opposed to the Bush administration.

Paul, the liberals are a mu... (Below threshold)

Paul, the liberals are a much greater threat to individual liberties than conservatives. To me, it are the more liberal political positions that want to restrict arms ownership, private property, and political speech. They also support a larger bureaucracy to oversee us citizens.

Of course, Bush is not a true conservative. It is his more moderate positions and policies that have him stray into areas of governmental control via bureaucracy and intrusive laws like the homeland security monster.

I believe many here are aligned around the principle that "most things are none of the government's f-ing business..." I could not have stated my beliefs better. There is nothing worse for liberty than a meddlesome government. Which is why the Federal government should not be in the areas of managing eduction, health care benefits, retirements, welfare, TFA, environmental restrictions, eminent domain, etc... Most of these areas are large inneficient tics sucking the blood out of society and providing no or little intrinsic societal value.

Now they are proposing a whole new meddlesome bureaucratic solution for dealing with the illegal immigration and border security problems, but it doesn't fix them, it just "manages" them. And they just passed a big new meddlesome bureaucratic "solution" to keep guns out of the hands of "crazy" people. But the definition of crazy is going to include a whole lot of people that we would not consider crazy.

This federal monster has got to get out of our lives. It is only getting worse regardless of the party in power. In 20-30 more years on this path and we will be comparable with the freedoms in China.

Think not? What will be the hate speech of tomorrow punishable with jail time? Will normal people be allowed to own a house? a gun? a car? to send their children to a school with the curriculum of their choice? Where do freedom threats in these areas come from? It sure isn't from the today's right.

LOL, "it are*" should be "i... (Below threshold)

LOL, "it are*" should be "it is", limits of people and machines...

Funny, I don't see anywhere... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

Funny, I don't see anywhere in the US Constitution that says it's OK to murder, whether outside or inside the womb.

Jay, I'm sure this has been covered elsewhere, so forgive me if it's redundant: What's the difference between marriage and civil unions? If it's exactly the same, except that marriage is one man, one woman then why not just get rid of that and call it "marriage"?

Marriage is ordained by God... (Below threshold)

Marriage is ordained by God. Plain and simple. The states can do whatever they want, but in Gods eyes, it is what is important.

Paul Hamilton, you may be the only, ONLY liberal who believes what you believe. Also, is you think your party's wanting to take care of every aspect of your life because you cannot pursue happiness on your own, well, climb aboard, they will welcome you. But if you believe in personal achievement, working hard to TRY to get the brass ring, come on over to our side. ww

Marriage is ordain... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:
Marriage is ordained by God. Plain and simple. The states can do whatever they want, but in Gods eyes, it is what is important.

I'm sure Jay didn't intend for this to evolve into a thread about the specifics of his article (rather than about grey areas), but I'm curious.

People who get married in front of the Justice o' Peace don't usually get a CU, but specifically a marriage.

I just don't see what the difference is, except for the gender thing.

Appreciative article, Jay T... (Below threshold)

Appreciative article, Jay Tea.

A few comments from me, in random order:

-- about abortion, the most profane and alarming (and rejectable) aspect from most who promote the act of abortion is their dismissal if not misleadment as to the human life that is being taken in the act.

Bill Clinton asking for "safe" abortions is nonsense and exemplifies the irrationality and deception involved: how can it be "safe" to murder a human life "on demand"? An unborn human being has no means to say, "no, thank you, I don't want to die, I'd like to live and grow up and have a lifetime ahead of me, so, no, thanks, I'd prefer you not take my life here in the womb."

Thus, they are the most defenseless of the defenseless among our human population and "abortion" is a sterile, stereotypically rationalizing term for "murder."

It's murder because the child unborn in the womb is not only defenseless but blameless. Whatever harms and inconveniences and hardships a woman carrying a child experiences in her lifetime, any child in her womb is not responsible for that, has no guilt or responsibility for causing.

Thus, it's the ultimate offense to both the unborn to be killed as many are by the act of intentional "abortion" and also to our concepts of truth and deceit: language and laws take on the method and intents of that which they are not, which is what the most artful deceit does, misleads, tricks, manipulates trusting minds to accept the loathesome and offensive as good and decent.

One day Bill Clinton's mask will be removed and we'll see what's actually underneath it, same with those people who promote his similar affectations.

Until then, it's really important to name things as they are and avoid the misleading ("pretty, acceptable, trendy, etc.") words and expressions that "don't offend anyone" and such...to be clear, it's important to be direct with any and all about the act itself of abortion and not lend a hand to encouraging people to shuffle silently into terrible acts by not wanting to "make waves" or "cause anyone trouble" or "hurt anyone's feelings" and such.

Clinton epitomizes this type of supreme misleadment that encourages wrong by appearing heroic. Abortion is the taking of a human life and encouraging people to avoid facing the hard facts involved is participating in the act of murder.

If murder's O.K. with someone, then, well, there are consequences. If they're not aware of those consequences, or disregard or dismiss them, well, it's an act of (real) good to be blunt with people verging on committing an act of murder as to what they're actually contemplating doing.

From the likes of Bill Clinton, there's never likely to be good counsel. I'm sure he is more than eager to help people feel "good" but assumes little to no responsibility otherwise.

The second, random, comment... (Below threshold)

The second, random, comment from me is as to agreeing with you about the Liberal avoidance (what it is, it's avoidance, it's more of that intention to mislead) of the issue of ILLEGALITY involved in illegal immigration.

Liberals use propoganda methods well and I'm looking at several of those issues today already, what with many "splog" commentors on my site, all of whom promote the Liberal misuse of terms and intents to manipulate the emotional side of arguments by misleading terminology: "immigrants" when the issue is "illegal aliens" and such.

One blog (I think it's a "splog" instead even though it purports to be written by a student at Harvard, whose domain is blacklisted along with the IPA used by most all spam reference sources, yet the site and commetor appears very busy writing about "immigrants" complete with photos of crying children and "hard working" crowds of Hispanic men in the U.S.), one blog in particular uses this sort of emotional "education" method to try to reterm or redefine words and their meanings on the internet and it's a common behavior throughout all Liberal blogs, in my experience, when and as they want a reworking of the United States and encounter a less than enthusiastic environment for their "needs" (which are almost always demands, to be clear, without request for acceptance or so much as the room for anyone else to deny compliance).

The "marriage" issue, I'll leave alone. Today's legislation methods are, sadly, not indicative of popular opinion, though few of us want to disparage anyone. I think most people are just very tired of hearing the complaints and seeing society denigrated for those (alleged) Freedoms our Constitution says we're supposed to have.

"FLOWERS ARE RED, AND GREEN... (Below threshold)

Conservatives nice :) and liberals mean ;

My own position on marriage... (Below threshold)

My own position on marriage is that it is a relationship between one man and one woman.

Licensing is an issue for voter determination TO A DEGREE. What we see today is an tipping of importance for ~some~ votes -- more of that manipulation of popular opinion to discourage opinion by media, lobbying, etc., mostly all saturated with a segment opinion that then overrides in legislation (a lot of it today) the actual voter opinion.

Homosexuals aren't intent on "marriage" but on reformatting the standards involved. They're maligning, not respectfully, what the term and relationship means to most the rest of humanity.

There are also no inherent "rights" based upon sexual behaviors. One engaging in sexual behaviors of their own customizations does not bestow upon them special rights, and therein lies the duplicity that homosexuals fail to perceive: they already share in all "rights" that everyone else has, they're free to marry and to create a will. They want customizations for those rights based upon their sexual proclivities.

I can't see where that would ever end, for those who define "rights" as that.

Willie, I really don't thin... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Willie, I really don't think I'm the ONLY liberal who thinks the way I do, but maybe the difference is that I've extended my attitudes on freedom to encompass all of our constitutional rights whereas a lot of liberals would not be so excited about gun rights and some other issues.

To me, freedom is an end in itself and is worth defending for it's own sake. I wrote a commentary on Blue about the recent action on gay marriage in Massachusetts and that's the perfect example, and cites a problem that conservatives have with freedom. There is no constitutional basis whatsoever for the state to be messing with marriage at all, and there is also no basis for restricting anyone's liberties based on their sexual orientation, and yet it's the conservative position that marriage *is* something that can be defined by the state and that it should be restricted to one man and one woman. To me, that's just as wrong as those who would put endless restrictions on the right to bear arms.

So while maybe I'm unlike most liberals, I'm not like conservatives either...

There are so many colors in... (Below threshold)

There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one

Thanks for the reminder, Jay.

Paul, I disagree. They don'... (Below threshold)

Paul, I disagree. They don't want marriage defined by the state, they want it defined by their personal beliefs related to religion. The state should not be involved. It is the left that wants to jam its own legal definitions down our throats, primarily using the courts.

The purpose of marriage is not to share assets, that would be a legal contract. The religious purpose of marriage is to procreate. It is valuable and necessary for society if we procreate, that is part of the purpose of our existence. That is where religion, marriage, a man and a woman come into play.

The conflict comes from the intersection of society and the "state". Militant liberals can't persuade society to change, so they try and force it through the state, creating a backlash from society.

At one time society desired couples to procreate so it created laws supporting couples to marry and raise families to ensure society's survival and growth (tax benefits, eduction, family leave acts etc...). But liberals are now attempting to redefine the "marriage" supported by state as something different than supported by society. And that redefinition is useless for society. If they have their way it will be damaging to society.

Its gotten to the point where we may not be able to live with militant liberals in the same society as libertarians or conservatives. Time for a societal divorce, you take the northeast and west coast, we'll take the south, mountain states and parts of the midwest, we can fight over the rest.

Xray, I disagree that the p... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Xray, I disagree that the primary function of marriage is procreation. Clearly, that can be done outside wedlock just as well. I believe that the primary social function of marriage is a stable relationship. When people enter into a long term relationship, they may or may not have children, but usually, they do become more productive members of society, saving more, investing more, and generally being better citizens. If they do have children, they are much more likely to be able to support them without help from the government.

And so, it's in the interests of government to promote healthy, long-term relationships.

And as I said above, I'd like to see the state out of the marriage business completely and leave that to the churches. The sole interest of the government in matters such as this would be joint property ownership, inheritance, medical powers and the like.

While people could argue the religious validity of a gay marriage 'til the cows come home, there is simply no objective, legally-valid reason why the state should not recognize a gay or lesbian civil union.

And I know that the hard-core gays won't settle for anything less than a full legal right to a gay marriage, but the reasons they want marriage could be handled by civil unions just as well without government interference in church business.

And one more thing -- the way I see it, the only persons whom a fight over this issue serves is the professionally-offended on either side of the issue. It's in society's interest to resolve it and move on. Gays and lesbians *will* form relationships just as straights do. Denying reality accomplishes nothing, and only serves to break up couples who, for the reasons I stated above, could be more productive if they remained together.

You missed Paul, where I sa... (Below threshold)

You missed Paul, where I said it was luxurious.

Paul, there are many things... (Below threshold)

Paul, there are many things wrong about your thesis. The state of Texas has the power. It has the counties do its business. The state recognizes charters of businesses. The charter can say they will perform wedding ceremonies. Since the state approves the charters, they are in fact approving the business to marry people with the State of Texas sanctioning the union. So, the state very much is involved and has every right to determine what the definition of marraige is. It is most definitely a states rights issue. It will pass constitutional muster on that ground alone.

Churches actually have the charters registered with their state. That is why at the end of every ceremony in a church they minister says "by the power invested in my by the state of ______ I now pronounce you Husband and Wife." The states require that to be said. All things done in the ceremony prior to that is ordained of God in accordance to scripture (each their own interpretation). The dumbing down, destruction of the traditional family is directly involved in the societal ills we now face, but that can be discussed later. ww

Frankly, as Jay said, both ... (Below threshold)

Frankly, as Jay said, both sides are guilty of declaring when nuance is applicable. I see more of it in the left for the exact reasons he outlined.

An excellent example of it is in this thread where the discussion morphed into Cheney's ties to Halliburton. I stated that "[T]echnically, he still has a relationship with Halliburton. Technically, the accusations of his profiteering through that tenuous relationship are wrong."

Then Lee followed by citing the former technicality above with complete specificity while ignoring the latter; including that this technicality was declared in a report that came out after Cheney assumed office and after he claimed that he'd "severed ties" with Halliburton as if the timing of the report had any bearing on the facts.

There are lots of examples. This is the freshest in my mind not only because it applies stark black and white to the issue, but because it obfuscates as well by including impertinent information in an unsuccessful attempt to counter the pertinent information.

Yes, the right is guilty of it too. But I see far more of it from the left in regards to politics and political figures.

WW, by "state" I meant gove... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

WW, by "state" I meant government at all levels, but I find the attempts of the federal government to regulate marriage especially odious, though not exactly surprising since the feds are getting more fanatical all the time about seizing powers which are not constitutionally their own.

But let me ask you if you would approve civil unions for gay or lesbian couples if they were not called "marriages."

It's degenerate rhetoric, O... (Below threshold)

It's degenerate rhetoric, Oyster, either from ignorance or duplicity. But why would an intellect debase itself deliberately? Good question.






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