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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

OTP November 2012 - Moneypoll! The Pundits vs. The Election-Data Nerds

Come next Tuesday night, we’ll get a resolution (let’s hope) to a great ongoing battle of 2012: not just the Presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but the one between the pundits trying to analyze that race with their guts and a new breed of statistics gurus trying to forecast it with data.

In Election 2012 as seen by the pundits–political journalists on the trail, commentators in cable-news studios–the campaign is a jump ball. There’s a slight lead for Mitt Romney in national polls and slight leads for Barack Obama in swing-state polls, and no good way of predicting next Tuesday’s outcome beyond flipping a coin. ...

Bonus link: Esquire - The Enemies of Nate Silver

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM | 11298 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mr president, off-topic, politics, sabermetrics, usa

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   7301. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 12, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4300821)
But why does the motivation particularly matter to begin with?

Because it trivializes true bigotry. It demonizes people who think differently than we do. It is acting just like they do, and we are better than they are darn it.

No one is denying bigotry exists. I am not even putting numbers on it. But broad brush claiming everyone who thinks X is necessarily a bigot is just plain wrong in my opinion.


But I'm not saying that all opposition to SSM (or even civil rights bills) stems from bigotry. That's too broad a generalization, and I can't read the minds of opponents whom I've never met or heard or seen. What I'm saying is that a non-bigoted vote against those measures counts just as much as a bigoted one, and has exactly the same consequences.
   7302. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 12, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4300823)
Also the definition of marriage has not changed since the US began. Marriage was defined as a man and a woman.
No, it wasn't. "A man and a woman" is the definition of two people of different genders. It is obviously not the definition of marriage. Me and Madeleine Albright are a man and a woman, and yet we are not married.

Marriage, at the founding of the US, was among other things a contractual agreement in which a man took over various economic and social rights from his wife. As women gained rights, the definition of marriage changed into a more mutually implicated set of responsibilities and rights. The change in marriage under which women no longer gave away basic economic rights was a massive change that occured in the period between the founding of hte US and the present.
   7303. Poulanc Posted: November 12, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4300824)
But I'm not saying that all opposition to SSM (or even civil rights bills) stems from bigotry. That's too broad a generalization, and I can't read the minds of opponents whom I've never met or heard or seen.


And what I'm wondering is what those other reasons for being opposed to those issues might be.

BM came up with an example that we disagree on. Do you have any other examples of reasons?
   7304. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 12, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4300825)
No one is denying bogitry exists. I am not even putting numbers on it. But broad brush claiming everyone who thinks X is necessarily a bigot is just plain wrong in my opinion.
Jay Smooth has this one covered.

No one is making an argument about seeing into other people's souls. The point is that opposition to gay marriage, in our current society, is a bigoted position to hold. We're arguing about the idea, not the soul of the person who holds it. The ensouled cause of the position could be any number of things from hate to ignorance to apathy to the desire to be cleverly contrarian on the internet, that's not the point.
   7305. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4300827)
Calling a whole class of people who disagree with you on something bigots is ... well kind of bigoted in its intolerance.

The "you being against my bigotry is bigotry" defense is always a classic.
   7306. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 12, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4300831)
But I'm not saying that all opposition to SSM (or even civil rights bills) stems from bigotry. That's too broad a generalization, and I can't read the minds of opponents whom I've never met or heard or seen.

And what I'm wondering is what those other reasons for being opposed to those issues might be.


Personally, I'd want to concentrate on trying to convert people rather than labeling them. I had a lot of experience with converting CR bill opponents BITD, and to label them as "bigots"---whether they were or not---would have been totally counterproductive.

And the truth is that the surest way to win over bigots is to show them that their fears of the apocalypse are unfounded. The way you do that is by changing the laws and letting them see the truth for themselves. And meanwhile, the victims of bigoted laws now have the law on their side.

Shorter version: Good laws can often change narrow minds, and you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.
   7307. The Good Face Posted: November 12, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4300838)
Except this part: "As you seem to have little interest giving any credence to the idea that life is actively slanted and Affirmative Action is an attempt to compensate rather than settle into your own "hey, shithappens, bro" conclusion"


Because it missed the central point of the discussion. We weren't talking about whether AA is good or bad, we were discussing why many people on the left insist that it's good, essential even, then claim it's racist to say that any given person has ever benefitted from it. Also, in this discussion I never took the position you've staked out for me.

or the BM-channeling-Joe K. discussion...

Except this part: "In regards to THIS discrete event, I haven't gone back but if I had to parse it out linguistically, my guess is that BM's tone, construction, and (lack of endless) repetition bears almost zero resemblance to what irritates so many about Joe's barrage. I freely admit, I haven't really given it a literary deconstructist analysis."


Honestly, even if you quibble - possibly rightly - to the tone of the AA part, how in the WORLD is what I wrote not responsive to the Joek = BM part? That doesn't even make sense, it's directly responsive.


These are rationalizations in the service of defending the rationalizations of others. You just admitted up above that you didn't really pay attention to what BM wrote. And why would you? Scrutinizing the comments of somebody from your tribe is a waste of time when there are outsiders to attack. Much easier to just claim that whatever your guy did, it couldn't POSSIBLY be as bad as what the guy on the other side did, so it's OK.
   7308. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 12, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4300839)
timeout for hilarity

folks, go to the dugout and access the link i posted. it's safe for work, it's bsaeball related and it is legitimately funny

i have never 'pimped' anything before and doubt i will do so again.

i am convinced you will be amused

and no, i have no connection to the content

i now return you to your regularly scheduled rants
   7309. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4300844)
# 7308 is definitely worth the look. Thank you, Harvey.
   7310. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4300845)
steve

if i was one of the players i might have "accidentally" lost a grip on my bat
   7311. Dan The Mediocre Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4300846)
i am convinced you will be amused


I was. And I have to think that it was intentionally bad. The "pulling the pants up to his ribs" thing doesn't seem like anything any normal people do.
   7312. Don Malcolm Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4300849)
Steve, only right-wingers are permitted to be absolutists. Don't you remember??? :-(

And don't forget the pretzel logic that gets us an AA associate justice who then spins things to show how "angry" he is about the scarring effects of AA.

And the truth is that the surest way to win over bigots is to show them that their fears of the apocalypse are unfounded. The way you do that is by changing the laws and letting them see the truth for themselves. And meanwhile, the victims of bigoted laws now have the law on their side.

Andy, what would a chart of the "fairness index" of law in this country--granting from the outset that such quantification represents an impossibly broad brush--look like over the course of its history? Could you lay out a framework for the criteria necessary to create such a construct? IOW, what would the "ideal" set of laws with respect to basic human/citizen rights look like and just how far away from that have we been?

   7313. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4300853)
dan

obviously you have never met approximately 10 percent of the older male population

but even if staged it was still funny. because it was just so silly
   7314. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4300855)
that video reminded me of the chicken lady from kids in the hall.
   7315. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4300861)
but even if staged it was still funny. because it was just so silly

Agreed. Another case in which deep-seated motivation isn't what matters, the only thing that does is results. And the results of this thing are RDF.
   7316. zonk Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4300864)
I umped a summer league game like that once -- it was a round robin tournament, the next round seedings were already set so it was 'meaningless' game, and the kids on both sides were 'all-stars', so it's not like I punching out with flourish some poor kid who hadn't made contact all season...

I gave it the Full Luciano!
   7317. spike Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4300868)
John Cleese, Baseball Umpire.
   7318. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4300872)
The functionality of AA is such that certain people will be favored over other people based on their race or gender. The resulting impact of that favoritism on the favored party isn't important for the purposes of this discussion, only that it occurred. If it occurred, than it "worked".
One point repeated three or four time upthread is that prior to 1961, the longtime 'white man's AA' had more pernicious effects in the US than the 'people of color's AA' has had since.

True or false?

For whatever little it's worth, I'm certain AA now puts white people, especially white men, at a disadvantage compared to, say, before 1961. I can't imagine arguing otherwise.
   7319. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4300875)
And don't forget the pretzel logic that gets us an AA associate justice who then spins things to show how "angry" he is about the scarring effects of AA.

Not to mention the greatest AA judge of them all, a man who was specifically nominated by Richard Nixon to get "southerners" represented on the SC. A man whose spokesman in the Senate made this classic defense of him:

"Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos."


Yes, who can ever forget the late and great G. Harrold Carswell, who BTW was also precluded from marrying any of the many men he shacked up with.

Andy, what would a chart of the "fairness index" of law in this country--granting from the outset that such quantification represents an impossibly broad brush--look like over the course of its history? Could you lay out a framework for the criteria necessary to create such a construct? IOW, what would the "ideal" set of laws with respect to basic human/citizen rights look like and just how far away from that have we been?

Not quite sure I understand the question, but a good starting point might have been outlawing slavery in 1787. And failing that, enforcing the Reconstruction laws that were enacted after the Civil War, perhaps along with 40 Acres and a Mule and the establishment of universal public education for everyone. You can't separate race from economics in practice no matter how much we'd like to in theory.

Of course any or all of the above would have required a time machine that simultaneously changed both white attitudes and the circumstances in which blacks came to America. It would make our current problems seem like a piece of cake. And to be honest, pushing toothpaste back into tubes isn't my specialty.

How far have we been from that ideal? Given the circumstances, it would have likely taken incredible leadership and resolve to have changed our course in any major way. The seniority system and federalism conspired to thwart any sort of genuine non-racial democracy for way too long, and the effects are still with us for anyone to see.

And it's impossible to compare us to countries that have different histories and different racial makeups that were the product of different sets of circumstances. If there's any truly non-racial democracy in existence anywhere, meaning a democracy where the dominant group isn't pretty much in control via fixing the laws and customs to its benefit, I'm not aware of it. We're probably as good or better than any other country, and in the aftermath of last Tuesday when we dodged what amounted to an atom bomb, I'm feeling a WHOLE lot better about our future prospects. I'm a perennial optimist, and I have a feeling that in spite of all our divisions, we might actually be on the way of breaking the fever.
   7320. Howie Menckel Posted: November 12, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4300879)
Bitter Mouse, you are part of a declining group of people around here, it seems, who are trying to understand that there could potentially be a variety reasons for opposition to subjects like same-sex marriage.

It creeps me out, frankly, to feel how much tighter and tighter the echo chamber becomes. A bunch of liberals or a bunch of conservatives spend 24/7 high-fiving the same code and - well, woe is he or she that isn't "fitting in."

Inconveniently for some narratives, there is a religious history that - unfortunately, in the opinion of many of us - complicates the discussion.

If marriage had always been a religious construct and civil unions had always been a government construct, it would have been quite simple to just add same-sex civil unions to opposite-sex versions.

But that's not what we have had, so it has been complicated. Efforts were made to offer all of the same legal entitlements to civil unions that marriage has offered - but it seems to me that for various reasons it didn't work out that way.

At that point, I think it became clearer that the only way to ensure truly equal treatment was to define same-sex partnerships as "marriage" - and whether the right likes it or not, that is where we are headed.

That is difficult for many people, apparently, because the religious/civil intertwining is breaking to the civil side. It was just as difficult for many others when the intertwining was breaking to the religious side.

But the fact is that we aren't able to "split the difference." It had to lean one side, and gay marriage turned out to be the more practical version.

Why so many have to paint those opposed to that direction - yes, I think they are "voting against the use of the word 'marriage'," to answer the question - as bigots is something only the accusers can fully answer.

I don't trust angry people, whether they are mocking gay people, or stereotyping most/all opponents. Closed-minded people come in all shapes and sizes.



   7321. Danny Posted: November 12, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4300882)
   7322. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4300885)
you are part of a declining group of people around here, it seems, who are trying to understand that there could potentially be a variety reasons for opposition to subjects like same-sex marriage.

First of all, the issue isn't "subjects like same-sex marriage." It's same-sex marriage itself, specifically.

What are all these reasons? (And "it represents change, and change is hard" doesn't rise to the level of being a reason.)
   7323. Moeball Posted: November 12, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4300890)
I wouldn't assume that 'The President was unaware of the investigation' means 'The President was unaware of the investigation'.


Re: the Petraeus situation.

Well, history has shown us that a lot of times a person's established reputation will determine how he is perceived by the public at large.

EX 1: Nixon/Watergate - Nixon kept insisting he didn't know anything about the incident or the subsequent coverup, but a) he was a really intelligent guy (first in his class in law school, wasn't he? He also wrote several books) and b) he was known for several years in politics as being a control freak. Thus nobody was buying the story that he didn't know what was going on with Watergate. It would be totally inconsistent with his established persona to not be "in the know".

EX 2: Reagan/Iran-Contra - On the other hand, this was the old guy that everybody said kept falling asleep in the middle of meetings, so when he said he had no idea what Ollie North was up to, people bought it.

I have no idea who knew what when, but public perception is often the result of carefully crafted images. One President had to resign largely because of that image.

I would find it difficult to believe that President Obama wasn't being briefed to some extent as to an investigation about Petraeus, particularly if it looked like sensitive secrets may be getting leaked. I think even Obama's detractors wouldn't describe him as "unaware" in the way Reagan was sometimes perceived.

One thing I've always been curious about - when administrations change - for example, going from the Clinton White House to the Bush II White House or going from Bush II to Obama - obviously, once it becomes known who the heir apparent is, the outgoing President decides to fill in the blanks for the new guy on some top level security matters, but how does the outgoing Prez decide just how much info to pass on? One would think if you are the President you now have access to all the top intelligence but maybe it doesn't always work that way? For example - let's say "if" Bush II had authorized illegal wire taps on supposed terrorists (translation: political opponents that are considered threats - and that's "if", people, not saying whether this happened or not)- is this the sort of thing one would tell Obama? My cynical guess would be that every single President probably has some dirty linens in the closet that don't get mentioned to successors, but how do you keep someone out of that closet?

   7324. Mefisto Posted: November 12, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4300893)
Nate Silver. You won't regret clicking the link.
   7325. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4300896)
we were discussing why many people on the left insist that it's good, essential even, then claim it's racist to say that any given person has ever benefited from it.

Well, I see you've gone from "Bitter Mouse said this" to "many people on the left" say this, but you still can't figure out what is being said. My opinions on the racist qualities of the protestation of Affirmative Action: When you say it as an insult, yeah, it's racist. When you say that the only reason a cum laude graduate as successful as plenty of Supreme Court Justices has ever advanced AT EVERY SINGLE LEVEL OF THEIR CAREER is because of Affirmative Action, yes, it's tending towards racist. When you pick a random job you know nothing about that's been filled by a minority and cry omnisciently that YOU KNOW the job should have gone to some beleaguered white person who was passed over because of Affirmative Action, it's... well, it's mostly pathetic whining. But it's also kind of racist as well.



You just admitted up above that you didn't really pay attention to what BM wrote. And why would you? Scrutinizing the comments of somebody from your tribe is a waste of time when there are outsiders to attack.

When I said I hadn't gone back, I meant I hadn't gone back to JOE K's repeated commentary to compare it to BM's - who I did read - so therefore I was kind of guessing from memory, as I was at work. I said I didn't pay attention to what Bitter Mouse wrote? ORLY? No. Man, you are something else with the making #### up you want to believe. As self-aware as you are, though, I assume you already know that.
   7326. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 12, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4300897)

If marriage had always been a religious construct and civil unions had always been a government construct, it would have been quite simple to just add same-sex civil unions to opposite-sex versions.


But that is how things have been in the West. Marriage from the start was a civil affair, and the Church had almost nothing to do with it, other than noting it in the parish record. Marriage as a civil affair has been a particularly strong tradition in Protestantism, but even among Catholics the sacrament of marriage was never confused with the civil and legal institution, at least not until it became a marker of tribal identity politics. There was no 'intertwining' as you put it.

It's the same with evangelical opposition to abortion. It is portrayed as a solemn religious belief based on long Biblical tradition when the evangelical consensus was not opposed to abortion until the 1970s. That's a shift that took place within living memory yet it has become such a marker of evangelical identity that nobody will even acknowledge the change. Things have "always been that way."
   7327. tshipman Posted: November 12, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4300901)
It's great that Howie can not only feel superior by being an undecided voter, he can also feel superior by being undecided on whether gay people deserve equal rights.

Shows real versatility.
   7328. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 07:53 PM (#4300911)
   7329. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4300919)
Nate Silver. You won't regret clicking the link.

I did, and I don't regret it. Great video.
   7330. SteveF Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4300921)
he can also feel superior by being undecided on whether gay people deserve equal rights.


I certainly didn't take that away from what Howie posted. My takeaway is that for whatever reason the attempts to create a civil unions to afford equal protection to same-sex unions failed to adequately afford that equal protection. As a consequence, the only means of granting that equal protection was to redefine marriage.

If anything, his position seems to be that more effort should have been spent trying to afford equal protection for civil unions while also preserving the traditional definition of marriage, thereby making everyone happy.

I don't know how closely those opinions are grounded in reality, but I would not characterize Howie as 'undecided on whether gay people deserve equal rights.' In fact, his argument seems to start from the premise that they do.
   7331. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4300924)
It's great that Howie can not only feel superior by being an undecided voter, he can also feel superior by being undecided on whether gay people deserve equal rights.


"Superior" is a humorous word choice here. All liberals do on this issue (*) is say things that make them feel superior over others.

(*) By which I mean on every issue.
   7332. Poulanc Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4300925)
Bitter Mouse, you are part of a declining group of people around here, it seems, who are trying to understand that there could potentially be a variety reasons for opposition to subjects like same-sex marriage.


Is there another reason for opposition beyond the definition of the word marriage?

Inconveniently for some narratives, there is a religious history that - unfortunately, in the opinion of many of us - complicates the discussion.


Why are you making it complicated? There can be two different definitions.

Why so many have to paint those opposed to that direction - yes, I think they are "voting against the use of the word 'marriage'," to answer the question - as bigots is something only the accusers can fully answer.


Well, my answer is that I can't fathom that someone would refuse to acknowledge that there is a separation of church and state.
   7333. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4300926)
for whatever reason the attempts to create a civil unions to afford equal protection to same-sex unions failed to adequately afford that equal protection

Whatever reason might that be?
   7334. SteveF Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4300931)
Whatever reason might that be?


I can't tell whether you are asking this sincerely, but I haven't the foggiest idea as it's not my argument. If you are being ironic, then by all means answer your own question.
   7335. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4300932)
I haven't the foggiest idea

Really?

   7336. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4300933)
"Superior" is a humorous word choice here. All liberals do on this issue (*) is say things that make them feel superior over others.

(*) By which I mean on every issue.


So what's the feeling that makes you claim that everyone who disagrees with you on anything from Ichiro to PEDs is either "illogical" or "dishonest"? That's only been your standard line for the past 5 years, 7 months and 30 days, to be precise.

On second thought, a serious inferiority complex might bring out such sentiments, so I guess I've answered my own question.
   7337. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4300935)
Initially, I was pro-civil unions, rather than SSM for a variety of reasons (what I thought was practicality, plus hesitancy to change a long-standing institution) ... but realized it was a 'separate but equal' argument and the ramifications therein. Made changing my position a no brainer.

yes, I think they are "voting against the use of the word 'marriage'," to answer the question - as bigots is something only the accusers can fully answer.

I think saying 'bigot' is a non-winning strategy myself, even apart from my initial dalliance with the pro-CU, anti-SSM position ... but there's more than considerable overlap with anti-SSM people and bigots (witness the poll data mentioned upthread).
   7338. SteveF Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4300936)
Really?


I'm an educated man, but I'm afraid I can't speak intelligently about the travel habits of Howie Menckel.
   7339. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4300940)
That's only been your standard line for the past 5 years, 7 months and 30 days, to be precise.


I'm probably gonna regret this, but is that really "precise" or did you wrote "to be precise" in an effort to be humorous?
   7340. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4300941)
Whatever reason might that be?


Marriage in one state possibly not being recognized in another state, as you well know. DOMA.

But the sub-fight was over the word "marriage" itself; proponents of same-sex marriage argued that to call it something other than "marriage" - e.g., "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships" - would be less dignified to same-sex couples than marriage, even if those things afforded precisely the same rights and protections as marriage.

So even if every state were to allow same-sex marriage and were suddenly to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state, that by no means would end the fight if it wasn't being called "marriage." Proponents of same-sex marriage still want it to be called "marriage" for dignity reasons, despite the feelings from opponents (and liberals are all about "feelings" when the feelings are those they like) that same-sex marriage dilutes the very institution of marriage.
   7341. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4300942)
Initially, I was pro-civil unions, rather than SSM for a variety of reasons


My preference was that the Government get out of the business of recognizing "marriages"- have the Government solely recognize civil unions. let Church's recognize or not recognize "marriages" as they see fit.

Among other things religious groups would not be compeleld to "recognize" marriages they disagreed with and those groups left still opposing "Gay" civil unions could pretty fairly be defined as bigots at that point
   7342. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4300943)
I'm an educated man, but I'm afraid I can't speak intelligently about the travel habits of Howie Menckel.

Well, whatever. You jumped in there in his defense. Regardless of what he thinks, do you sincerely not have the foggiest idea whatever reason it might be that the attempts to create a civil unions to afford equal protection to same-sex unions failed to adequately afford that equal protection?
   7343. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4300945)
proponents of same-sex marriage argued that to call it something other than "marriage" - e.g., "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships" - would be less dignified to same-sex couples than marriage, even if those things afforded precisely the same rights and protections as marriage.

Would it in fact be less dignified?
   7344. SteveF Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4300947)
do you sincerely not have the foggiest idea whatever reason it might be that the attempts to create a civil unions to afford equal protection to same-sex unions failed to adequately afford that equal protection?


Well, in the states they likely failed for a number of reasons ranging from being a low priority to the people creating civil unions likely not being all too interested in extending equal protection to same-sex unions. At least, that's my assumption. I have no real evidence to back that up beyond my intuition, however. I'm not overly comfortable leveling that kind of accusation when it's based primarily on my intuition.

I tried not actually putting too many words in Howie's mouth. I just thought Tshipman mischaracterized Howie Menckel's opinion in a manner that was quite obviously inconsistent with the words on the screen. I didn't want to go much beyond that.
   7345. tshipman Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4300949)
I don't know how closely those opinions are grounded in reality, but I would not characterize Howie as 'undecided on whether gay people deserve equal rights.' In fact, his argument seems to start from the premise that they do.


No, his argument starts from the premise that we should pay deference to societal institutions rather than the rights of gay people. When you start asking for separate but equal, you are not concerned with equality. Or do you think that Brown v. Board of Education was decided incorrectly?

   7346. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4300951)
Would it in fact be less dignified?


It would be different, because it is in fact something different. Man-Man or Woman-Woman are different from Man-Woman, as is, e.g., Man-Woman-Woman-Woman.
   7347. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:28 PM (#4300954)
My preference was that the Government get out of the business of recognizing "marriages" - have the Government solely recognize civil unions. let Church's recognize or not recognize "marriages" as they see fit.

Had we time machines, I'd've liked that too. We don't.

Among other things religious groups would not be compelled to "recognize" marriages they disagreed with

What does recognize mean to you here? (Not trying to be snarky or a dolt.)
   7348. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4300955)
It would be different, because it is in fact something different.

Yes, "domestic partnership" or "civil union" is something different than "marriage." Understood, but that wasn't the question. The question was, would "domestic partnership or "civil union" in fact be less dignified than "marriage"?
   7349. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4300958)
If anything, his position seems to be that more effort should have been spent trying to afford equal protection for civil unions while also preserving the traditional definition of marriage, thereby making everyone happy.

Everyone except gay people who want don't want to be don't want to be told their partnership is second-class. It's perfect!
   7350. SteveF Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4300959)
No, his argument starts from the premise that we should pay deference to societal institutions rather than the rights of gay people.


I think his idea is that when you can do both, you should do both. (I'm not even sure he's asserting that both could have been done. I think he's saying they didn't try hard enough to do both.)

When you start asking for separate but equal, you are not concerned with equality. Or do you think that Brown v. Board of Education was decided incorrectly?


It's not my argument, but the segregation analogy isn't a particularly strong one. There's a significant difference between using two different words and requiring the use of different facilities, as one example. For instance, non-religiously affiliated marriages/civil-unions between man-woman and man-man or woman-woman would take place in the same locations in the same way.

---

I'm going to bow out of this discussion since I'm not overly comfortable arguing this position (since I don't really agree with the substance of it) and since I don't really feel right continuing to press forward someone else's argument in a way they may not be comfortable with.
   7351. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4300960)
the segregation analogy isn't a particularly strong one

Why not?
   7352. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:45 PM (#4300961)
It would be different, because it is in fact something different.

Yes, "domestic partnership" or "civil union" is something different than "marriage." Understood, but that wasn't the question. The question was, would "domestic partnership or "civil union" in fact be less dignified than "marriage"?


And the point of my answer was that I don't think the concept of "dignity" properly has anything to do with this.

"Marriage is X and I'm doing Y but I demand you call Y marriage because otherwise I would feel less dignified!!" is not an argument that moves me.

The argument that has moved me is: "Yes, it redefines marriage and harms the institution, but I don't care because doing this makes people happy and at the end of the day nobody is harmed." Unfortunately, nobody on the left is honest enough to make this argument because they're too busy yelling about dignity and bigotry.
   7353. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4300962)
"Marriage is X and I'm doing Y but I demand you call Y marriage because otherwise I would feel less dignified!!" is not an argument that moves me.

How does "separate but equal" grab you?


"Yes, it redefines marriage and harms the institution, but I don't care because doing this makes people happy and at the end of the day nobody is harmed." Unfortunately, nobody on the left makes this argument.

Because this argument is stupid, as it harms nothing, not even the institution. Unless you'd care to explain specifically how the institution is actually harmed.
   7354. SoSH U at work Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4300964)
Why not?
'

I'm a gay marraige proponent, but I don't really see these as all that similar. The separate but equal faciltiies drastically and tangibly failed the equal portion of the equation, and always would for a variety of reasons. But the fight here is predominantly over the word - most gays and their supporters won't consider the victory complete without access to the word, while their opponents don't want to give that word up. Now, I've long supported their efforts to get the word, and know there will come a day rather soon where the battle is fully won, but it's still more of a symbolic struggle (at least vis a vis civil unions) than the previous battle over separate but equal.

   7355. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4300966)
YAHOO: Gingrich 'dumbfounded' by Obama win

Gingrich said, "But if you had said to me three weeks ago Mitt Romney would get fewer votes than John McCain and it looks like he'll be 2 million fewer, I would have been dumbfounded."

The former GOP candidate had previously predicted that Romney would enjoy an easy victory. He said on Fox News, "My personal guess is you'll see a Romney landslide, 53 percent-plus ... in the popular vote, 300 electoral votes-plus."

But Gingrich sounded a different tone postelection, writing for Politico, "For the conservative movement and the Republican Party to succeed in the future (and while they are not identical the two are inextricably bound together) we will have to learn the lessons of 2012. An intellectually honest and courageous Republican Party has nothing to fear from the current situation."

Asked about the editorial on "Today," Gingrich admitted, "I was wrong last week, as was virtually every major Republican analyst. And so, you have to stop and say to yourself, 'If I was that far off, what do I need to learn to better understand America.'"
   7356. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4300967)
And the point of my answer was that I don't think the concept of "dignity" properly has anything to do with this.

That's the point at which you sail completely off the rails into fantasyland.

"Marriage is X and I'm doing Y but I demand you call Y marriage because otherwise I would feel less dignified!!" is not an argument that moves me.

Great, but that's a stupid argument. The argument in the SSM case is "Marriage is X and I'm doing X so I demand you call it X because to do otherwise is to fail to grant me the dignity I deserve as a fellow citizen with equal rights."

The argument that has moved me is: "Yes, it redefines marriage and harms the institution, but I don't care because doing this makes people happy and at the end of the day nobody is harmed." Unfortunately, nobody on the left is honest enough to make this argument because they're too busy yelling about dignity and bigotry.

Well, yeah, and too busy not making stupid arguments that are premised on nonexistent harm to the institution.
   7357. Danny Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4300968)
The separate but equal faciltiies drastically and tangibly failed the equal portion of the equation, and always would for a variety of reasons.

You're missing some of the court's reasoning:

To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone....The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group....We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.
   7358. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4300973)
"Superior" is a humorous word choice here. All liberals do on this issue (*) is say things that make them feel superior over others.
(*) By which I mean on every issue.


Wait, there's a phrase some poster has used that applies here, let me see if I can find it.

Ah yes:
Yawn.
   7359. SoSH U at work Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4300974)
You're missing some of the court's reasoning:


I'm aware of that Danny. I wouldn't say gay marriage proponents have no argument under the failed separate but equal idea, only that the two situations aren't perfectly analagous.

   7360. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4300976)
"Superior" is a humorous word choice here. All liberals do on this issue (*) is say things that make them feel superior over others.
(*) By which I mean on every issue.


So what's the feeling that makes you claim that everyone who disagrees with you on anything from Ichiro to PEDs is either "illogical" or "dishonest"? That's only been your standard line for the past 5 years, 7 months and 30 days, to be precise.

On second thought, a serious inferiority complex might bring out such sentiments, so I guess I've answered my own question.


I'm probably gonna regret this, but is that really "precise" or did you wrote "to be precise" in an effort to be humorous?


Why should you regret knowing that Ray joined BTF on March 13, 2007?
   7361. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4300978)
test
   7362. Howie Menckel Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4300979)
"It's great that Howie can not only feel superior by being an undecided voter, he can also feel superior by being undecided on whether gay people deserve equal rights."

that's one interpretation. another would be that you feel inferior, and are projecting that elsewhere.

And as noted by several people with a far higher level of reading skills, you once again can't seem to comprehend what I'm saying. Almost everyone else did much better. I'm sure your stridency has nothing to do with this blind spot.

.........

"If anything, his position seems to be that more effort should have been spent trying to afford equal protection for civil unions while also preserving the traditional definition of marriage, thereby making everyone happy."

not quite, but at least you're in the ballpark.

what I wrote was, "Efforts were made to offer all of the same legal entitlements to civil unions that marriage has offered - but it seems to me that for various reasons it didn't work out that way."

I didn't say it SHOULD have been that way. But again, this sort of discussion is quite workable. Others just can't and don't get it, at all.

.........

"I'm a gay marriage proponent, but I don't really see [segregation] as all that similar. The separate but equal facilities drastically and tangibly failed the equal portion of the equation, and always would for a variety of reasons. But the fight here is predominantly over the word - most gays and their supporters won't consider the victory complete without access to the word, while their opponents don't want to give that word up."

Yes, although differing laws in differing states, private employer rules, and other challenges made it clear that nothing short of 'marriage' was going to work logistically.

And of course the word is the trump card. Which is fine. But it's amusing to see anyone say, "Hard to believe they're just arguing over a word."

Amusing from both sides, actually. As noted, that's exactly what was being argued over.

   7363. SteveF Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4300980)
I didn't say it SHOULD have been that way. But again, this sort of discussion is quite workable. Others just can't and don't get it, at all.


Got it.

Yes, although differing laws in differing states, private employer rules, and other challenges made it clear that nothing short of 'marriage' was going to work logistically.


On the federal level, barring SCOTUS involvement, pretty much the only bullet in the gun is redefining marriage, correct?
   7364. SoSH U at work Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4300982)
Yes, although differing laws in differing states, private employer rules, and other challenges made it clear that nothing short of 'marriage' was going to work logistically.


That's a failure of a different sort, though, because the same is true with Massachusetts and others offering full-fledged gay marriage and other states prohibiting it.
   7365. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4300989)
Amusing from both sides, actually. As noted, [a word]'s exactly what was being argued over.

I don't agree in the slightest with the abuse you got, but I also don't agree with this, at all. It's not just about word, it's about not being considered second-class. A civil union is a second-class marriage, period. In the spirit of Ray DiPerna, I find it hard to believe stating otherwise can be considered an honest argument.
   7366. tshipman Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4301001)
Amusing from both sides, actually. As noted, that's exactly what was being argued over.


This right here demonstrates your wrongness. It's really 'amusing' when you're in the position of power.
   7367. SteveF Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4301005)
A civil union is a second-class marriage, period.


I think one can both agree with this position and not feel as though the segregation argument is particularly apt. I think you can arguably see civil unions as a mile marker on the path to the end of gay prejudice. The same cannot be said for segregation because segregation contained within it the means of perpetuating racial prejudice -- it discouraged (to put it mildly) people of different races from interacting in social environments beyond employer/employee or master/servant.

I don't think using two different words for unions contains within it the means of perpetuation of gay prejudice. It is an expression of that prejudice (arguably), but it doesn't prevent those with prejudiced opinions being confronted daily with the fact that the guy who you 'thought' was nice in accounting is actually gay and how your previously held opinions about gay people are challenged as a result.
   7368. BDC Posted: November 12, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4301006)
Aw, man, I left the thread to teach college writing just when a college-writing discussion was breaking out … fortunately that's not the only topic I am opinionated on. Here's one:

When you say that the only reason a cum laude graduate as successful as plenty of Supreme Court Justices has ever advanced AT EVERY SINGLE LEVEL OF THEIR CAREER is because of Affirmative Action, yes, it's tending towards racist

I'll add to this sentiment: I taught at Princeton a few years after Sotomayor graduated. (I taught there while Michelle Robinson was a student there.) However people got admitted, there was no sense that anybody should be babied along because they were perceived as AA admits. I gave Cs and Ds to people of all sexes and colors and ethnicities. If Sotomayor was summa cum laude, she was damn smart and hard-working.

I say this because the opinion on the right seems often to be, as Lassus notes, that AA benefits people every waking hour. But if you teach college, you know that's not the case. If anything, I've known lots of otherwise-leftish faculty who take a distinctly show-me attitude toward AA admits and hires. Academia is by no means a field where flaccid liberals bend over backwards every day of the week to help the minority of the moment.
   7369. Howie Menckel Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4301009)

I appreciate your full response, Lassus. One quibble:

"A civil union is a second-class marriage, period."

I think that's missing the point, isn't it?
If a civil union gives every single benefit to the couple that marriage does, then the only difference is the word "marriage," right?

Now, saying that STILL isn't good enough because not legally describing the union as a marriage makes the partnership 'second-class" in the eyes of society - that's a strong argument.

So why not just be that direct about it? It's the word, beyond just the other stuff. Would anyone here say that if, hypothetically, same-sex civil unions could endow the exact same benefits as marriage, then our work is done here?

If so, fine.
If not, then don't pretend it's not about the word (and why be defensive about it, anyway? no need to be).

As for my use of the word 'amusing' from someone else's post, it's in the most exasperated possible sense.

I see both sides ridiculing the other for being so caught up in "a word," as if that's silly. But it's so silly, then no sense in still fighting over it, right?



   7370. BDC Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4301010)
And then, on same-sex marriage: I have been taken to task for calling SSM opponents homophobic, and I have come to think it's not a great tactic. Can there be opposition to SSM without bigotry? Technically, as the Mouse argues, I am sure it's possible. To make an analogy to civil rights, we have seen extreme positions here on BBTF threads that make a libertarian, freedom-of-association critique of the 1964 Act on the grounds that the state was dictating private matters of contract and conscience; and I've seen these arguments propounded by people I have no reason to believe are racists. Fair (if bizarre) enough.

So let's just say that anti-SSM positions, however arrived at, are bigoted in their effects. Think for a moment of all the committed, cohabitating gay couples that you've known. Are their lives distinguishable from those of married straight people? Of course not. So they should be denied the many benefits of marriage, because … well, what do you think they infer about the "because?"

I am no great fan of marriage. It's somewhat ironic for me to be arguing for the rights of people to engage in something that I and my straight partner are doing our best to avoid. But there's no accounting for taste, and as long as marriage exists and has benefits, go for it.
   7371. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4301011)
I think one can both agree with this position and not feel as though the segregation argument is particularly apt. I think you can arguably see civil unions as a mile marker on the path to the end of gay prejudice. The same cannot be said for segregation because segregation contained within it the means of perpetuating racial prejudice -- it discouraged (to put it mildly) people of different races from interacting in social environments beyond employer/employee or master/servant.

I understand this argument, but I cannot agree. Jim Crow laws were mile markers on the path from slavery to ending racial prejudice, and that worked about as well as building a submarine out of bricks. Denying homosexuals marriage but granting them civil unions certainly does perpetuate prejudice. "You can have this, but you cannot have what we have. Now we're all happy, see?" It DEFINES prejudice.


It is an expression of that prejudice, but it doesn't prevent those with prejudiced opinions being confronted daily with the fact that the guy who you 'thought' was nice in accounting is actually gay and how your previously held opinions about gay people are challenged as a result.

"Well, Tommy, we don't let them get married, because marriage is only for men and women. But they are allowed a civil union. Hmm? Oh, well, because it isn't right for them to get married, they're gay. It isn't right, so they aren't allowed."


It is not right, that is for sure.
   7372. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4301014)
Now, saying that STILL isn't good enough because not legally describing the union as a marriage makes the partnership 'second-class" in the eyes of society - that's a strong argument. But why not just be that direct about it? It's the word, beyond just the other stuff. Would anyone here say that if, hypothetically, same-sex civil unions could endow the exact same benefits as marriage, then our work is done here?

I am, I'm sorry, officially lost as to what sort of argument you are making. You're saying "beyond just the other stuff" as if that somehow negates the existence of the other stuff. It doesn't. The other stuff is important, and there's no point in the hypothetical because the tangible is right there. I really don't understand what you are getting at. You can't erase everything else and then stand up and say AHA, THE WORD IS THE THING, CASE CLOSED, because you're creating a reality. So what?
   7373. SteveF Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4301017)
Jim Crow laws were mile markers on the path from slavery to ending racial prejudice


Well, my argument is that they weren't. They effectively institutionalized racial prejudice because they prevented the primary means for ending prejudice -- social interaction in social environments where there's no inherent inequality (i.e. where people are typically seen as peers). (And this is one way segregation is distinguished from the situation with same-sex marriage.)
   7374. Howie Menckel Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4301020)
"Would anyone here say that if, hypothetically, same-sex civil unions could endow the exact same benefits as marriage, then our work is done here?"

I thought that was straightforward, so to speak:
- Some may say that it's mainly about getting completely equal status to opposite-sex marriage couples, and not so much the word.
- Others may say that, even given that hypothetical, it's still not enough - because only the word itself can provide truly equal status.

That's what I'm getting at. I imagine one of those two sentences fits your point of view - and most others, too. I don't see it as particularly confusing, nor do I find either point of view objectionable at all.

It does seem like a lot of words are wasted if those points aren't clarified. It almost seems like the hesitancy may come from some who want to mock opponents for "being so caught up on one word."




   7375. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4301021)
"A civil union is a second-class marriage, period."

I think that's missing the point, isn't it?
If a civil union gives every single benefit to the couple that marriage does, then the only difference is the word "marriage," right?


If a frog had wings it wouldn't bump it's ass every time it hopped.

If Andruw Jones could identify a ####### slider out of the hand he'd have been better than Willie Mays.

I Nicole <redacted> had understood the aesthetic brilliance of Master of Puppets I would have totally gotten laid earlier than I did.

How about we argue about reality for a change?
   7376. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4301024)
Well, my argument is that they weren't.

Well, they weren't slavery, were they?


They effectively institutionalized racial prejudice because they prevented the primary means for ending prejudice -- social interaction in social environments where there's no inherent inequality (i.e. where people are typically seen as peers).

In speaking of the idea of inherent equality and social interaction, do you really think that soon-to-be married couples are going to consider soon-to-be-civil-unionized couples as peers? Do you think that people will consider their connection to their husband or wife on the same level as someone else's connection to their civil partner?
   7377. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4301025)
- Some may say that it's mainly about getting completely equal status to opposite-sex marriage couples, and not so much the word.

Some? Who? I have to admit I haven't heard this as an argument for equality.


- Others may say that, even given that hypothetical, it's still not enough - because only the word itself can provide truly equal status.

I'm saying the hypothetical diminishes the argument, and is pointless.


It does seem like a lot of words are wasted if those points aren't clarified. It almost seems like the hesitancy may come from some who want to mock opponents for "being so caught up on one word."

I have no interest in mocking you. I have a great interest in convincing you that you are incorrect.
   7378. Don Malcolm Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4301027)
Why should you regret knowing that Ray joined BTF on March 13, 2007?

Was that a Friday the 13th, Andy? :-)

To try to clarify that question and address your response (much of which was a very spot-on beginning toward an answer), let's think about whether we can determine an "ideal" set of laws given the historical and cultural/religious context. It would a series of freedoms and restraints that could be traced historically back into ancient times, when it was a series of religious thinkers who may have saved world civilization from an escalating savagery due to an increased competition for existing resources (a thesis credited in large part to historians such as Karen Armstrong, working from Karl Jaspers' concept of the Axial Age). Each of these has a particular emphasis that could be contextualized into that "ideal" set even as each (indeed, all) fall short. (Often by a woeful amount.)

It would be an interesting thought-experiment (which I am sure you will likely invite me to do on my own!) to see how this has progressed. The handoff of legal concepts from sacred to secular realms has had more than a few hiccups, ones we're still grappling with, and locating all of these in a continuum of history might verify your thought that we are doing better than anyone in the current age, but possibly not as well as some civilizations in the past...though those would have had the advantage of either much greater homogeneity or an economic system that provided complementary roles that had equivalent ritual importance.

I'm a perennial optimist, and I have a feeling that in spite of all our divisions, we might actually be on the way of breaking the fever.

'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished...
   7379. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4301028)
I thought that was straightforward, so to speak:
- Some may say that it's mainly about getting completely equal status to opposite-sex marriage couples, and not so much the word.
- Others may say that, even given that hypothetical, it's still not enough - because only the word itself can provide truly equal status.


You're talking past one another. If we lived in an alternate reality where "civil unions" were what the state did, with all of those rights the states gives currently to "marriage," and "marriage" has been reserved for religious ceremony and mickamucking, we wouldn't be currently having this conversation about "marriage." (We would, almost certainly, be having this conversation about "civil unions" though, because at the end of the day the social-con right's problem with gay marriage isn't some pedantic bit of philological dalliance around the historical uses of the term "marriage," so much as it is a gut level impurity/disgust reaction to the idea of gay sex, gayness, and the idea that society at large is validating gay people and their icky gross ass-oriented ####### with officially sanctioned status.)

EDIT - close ####### paran
   7380. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 12, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4301035)
So I get back and I am sad to see the discussion is still happening. Pleh. Anyway...

But I'm not saying that all opposition to SSM (or even civil rights bills) stems from bigotry. That's too broad a generalization, and I can't read the minds of opponents whom I've never met or heard or seen. What I'm saying is that a non-bigoted vote against those measures counts just as much as a bigoted one, and has exactly the same consequences.


Well that (they are all bigots) is what others were saying until ...

The point is that opposition to gay marriage, in our current society, is a bigoted position to hold. We're arguing about the idea, not the soul of the person who holds it.


By calling everyone who was against SSM a bigot it sure looked to me like it was a soul searching argument.

For the record. I am in favor of SSM and always have been. The people against SSM are wrong. Very very wrong. But being wrong does not make them bigots. If some moron is voting against SSM because someone on TV told him he had to or he was going to hell and he never thought more about it than that than I think that person is a moron for not thinking things through, but he is not a bigot.

However, I don't know what a bigoted position is. Bigotry in my mind has always been around a person and their opinions. A person is bigoted. Their opinions reflect their bigotry. When I read they are bigots I assumed you meant they are all bigots - them not the position they held.
   7381. Howie Menckel Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4301040)

Bitter Mouse - I feel as if overall, the conversation is in a better place now than when I first responded to your thoughts on this.

overall...

   7382. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4301042)
However, I don't know what a bigoted position is. Bigotry in my mind has always been around a person and their opinions. A person is bigoted. Their opinions reflect their bigotry. When I read they are bigots I assumed you meant they are all bigots - them not the position they held.

Oh for crying out loud, are we all the way back to distinctions without differences?

Stupid is as stupid does. And bigotry is as bigotry does. Andy's analogy way back there still applies: When I'm resolutely standing on someone's face, assuring that person (and consoling myself) that it's okay, because I'm not standing on your face because I'm a bigot, rings pretty doggone hollow. The face remains stood upon, for no better reason than bigotry.
   7383. steagles Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4301046)
By calling everyone who was against SSM a bigot it sure looked to me like it was a soul searching argument.
if you lay down with dogs, you're gonna get fleas.

when you vote to restrict the rights of a targeted minority group, you get no benefit of the doubt. and the fact is, this wouldn't be an issue at all if it weren't for the efforts of people who are viciously bigoted homophobes, and every vote against marriage equality is enabling and encouraging people who really do want this to be a reality. here. in america.
   7384. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4301047)
Stupid is as stupid does. And bigotry is as bigotry does. Andy's analogy way back there still applies: When I'm resolutely standing on someone's face, assuring that person (and consoling myself) that it's okay, because I'm not standing on your face because I'm a bigot, rings pretty doggone hollow. The face remains stood upon, for no better reason than bigotry.


What does this mean? Who is saying it is OK? I have not. Being against SSM is wrong. But everything wrong is not caused by bigotry. A bigot and a non-bigot can believe the same wrong thing and it is wrong.

This started by me saying not everyone against SSM is not necessarily a bigot. I have given several examples. You have decided they are not OK, because being against SSM is wrong, but that does nothing to prove bigotry.

You keep painting in a broad brush and acting like I am defending being against SSM, I am not. I am still for SSM. But calling everyone who is against SSM a bigot is wrong. It is just not true.


   7385. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4301048)
when you vote to restrict the rights of a targeted minority group, you get no benefit of the doubt.


So everyone who voted to restrict drinking to 21 and over is a bigot? Because the minority of adults between 18 and 21 had their rights restricted when that law changed.
   7386. Howie Menckel Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4301054)

Ok, Bitter Mouse, I retract my previous statement.
:)

   7387. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4301056)
I love how a huge portion of black Americans went from bigoted to not bigoted in just a few days after Obama declared he was for SSM. It is a mystery how "Bigoted attitudes; intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself" just changed overnight.

Or possibly not all of them were bigoted, not all of them were intolerant, and when they got new information (signaling it was OK) they changed their opinion.

According to Webster a bigot is : "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices", but I guess they don't make obstinate or devotion like they used to.
   7388. Steve Treder Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4301057)
A bigot and a non-bigot can believe the same wrong thing and it is wrong.

In the abstract, of course. But we aren't talking about the abstract here. We're talking about a very specific, actual, thing. And I remain awaiting the articulation of the non-bigoted non-ridiculous argument against SSM.

I have given several examples. You have decided they are not OK, because being against SSM is wrong


No, I haven't, I've decided they are not OK because they are ridiculous.

You keep painting in a broad brush and acting like I am defending being against SSM, I am not. I am still for SSM. But calling everyone who is against SSM a bigot is wrong. It is just not true.

Still awaiting.
   7389. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4301058)
Stupid is as stupid does. And bigotry is as bigotry does. Andy's analogy way back there still applies: When I'm resolutely standing on someone's face, assuring that person (and consoling myself) that it's okay, because I'm not standing on your face because I'm a bigot, rings pretty doggone hollow. The face remains stood upon, for no better reason than bigotry.

This is the distinction I make:

----From the standpoint of a person on the receiving end of a bigoted law, it matters little what the motivation of the people who enacted the law might be. To say that they may have acted out of some more generic "principle" (states' rights; the Bible; whatever) doesn't make the result the slightest bit better. Barry Goldwater and Strom Thurmond both opposed the 1964 CRA. Goldwater was personally non-bigoted by all accounts, while Thurmond was a flaming racist from Day One. And yet when a black family arrived at a motel in South Carolina or Georgia and got turned away by some racist motel owner, Goldwater's "That's wrong" and Thurmond's "Start your own motel" would have put that couple in identical positions of exhaustion.

----OTOH when I get confronted with an argument whose effect is to deny people equal status, I try to look for a common hook in order to move the person away from that position. I might use the Golden Rule when talking to a self-professed religious person. I might use a more secular argument when talking to a fellow agnostic or to an atheist. But in no event do I see any point in starting off by proclaiming "you're a bigot", unless I know the person well enough to know that they won't automatically get defensive and withdraw into a shell. The point is to convert the possibly convertible, not to score moral points against wicked people.
   7390. SteveF Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4301059)
In speaking of the idea of inherent equality and social interaction, do you really think that soon-to-be married couples are going to consider soon-to-be-civil-unionized couples as peers? Do you think that people will consider their connection to their husband or wife on the same level as someone else's connection to their civil partner?


Standing in line, striking up a conversation as they wait to get their licenses? It's quite possible they'll see each other in their shared experiences, yes. Maybe they are fans of Modern Family and see their own straight relationship in the relationship between Cam and Mitchell.

Those are the things that are ultimately going to end gay prejudice -- not laws, provided those laws don't get in the way of that kind of socialization. Segregation had that additional problem of preventing social evolution, which was/is an element of its insidiousness.

Anyway, that's my position. I hope I've made the argument in such a way that it's helped you clarify either the shortcomings or virtues/superiority of your own.
   7391. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4301061)
I love how a huge portion of black Americans went from bigoted to not bigoted in just a few days after Obama declared he was for SSM. It is a mystery how "Bigoted attitudes; intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself" just changed overnight.

Many people will follow the way of a leader whom they respect. This was hardly the first example of this phenomenon. Not everyone is a natural born cynic.
   7392. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4301063)
So you really don't think there are any people who voted against SSM for the following:

If some moron is voting against SSM because someone on TV told him he had to or he was going to hell and he never thought more about it than that than I think that person is a moron for not thinking things through, but he is not a bigot.


Really? There is not anyone who voted because their pastor told them to? No one who voted that way because their Dad hates gays and they accept what their father says (because they respect and follow the guidance of their father)? No one who votes against SSM because they are a member of the GOP, and because their tribe (the GOP and Fox news) says to vote against SSM they do? No one votes against SSM because they are reflexively vote against all social change?

Really? No one in the whole ####### US who voted for those reasons? Every single one of them thought long and hard about the issue and decided they hated gays?

How about we turn this around and you prove to me that every single voter against SSM is bigoted.
   7393. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4301065)
Many people will follow the way of a leader whom they respect. This was hardly the first example of this phenomenon. Not everyone is a natural born cynic.


Correct. They were following. Before they were likely following someone else's thoughts and then when the tide switched they followed the new direction. They are followers and likely morons. None of that makes them bigots.

But again I do realize many people against SSM are bigots, just not all of them.
   7394. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4301068)
Don (#7378),

I'm flattered that you might think I know enough about history that extends further back than late 19th century America to be able to make an intelligent response to your most interesting question. But in truth I'd be quickly in the position I was in when I had to write a term paper on King Lear in high school and put it off until the day before it was due. I'm not big on trying to fake knowledge I don't have, and I only believe in using wiki to supplement what I already know.

And as someone who outside of many mass meetings during the civil rights era has been to church maybe 2 or 3 times in my life, about the only two religious precepts I hold onto are The Golden Rule and perhaps even more, Rabbi Hillel's famous line of "If I am not for myself, who will be? But if I am for myself alone, what am I?..." I heard the late James Farmer first quote those words (there are several translations) at a CORE meeting when he was trying to avert a Black Power coup, and both the words and the courage he showed on that unbelievably tense occasion have stuck with me ever since.

It would be an interesting thought-experiment (which I am sure you will likely invite me to do on my own!) to see how this has progressed.

Consider yourself invited. The more you elaborate, the more I may pick up on what you're trying to get at. As I said, I begin with The Golden Rule and Hillel and take it from there, trying to stick to the basics.
   7395. Lassus Posted: November 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM (#4301071)
So everyone who voted to restrict drinking to 21 and over is a bigot? Because the minority of adults between 18 and 21 had their rights restricted when that law changed.

Ehhhhhhhhhh...... this is pretty weak.
   7396. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 13, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4301072)
Many people will follow the way of a leader whom they respect. This was hardly the first example of this phenomenon. Not everyone is a natural born cynic.

Correct. They were following. Before they were likely following someone else's thoughts and then when the tide switched they followed the new direction. They are followers and likely morons. None of that makes them bigots.


Or maybe they're not even "morons", but simply people who've been brought up with certain beliefs and were never taught to question parental or religious authority. Many of us who take pride in our own non-bigotry are little more than the products of good upbringing who had the fortune to be born in a time and place where the people that we surrounded ourselves with tended to bring out the better side of our natures. Much as we might not want to admit it, a lot of this can be attributed to little more than the luck of the draw. If I'd been born to the minister of The First Segregationist Church in Jackson, Mississippi in 1934, instead of being born to a liberal couple in the New York City of 1944, I seriously doubt that my rather conventionally enlightened views would be part of my makeup today.
   7397. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 13, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4301075)
Ehhhhhhhhhh...... this is pretty weak.


Not as weak as claiming association with the guilty (bigoted) is enough to make one bigoted. Do we really want to be judged based on the worst of those who hold the same opinions as us? Really?

And actually I don't think it any weaker than the broad statement he made. But hey whatever.

The best part of this argument is about halfway through I was tempted to give in, just to stick it to the supporters of SSM, because they are a vile bunch, but I just couldn't. Gotta stand up, even against the fearsome liberal hordes that are picking on me :)
   7398. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 13, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4301077)
Or maybe they're not even "morons", but simply people...


Yeah, in this case moron was shorthand for people I don't agree with and not an actual statement of their intelligence or anything else. It is the internet so I feel OK in exaggerating a bit from time to time.

EDIT: Off to bed. Please as a favor to me let's find something else to argue about. I looked but did not find anything.
   7399. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 13, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4301078)
The best part of this argument is about halfway through I was tempted to give in, just to stick it to the supporters of SSM, because they are a vile bunch, but I just couldn't. Gotta stand up, even against the fearsome liberal hordes that are picking on me :)

Hang in there, Bitter Mouse. Your willingness to take on people who are at bottom on your side is something to value particularly on a forum like this.
   7400. Lassus Posted: November 13, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4301079)
Not as weak as claiming association with the guilty (bigoted) is enough to make one bigoted. And actually I don't think it any weaker than the broad statement he made.

Yay? It's still really weak. ;-)

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