Tuesday, July 15, 2003

The analogy game

Jonah Goldberg must have slapped his forehead in delight when he came up with this genius analogy:

Historically, radical democrats like Thomas Jefferson have despised the idea that we the living should have our choices limited by the deceased. Why should what a bunch of dead guys decided 200 years ago limit our decisions today? And they're right. Why shouldn't we be able to vote away any rule established by dead white males?

The answer: The rules of the dead keep us free. Imagine you're playing baseball, and all the rules can be changed mid-game. Technically you'd be "freer." After all, you could vote to eliminate strikes and balls. But then again, so could everyone else. In other words, if you don't set the rules in advance you don't get freedom; you get anarchy.

The problem comes when you realize that Jonah, the idiot son of an asshole (where have I heard that before?) has the analogy completely assbackward. The supreme court's recent decision on sodomy isn't changing the rules of the game, but saying that the rules should apply equally to everyone. To follow his analogy, the baseball game Jonah would like us to continue playing is the one where the rules apply differently depending on the team for which you play. Even worse, Goldberg and his buddies want everyone to be forced to play baseball. Soccer and football are right out.

Why is it that so many people are so pissed about something which, ostensibly, has nothing to do with them? Does Rick Santorum really think that gay marriage will "destroy the special legal status of marriage"? (If the "special legal status" is what's important to him, he's got a damn miserable view of marriage in the first place.) Why? These guys never explain exactly what the problem is. They trot out bullshit about marriage being about procreation, but don't suggest laws keeping the old or sterile from getting married. They say that broken homes are terrible for kids, but they don't try to make divorce illegal. (Nor, of course, do they point out that "broken homes" have absolutely not one damn thing to do with gays.) They say that they must protect the "sanctity" of marriage, but don't work to shut down Vegas' drive-through wedding chapels, which are to the sacred institution of marriage what Denny's is to fine cuisine.

This is a question to which I don't have an answer, but I think it's very odd. I, for one, don't give a damn about what goes on in Rick and Karen's bedroom or Jonah and Jess's. I still can't figure out why they care what happens in John and Tyron's.

P.S.: It's good to know where Jonah stands on Thomas Jefferson and all those other guys who decided that it was time to change the rules of the game, no matter what a bunch of dead guys thought.


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