I HAD reached the end of the third paragraph here--and the last of the laudanum--when it all became cosmically clear: Slate is a sort of fractal of the facile and the disingenuous, from its smallest headline teases to its very raison d'être; the phrase If there was any need for Slate it wouldn't exist seemed to stretch the boundaries of my skull like some virtual underground sea, and I swerved to find the keyboard when the phone rang.
Sales call. From ADT, for the record. I'm on both the Indiana and the national No-Call Lists, and sometimes I wonder if people who aren't on the list ever find time to do anything else. When I told her, with minimum swearing--I was feeling that cosmic Oneness--that I was on the No Call list, and asked why she was calling me anyway, the line went deader'n the condom concession at CPAC. No apology, nothing. Into the Void.
Here ya go:
Amanda, I actually think that Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was right when she said on The View Tuesday that “women don’t care about contraception.” In a sense.
I agree that Haley stepped in it when she offered this needlessly polarizing line about contraception in response to Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s question about how the Republican platform is good for women. Haley was then predictably pounced on by liberal Joy Behar, and she backtracked, conceding that yes, women do care about contraception.
[Isn't that just like a liberal? Always pouncing, pouncing, whenever some halfwitted barker for the party which has attempted to demonize every single move made by liberals for the past sixty years says something even slightly preposterous.]
But the governor’s initial point contains a germ of truth. Women do care about contraception, of course, but political scientists have consistently found that women appear to care no more and no less about the whole spectrum of so-called women’s issues than men. Women associate more strongly with the Democratic Party than men, but, as political scientist Karen Kaufmann points out in her book, Unconventional Wisdom, concerns over reproductive issues don’t appear to figure into this. “Questions of abortion and women’s rights are two issue domains where gender differences generally do not exist,” Kaufmann writes. Rather, as I wrote in this piece on the history of the gender gap, women tend to be more liberal than men on matters like social welfare and military defense, and this accounts for women’s closer alignment with the Democratic Party.
Three paragraphs, three self-annihilations. I agree she was right. In a sense. Especially when she backtracked. After being pounced on. Correctly, sure. But even though she was wrong, if you change the definition of enough words she was right. Because people such as women who are more liberal about things tend to be more liberal. It says so in books.
Fer cryin' out loud, what happened to these people? Is it connected somehow to that brief period in their childhoods when ketchup became a vegetable? Some as yet undiscovered Libertoonian virus we're twenty years and several hundred post-mortem brain specimens from identifying?
Y'know, I understood how the fluoridation-addled "conservatives" of the 60s and 70s embraced all the counterintuitive, unlettered, jingoist and racist nonsense of the Goldwaterites and the Nixonazis. They saw a world where being White wasn't a free pass any more, where 1600 years of Christian mythology was being rejected, where scary images magically appeared in a box in their living rooms. They had reasons--not good ones, nor well-thought-out, but reasons--to grasp at this stuff. What's the excuse for someone born in 1976? Why does Coleman sound like someone whose political opinions are pretty much of a piece with her opinion on shag carpeting, tie-dye, and underarm hair, and were pretty much formed contemporaneously? If Women don't really care about contraception, except of course they do, but it's not really a problem for Republicans because there are Republican women, then maybe you need to consider where circular logic is ever gonna get you. Or Republicans.