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Utah politics you don't know whether to laugh or cry.
April 28, 2002 4:49 PM   Subscribe

Utah politics you don't know whether to laugh or cry. From Paul Rolly's column in the Salt Lake Tribune "The Republican state convention delegate was discussing with a prominent Utah GOP elected officeholder the issue of immigration when the delegate whined that a fence should be constructed to span the entire USA-Mexican border to keep out illegal immigrants. "What happens when they climb the fence?" asked the politician. "You electrify it," said the delegate. "Then they won't touch it." "But what if they touch it? You would let them die?" "It would be their choice," said the delegate. "What about a mother with a baby strapped to her back? You would let the mother and the baby die?" "It would be the mother's choice to kill that baby," said the delegate. "Then you're in favor of abortion?" asked the officeholder. Dead silence. "
posted by onegoodmove (24 comments total)

 
Wow. No wonder Mitt moved back to Massachusetts.
posted by dchase at 5:04 PM on April 28, 2002


The good thing here is that the delegate is the whacko here and the officeholder rational in comparison.
posted by rdr at 5:52 PM on April 28, 2002


The delegate is obviously a moron as far as immigration policy in concerned, but my guess is that "dead silence" followed because it was quite a stupid question. This would be a murder/suicide, hardly abortion. Slow news day, apparently...
posted by Rockames at 6:24 PM on April 28, 2002


How is this a stupid question? The mother made a choice to terminate the life of her baby? Most Pro-Lifers equate conception as life. How is this not morally equivocal? May I show people to this moral equivalency test for further review?
posted by plemeljr at 6:52 PM on April 28, 2002


How is a mother killing a baby strapped to her back equivilant to abortion? The baby's on her back.

If it's murder, then who's the murderer? The mother or the gov't?

Bah. I put to much into this. Hypotheticals can go anywhere, and there are far easier ways to ignore signs and kill yourself and others...
posted by kfury at 7:16 PM on April 28, 2002


It's not equivalent, that's the point. But, if you do accept the proposition that it's okay for the baby to die if the woman tries to climb the fence, because "it was her choice" to do so, then you also have to accept the proposition that it's okay for a woman to have an abortion if "it was her choice" to do so. That's the point being made - that many of what some people think of as ultimate "moral" beliefs are contradictory to each other.

BTW, the moral equivalency test is very cool. I took three hits (but I disagree with one of them) and bit no bullets, which earned me the "third-highest honor", whatever that means.
posted by yhbc at 7:32 PM on April 28, 2002


First, the line of reasoning here is specious. "The mother would be responsible for deciding whether to attempt something which would kill her child" is not the same thing as saying "It would be OK for the woman to decide to attempt something which would kill her child."

The fact that this kind of illogic passes for political discourse is what's saddest: Not the fact that the Republican party's platform contains inconsistancies (this isn't one, the position taken by the delagate is essentially the same as the GOP's position on gun control), or that GOP officials can seriously propose something as lame-brained as "the Great Fence of the Mojave," but that one man's grasp of logic was so tenuous as to lay this little trap and the other man was unable to think his way past it. Fah.
posted by hob at 7:36 PM on April 28, 2002


My favorite part is the fact that the reps are arguing about a fence that is hundreds of miles away. If you want a sense of scale, go here. On a side note, I hate how those politicians who play the Hispanic straw-man card to inflate white fear. GIVE ME A F&#*$ BREAK! Who else will clean up your nice office at night for less then minimum wage? Who will work in the field as a migrant worker? I wouldn’t? Would you? Probably not. It isn’t like immigrants are taking your jobs, is it now you damn racist.

< /rant>

posted by plemeljr at 7:51 PM on April 28, 2002


"Bah" and "fah" constitute persuasive argument to the same degree that Mallard Fillmore's constantly-rolled eyes constitute a punchline.

Sorry, I'm still in the comic-strip mode from the Mary Worth thread.
posted by yhbc at 7:57 PM on April 28, 2002


"Bah" and "fah" constitute persuasive argument to the same degree that Mallard Fillmore's constantly-rolled eyes constitute a punchline.

OK, OK, I originally wrote a many-paragraphed rant following there which meandered all over the spectrum of "what's wrong with politics today" and wildly diverged on its actual relevance to the topic at hand. I read it to my wife and she rolled her eyes and said, "Fah." So I changed it.
posted by hob at 8:21 PM on April 28, 2002


Personally, I think my mini-rant could be summed up as: hurramph
posted by plemeljr at 8:42 PM on April 28, 2002


blah blah blah, i still found this funny.
posted by Dom at 9:35 PM on April 28, 2002


"to this moral equivalency test" I was awarded the highest honor. I'm so happy. :)
posted by onegoodmove at 9:37 PM on April 28, 2002


Yeah, I was awarded the second highest, and I don't know whether to be glad or cry and go read some Kant.

I think I will go to Waffle House, instead.
posted by plemeljr at 9:42 PM on April 28, 2002


no matter where you fall on the abortion and immigration issues, it was an ignorant question. if the pregnant woman were to stab herslef in the stomach, would we now be discussing the legalization of knives?
posted by nobody_knose at 9:45 PM on April 28, 2002


Rockames --- most anti-abortion activists argue that a fetus is a person and thus abortion is murder.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:28 PM on April 28, 2002


hob: First, the line of reasoning here is specious. "The mother would be responsible for deciding whether to attempt something which would kill her child" is not the same thing as saying "It would be OK for the woman to decide to attempt something which would kill her child."

Bullshit. Read it.

"But what if they touch it? You would let them die?" "It would be their choice," said the delegate

These hypotheticals would know after that line of reasoning that the fence was electrified and still chose to climb it And/or were not properly warned that "the fence" was electrified, that be the case, it would be a disgusting breach of humanity.

Rockames: The delegate is obviously a moron as far as immigration policy in concerned, but my guess is that "dead silence" followed because it was quite a stupid question.

It's called (there's probably a legal term) making one face the true absurdity of their proposition.
posted by crasspastor at 10:55 PM on April 28, 2002


The irony: Cannon is given a 100 percent rating by national conservative special interest groups and a 0 rating by liberal groups.
posted by crasspastor at 11:08 PM on April 28, 2002


When a resolution was introduced at the Utah House of Representatives this year urging Congress to pass a federal law banning abortions....

PRESS RELEASE FROM SENATOR TOM DASCHLE:
Although I have in the past supported a woman's right to abortion, after getting word of the Utah legislature's recent vote to ask the Congress to ban abortion I have seen the error of my ways. I believe this Congress has a duty to honor the wishes of the people of Utah and vote to ban abortion in the United States. If the Supreme Court tries to stop us, we'll just show them this wonderfully crafted piece of legislation from Utah, and I know they will be persuaded of the wisdom of our decision. Finally, I must say that what utimately convinced me of the correctness of Utah's position was the fact that they did not include an exception for rape and incest, which I have always found to discredit the anti-abortion position because of its logical inconsistency with the idea that life begins at conception. So I appriciate all the long hours and massive lobbying that went into ensuring that this bill did not contain such absurd exceptions. The people of Utah should know that their tax dollars on legislative salaries are being well spent. In closing, I would just like to thank the people of Utah for showing myself and the entire Democratic party the error of our ways...

well, on the bright side, i suppose they do less damage this way then if they actually fight over real issues.
posted by boltman at 11:40 PM on April 28, 2002


Trapping political delegates with logic is like catching fish with dynamite. Trouble is they usually don't realize they've been caught. I suppose this one was just smart enough, and chances were his silence indicated he was considering his political future, not his intellectual integrity.

Anyway, the way out of the trap is found in the rest of the right-wing GOP toolkit: After birth, the father (and the mother, as his obedient helpmate) has the right to make decisions that may affect that child in any way, including leading to the child's death.

The sanctity of family makes it all work out.

Ash.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:34 AM on April 29, 2002


maybe they should just build a fence around utah.
posted by bwg at 9:25 AM on April 29, 2002


Quick Facts about Utah. Slightly unnerving.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:26 PM on April 29, 2002


May I show people to this moral equivalency test for further review?

No direct hits, 2 bullets. I require a more rigourous proof for the statement 'God exists' than I do for the statement that 'evolutionary theory maybe false in some matters of detail, but it is essentially true', and I believe 'that religious convictions, including your religious convictions, are beyond any debate or rational discussion'.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:03 PM on April 30, 2002


obiwanwasbi, that test lost all credibility for me when it told me my beliefs were inconsistant because i didn't believe God could make a square circle.
posted by boltman at 8:45 AM on May 1, 2002


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