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Posted by on Jan 11, 2013 in Guest Contributor, Politics | 1 comment

Since When Is Sanity News? Since When Is News Sane?

“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” ~ Robert Heinlein

plutocratic attention

What’s all this then?

I will stipulate that the closest they come to sanity in our Modern World is Sean Hannity, and that connection is only by rhyme. But, in a week that has been astonishingly snarky, I suppose that this qualifies as “news”:

Gingrey speaks out on the issue of ‘legitimate rape’ and guns 
Jon Gillooly /

 SMYRNA [GA] — U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) tackled such sensitive topics as gun reform, abortion and rape during the Smyrna Area Council of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce breakfast which took place Thursday at the Smyrna Community Center.

“There are some problems, and maybe these huge magazines even for someone who says, ‘look, I just use an AR-15 for target practice,’ but do you really need to be standing there shooting at a silhouette a shot a second or even quicker with that kind of weapon? For what purpose?” Gingrey asked. “I would be willing to listen to the possibility of the capacity of a magazine.” …

Now, if you will note, this is the TOP STORY IN THE BLOGOSPHERE today. Clicking the link above will take you to the Memeorandum front page and a “blue” blogswarm, all breathlessly asking questions like …

A small crack in wall of GOP opposition to gun reform? or (the majority) GOP Congressman Gingrey: Akin ‘Partly Right’ On ‘Legitimate Rape’.

Except …

It was a town hall in Georgia, with a “batcrap crazy” (to invoke the Lawrence O’Donnell approach) Republican “conservative” congressman spewing the same old craziness on Guns and Abortion and Socialism, Oh My!

(Or, shorter,: Same Old G.A.S.)

The elephant in the room

He misspoke and was then misinterpreted, but in the former case, his misspeaking was reported accurately and in the latter case, he stated his thinking on a minor aspect of the rape debate that is legitimate thinking … IF YOU ACCEPT HIS ANTIABORTION PRESUMPTIONS.

This is the the grand problem of the Left and the Right: all our arguments are based on mutually contradictory premises … THAT ARE NEVER ADDRESSED DIRECTLY.


“And in Missouri, Todd Akin … was asked by a local news source about rape and he said, ‘Look, in a legitimate rape situation’ — and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.”

Gingrey pointed out that he had been an OB-GYN since 1975.

“And I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things. It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right wasn’t he? But the fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak. And yet the media took that and tore it apart.” …

All right: you don’t have to accept that what he says isn’t crazy and idiotic. But you do have to accept that it is perfectly rational GIVEN HIS PREMISES.

impossible triangle

a/k/a ‘conservative thought’
a/k/a ‘the Wheel of FUBAR’

First, he’s trying create cover for the garble of antiabortion rhetoric that was spewed by Mourdoch and Akin (and note, Liberals, that with this many eruptions of this stuff, it’s clear that it’s a widespread weltanschauung and ought be paid attention to, and not mindlessly mocked, since, in that mockery you merely reinforce the most important meme and obstacle to ACTUALLY GETTING THROUGH TO THEM which brings us back to the mainstream of the sentence after this parenthetical dive off the rhetorical highway to avoid dead sacred cows blocking the road)  and invoking the Universal Meme of Nixon Rightiness: the BIASED LIBERAL MEDIA has this unspoken agenda to always oppose us, and by the reflective property of gluing rubber, ANYTHING they say is AUTOMATICALLY UNTRUE.


Whatever, hundred-year-old dude …

Gingrey didn’t embrace Akin’s troubles, but he was stating a widely held view in KonservativeLand. And then the “liberal media” pounced. Well, that sure as hell refutes their circular argument: we are oppressed and lied about, which proves that we are right!



Meet some of the oppressed

The Doctor makes his medical point, being somewhat indulgent with the ignorant layman, and returns to The Cause, which you MUST understand they BELIEVE and have reams of rational arguments in favor of that worldview. To automatically denigrate any reasoning WITHIN that worldview is to miss the point entirely.

Look: I find much of the Right’s fundamental premises on What Life Is About to be ludicrous and/or dangerous. My default politics will always veer to the left because when the left goes OUT OF CONTROL, it’s usually ridiculous (language police, etc.) but when the Right gets out of control, it’s invariably SCARY (wars, Patriot Acts, abortion clinic bombings never reported as domestic terrorism, crazy gun cultists, etc.)

BUT I can understand their worldview, and HOW the logical dominoes are turned over IN that worldview. Gingrey said nothing particularly meaningful or controversial at a town hall in Georgia. But evidently this turned into national blog news because …

steyn miller chavez

Hugo Chavez and two of his admirers*, flanking
(* OK, not admirers, but if anything happened to Hugo
they’d have to find something else to talk about and talk about)

Because it’s been a slow news week, I guess. I heard the following idiocy on NPR today. First, acting as an amateur Constitional Scholar (a common US occupation) on the VENEZUELAN Constitution, said idiot presumed to have the vapours over what the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled vis a vis Hugo Chavez’ scheduled inauguration today.

Seriously? We have VENEZUELAN Constitutional scholars SO well-versed that they can sneer at the Venezuelan Supreme Court’s ruling? (This was backed up with a sackcloth and ashes moment in which it was tearfully admitted that Hugo was VERY POPULAR with the people of Venezuela AND that probably was the reason that this ridiculous delay on account of life-threatening illness wouldn’t be overturned.


The super-genius in our midst

Seriously? The notion that the poor Venezuelans’ admitted popular will wouldn’t be overturned in favor of NPR’s “constitution expert” was … wrong? In a democracy?

I guess Mr. Kornstitushunal Skolar was cutting class or asleep on his desk when the notion that a constitution is a CONTRACT between a form of government and the Will of the People was noted. It’s there is the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence of the USA, but probably not the Venezuelan one.

Oh wait. There’s MORE.

Having pundited pompously on Venezualan Constitutional Law, our protean genius puts on another of his hats and begins to DIAGNOSE Chavez’ condition in Cuba, based on what he knows about whether there have been communications between the Cuban hospital and the Venezuelan government.


What a guy! He can decide foreign constitutional difficulties, overturn the will of the people in a democracy, intercept communiqués from hostile nations AND diagnose the health of world leaders from afar?

NPR is getting SOME kind of bang for their buck there. Such a genius should be Ruling the World!


What A Giant Brain!

And so forth.

Gingrey believes that abortion is always wrong and he believes in the sacred right of Southerners to own guns. You may disagree, but his thinking is legitimate WITHIN that construct. If you reject its assumptions reject its assumptions, but don’t sneer at him for making sense WITHIN those assumptions.

The second GREAT CONTROVERSY has taken all aback. It SEEMED for a split second that a  Southern REPUBLICAN might speak some sanity on the burning issue (you know, like gonorrhea) of the day: Gun Kontrolz!

Not to worry. Gingrey issued this clarification, after the brouhaha had blogged down:


Bad MRI! Doh!

Rep. Gingrey’s statement about his comments 

On Akin comments:

At a breakfast yesterday morning, I was asked why Democrats made abortion a central theme of the presidential campaign. I do not defend, nor do I stand by, the remarks made by Rep. Akin and Mr. Mourdock. In my attempt to provide context as to what I presumed they meant, my position was misconstrued.

On gun control:

As a father and grandfather, I am heartbroken at the tragedy in Newtown. No parent, child, or community should have to suffer such devastation and overwhelming grief. At the same time, as we begin a national dialogue on how to prevent future tragedies, it is of paramount importance to defend our Second Amendment rights. Throughout my political career, I’ve been a tireless advocate of Second Amendment rights and will continue to be one moving forward.

Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.


Republican speaks craziness? Dog bites man.

Republican seemingly veers towards sanity on guns? Man bites dog.

False alarm.

On to the next snark.

Moral: Just because your premises are wrong doesn’t mean you’re not making sense (within those premises), and just because your premises are right doesn’t mean you’re making sense at all.



A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, an honorary Texan, Clown (ditto) and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog

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