Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Don't do anything *I* wouldn't do ;)

You're oh so righteous. You think you're pitch-perfect. Right-whingers can't really nail you and the Lefties...well, they're cheap dates. They'll settle for your gourmet scraps. After all, they wouldn't want the really nasty candidates to slip in up the middle. It's easy, actually: I have [strongly worded conviction X], but I would never tolerate [Y]. Ta-da!! You're nuanced! How could they not luuurve you?
Some pull this 'nuance' off without a hitch, before the rest of us even realize we've been...err...nuanced out of something. Clinton I (Bill) was a star. Clinton II is still in rehearsal, warming up her pipes for the big '08 aria. Obama has everyone weak-in-the-knees, but (at least to date) there's more gag-inducing talk of 'coming together in a bipartisan way' than principled demands for serious progress.
While we wait for democracy to break out in the USA...there's the small matter of it breaking out up here, in da norde. Yes, 2007 is promising to be one perma-campaign, with the 'election' of new Lib leader Dion and the House-of-cards (err...Commons) just a-teetering and screaming for no-confidence motions to be introduced.
But there's a new kid on the block. A serious kid, in the form of the Green party. Elizabeth May came pretty dern close to taking a seat in the HoC, via London North Centre. I gotta admit: at first I was really chuffed to see the erstwhile head of Sierra come so close. I didn't know much about her, but what's not to like? Look how earnest! How everywoman! And green! Pourquoi pas?
And then there was this. Boy howdy, there was this. And then my face went all hot, as it does when I read stuff like this. "Ah hell. Why'd she have to go and do that?!" "Frivolous"?! Talking women out of abortions?! Nothin' nuanced about it. Nope. Can't support her. It would feel like a betrayal of everything I am.
I concede that it is possible--defensible--for a politician to be personally against having an abortion yourself. For yourself, mind. Kept to yourself. The minute you open your mouth and the words whistle past your teeth and lips, advising other women against abortion, and adding qualifier after qualifier, you have crossed a dark. red. line. That's it. I have nothing to add on this subject that hasn't already been articulated by others (e.g. Berlynn, Debra, Kuri, and many others).
Just another humourless feminazi? (I'm also available for children's parties, btw). rejection of harmful mealy-mouthing is not restricted to political candidates. Public figures of all stripes have been guilty of it.
Say, have you met the new UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon? It's the funniest story: turns out he has a really respectful, polite and---dare I say it?---"nuanced" view of the death penalty:
Responding to a question about the execution, Ban said the former Iraqi leader "was responsible for committing heinous crimes and unspeakable atrocities against the Iraqi people. We should never forget the victims of his crimes."
Yeah. We should push for more tax-credits for the illegally occupied. I can only imagine what tragedies must induce a country to sentence a man to life-in-prison. You wouldn't want to encourage frivolous appeals.

Oh it gets worse, people:
But, he added, "The issue of capital punishment is for each and every member state to decide."
'Why, I've personally talked many countries out of turning over their war-criminals to the ICC.'

Right. Far be it for an International body to impose its principles on the 'sovereign' nation of Iraq. Well, excu-u-u-use Me! What would WE know about human rights? We'll just be over here, cleaning out John Bolton's office.

Say Goodnight, Gracie. Oh, and uh...don't do anything I wouldn't do, y'know?

{h/t to Debra for the Ban Ki-Moon story.}


Anonymous Berlynn said...

Hey, GDkitty! Nice post.

1/03/2007 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Kuri said...

Indeed. Equivocation, talking out of both sides of one's mouth and avoiding clear statements of principle do not equal "nuance" nor "respect". Why are so many of our so-called allies so willing to respect the enemies of civil liberties, anyway? Do they dare imagine they'll receive any respect back? I sincerely doubt that.

Thanks for the link, GDKitty, and great post. You've connected the issues beautifully.

1/03/2007 11:52 AM  
Blogger Dr. Dawg said...

In other words, if you aren't with us you're against us. Right?

1/03/2007 1:12 PM  
Blogger Godammitkitty said...

Hi Dawg,
I'm not sure which "us" you're referring to in your comment, so I can't respond to that directly. I don't like to think of these things in those terms--I generally welcome all comers to this blog. My 'beef' (said the vegetarian) was that political leaders, particularly party leaders should take hard stands where human-rights are concerned. I don't really doubt May's honesty when she says she would not actively restrict access to abortion. Here's the problem for me: as a party leader, any comments she makes on the subject will be read as party-gospel. Thus, by airing her own personal qualms & value-judgements on abortion to a bunch of nuns, she has (perhaps inadvertently) suggested that the Green Party has made judgements on what constitutes reasonable limits to 'choice.' It gives a thin patina of liberal cred to every anti-choice person out there. She's suggesting that women availing themselves of their rights are necessarily tragic figures without other recourse. I don't agree with that and I find it insulting. My initial "gut" rxn to the 'frivolous' remark is really what's been eating at me. It jabs at our mental competence and this is implicitly threatening. I don't know how else to articulate it, unfortunately.

If May is 100% "pro-choice" then why on earth wouldn't she just state that to the nuns? I want my leaders to have the courage of their convictions, whether it's the Sec.Gen. of the UN (Hell yes we want to abolish state-sanctioned murder!) or the leader of the Greens (hell ya, I'm pro-choice). Ok, maybe she needn't swear at the nuns ;)

Perhaps it was just foot-in-mouth on May's part. I don't know. In any case, I certainly don't expect everyone feels the same way but I can do my bit to share how I feel on the subject.

I hope you'll stop by again, Dawg. Best wishes to you--GDK

1/03/2007 7:32 PM  

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