The Lileks Zone

Attack of the Six-Step Process

E.J. Dionne said something revealing on the Wednesday’s show: Obama couldn’t be anti-Catholic; he had worked for them as a community organizer, and they’d paid his way. As if this translates to anything. As if there’s any gratitude given to an employer for any reason. That’s what they’re supposed to do: give people money, right? But if he think this means that Obama has some deep appreciation for the church because they gave him money, it explains why liberals think people’s opinions aren’t the result of study and consideration of the issues, but because they work for a company that once had a contract to buy paper towels from the Koch Brothers.

Speaking of the Post: got a tweet from a Washington Post columnist. He’s a very funny and talented writer. But.

This is so true.  Watch: Next, they’ll resurrect the flag-burning threat.

Sigh. It goes to a Balloon Juice post:

Why Republicans are Crawling Into Women’s Vaginas

More good news: jobless claims are down again. Here’s a graph of jobless claims from Steve B (click to embiggen) that explains why the Republican Party is ginning up the culture war—it’s easier than acknowledging that the economy is getting better.

It’s all a ploy to distract the masses, and it arose only because desperate conservatives are looking for an issue. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have been a big deal. But now that the economy is booming again, fizzy with exuberance, they have to puff up something completely unobjectionable to distract the lowing masses. Hence this BIZARRE kerfluffle over making Catholic organizations pay for “women’s health,” the fuzzy cover-all euphemism for everything from mammograms to ninth-month abortions. It’s not like they’re forcing anyone to use it. Right? What could possibly be the problem?

Don’t tell me it’s abridgment of religious liberty. It’s hatred of women and the desire to see them all get sick and die. (Conservatives are awful misogynists.) This is not an opinion, but settled fact. And they’re control-freak theocrats to boot!  From the New Republic:

. . . the fight that the church’s defenders thought was about protecting Catholic Charities and St. Mary’s school down the street from purchasing health plans that violate their leaders’ conscience is now, as the Church sees it, also about protecting the right of all employers — including, apparently, fast food franchises — to deny contraception coverage to their employees.

Horrors. In a just and decent world the owner of a restaurant must assist his employees to pay for contraception. He must, if so requested by the fry cook, go to the store and buy a box of condoms, if the fry cook intends to get busy when the shift’s over. The owner of the restaurant is not permitted to say “buy your own, or don’t have sex,” because there should be no impediment to recreational frottage. Another blogger at free  weekly in Minneapolis noted the injustice of allowing employers – any employers! – to impose their religious conceptions of, well, conception on its employees.

Not paying for something is equivalent to denying it. Makes sense.

This backs up my theory about any change in social mores: it’s a six-step sequence. First you have to tolerate the new idea, because tolerance is good (except when the object has been branded an unacceptable impediment to the nifty new progressive world just over the horizon.) Tolerance might mask an uncomplimentary opinion, though, and even though it’s held and private and never expressed, it’s not enough. So the next step is Acceptance. You have to accept something. This is swiftly followed by Approval, lest the people who embody the new mores feel bad about your lack of approval; next the change must be seen as the equal of the previous standard, and shortly thereafter it must be admitted that in some ways it is superior. The last step: you have to pay for it.

We seem to be moving through these steps faster and faster these days. Each one wears down the sandpaper that kept ideas from swift adoption. In the end, what do you get? A world in which all of a sudden a married lesbian can have an abortion against her spouse’s wishes, and demand that it be paid for by someone against their own convictions. To the progressives, that’s all good. That’s a sign we’re doing it right.

By the way: The Think Progress comments on the matter are as delightful as you’d expect, full of the roiling anti-religious hatred that abounds on these sites.

Lets make a deal. Catholic bishops can have a say in how our government works when they decide to pay their taxes for the privilege. Until then, stay in your churches and STFU!

Rejecting a law that requires you to violate your beliefs = having a say in how government works. Got it. The next one:


It’s as revealing as Dionne’s remarks, and in both cases, the speakers don’t seem to understand the implications. MY government? Not ours? No. Not ours.

Government belongs to them. Society conforms to the dictates of government. Individuals confirm to the dictates of society. The only personal freedom you have is the only one that matters: sexual freedom. Any questions? Enjoy!


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February 2012