Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Sliding the slippery slope in both directions

This is why I'm wearing a shirt that says The Fake News Is All I Need.

Watch below as Jon Stewart eviscerates Bill Bennett with the cold diamond-edged blade of rational thinking.

Anyone who's against gay marriage clearly has not thought of the awesomeness that would be a Stewart-Colbert marriage.

NB: Not sure why the video's a little jumpy, but it's the longest one I found on YouTube.


Blogger jess said...

Holy shit, what a ROUT.

This is pretty much the only hope I have: that in fifty years, every schoolchild looks back at this and says "god, what bigots." Just as we do now with the former laws against miscegenation. That in fifty years even the Bill Bennetts of the world say "well, of course sexuality isn't something to base this question on." Because Jon is right: this keeps happening, because "conservative" means "afraid of change." (Sometimes rightly, as with fiscal cautiousness, but on social issues, usually because of trained-in, unquestioned bigotry.) And because America is founded on great principles, it never sticks. If it did, that would be the end of America, Bill, just like it would have been the end if our laws had permanently treated women or blacks as second-class citizens.

June 07, 2006 10:19 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Obviously, the guy Stewart's arguing with is a knob, but this "Natural Progression" isn't logic-blog-worthy either. A) It hasn't been a linear progression unless you're looking at a narrow slice of history and geography and smoothing out the equilibrium of events B) If you acknowledge that it's progress, the fact of its having happened doesn't make it natural or inevitable C) If you grant it's a natural progression, anyone can make up what's supposed to come next, as do right-to-lifers and fringe elements of PETA.

June 10, 2006 3:58 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Good points, and important to note. Change doesn't have to be accepted, and it's not always good. The "natural progression" of society is not a clear concept and smacks of a teleological view of history.

I do think, though, that it's important to dismantle the slippery slope argument wherever we find it in this debate. Gay marriage does not inevitably lead to marrying your dog, as Rick "Santorum" Santorum thinks, because marriage is a legal contract, and we get to decide as a society what the laws are. It doesn't make sense to say that gay marriage will destroy marriage by diluting the brand, as it were; gay marriage will be a form of marriage.

Bennett, of course, is the asshat who served in the Reagan/Bush administration, wrote The Book of Virtues, and then said that crime would go down if you aborted every black baby in America.

June 10, 2006 4:12 PM  
Blogger -m said...

oh my god. "Divorce is not caused because 50% of all marriages end in gayness"

I always forget how much I love him.

I think the "natural progression" argument was appropriate in this case, since Bill was touting America as the [200-year-old infant] Best Country Ever. In this specific argument, it has been a natural progression. I'm also thinking of things like Prohibition, and what I am certain is the coming relaxation of a few drug-related laws...

June 11, 2006 10:35 PM  
Blogger jess said...

I think the problem is that there should have been a distinction made between "natural progression" and "not unnatural progression." Like many of the crazier conservatives, Bennett tries to paint a picture of America as a completely finished country, one that has no need to accommodate new ideas. I agree that it sounds teleological to talk about the "natural progression" as though there were an agreed-upon endpoint, but admitting that some progression is natural is necessary to counter people who think conservatism means stagnation.

I'm really amazed at how many people on the Right seem to wish we'd halted national progress 50, 100, or 2000 years ago. One frequently hears about "the good old days" which turn out to be pre-women's suffrage, pre-Abolition, or pre-Deuteronomy.

June 12, 2006 9:35 AM  

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