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« Wishful Thinking? | Main | In The Face Of Islam »

For The Children

One of the catch phrases of the Simpsons is when Reverend Lovejoy's wife, in response to some event requiring community action/some new law, is "What about the children! Won't anyone think of the children?"

Given human nature (particularly the maternal instincts of women, who are more often the target of such political tactics), it's an effective form of demagoguery. A very effective one.

For instance, it's often used by gun controllers, by using statistics talking about how many "children" are killed by guns in the inner city. Unfortunately for their case, the "children" killed by guns often turn out to be late teenagers (you know, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen?) and often people even in their early twenties, due to insufficient vetting of the actual ages of those killed in the gangland shootouts (no, tell me that it isn't so...).

Even more egregious is those who, like potential Nobel laureate (and the fact that she is even being considered for this is at least as devastating an indictment of the uselessness of that award as the actual awarding of it to the likes of Yasser Arafat and Jimmy Carter) Cindy Sheehan, talk about sending our "children" to fight and die in Iraq. This ignores the fact that no one goes into Iraq involuntarily--all who sign up for the all-volunteer military do so under the influence of their own will. (Note: If anyone can find a case in which someone delivered their "child" unto the evil maws of the Bushitler-Cheney-Rumsfeld war machine, with the infant kicking and screaming in protest, let me know pronto, so I can amend this post). Moreover, these "children" are old enough to drive, to vote, and (in many cases) to legally purchase alcohol. But it makes for much better anti-US (not anti-war--many of them are just on the other side) sound bites to bleat about the "children" that we are "sending" off to die.

So now comes the usually reasonable Representative, and aspiring Senator, Harold Ford, who reportedly said yesterday:

I'm just not going to take morality lessons from a party the National Republican Committee is running it from a party that took hush money from a child predator.

The usual morons in the comments section will continue to think that I am defending Republicans here, but I'm not. What Foley did was reprehensible, and he did the right thing by (at a minimum) resigning. But there is no evidence that he is a pedophile, or interested in children, and the continuing insinuations that he is says more about the desperation of Democrats than about him. He emailed and IMed young men, not children. Sixteen is an age at which it used to be common to marry. Looking throughout human history, it is only in our current infantilized, "failure to launch" society that such a person would be considered a "child."

It has gotten to the point with me that any time anyone uses the "for the children" argument on an issue, I now tend to assume that its proponent is pulling a fast one, and has no actual arguments in favor, and that it's probably something to therefore be opposed. I hereby call for a morotorium on the argumentum pro parvulis. Let it be heard no more in any political campaign.

Let's do it for the children.

Posted by Rand Simberg at October 15, 2006 07:37 PM
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Comments

What about argumentum ad Studdium, doing it to the children?

(Sorry, had to say it, resistence was futile.)

Posted by Raoul Ortega at October 16, 2006 09:00 AM

"What about argumentum ad Studdium, doing it to the children?"

Congressman Foley has that covered.

[Ba dum dum!]

Posted by Brian Fuller at October 16, 2006 10:03 AM

I'd just like to add that I always thought Mrs. Lovejoy was kinda hot...

Posted by Brian Fuller at October 16, 2006 10:04 AM

Beyond that, about Ford's comment - what "hush money" is he talking about?

This is the first allegation I've heard of Foley having to pay off anyone for anything. Does anyone outside of Ford's cranium have any evidence of such behaviour?

Posted by Sigivald at October 16, 2006 10:40 AM

Funny you should mention that. I was just in a Circuit City and was unfortunate enough to catch some of the noon news on ABC Channel 7 in LA. There was the "Yes on 87" (tax on oil companies) folks being given air time to present their POV as a "news story". Their POV, of course, was that the air pollution from refineries et al are killing our children. (Immediate scene change to lovely pics of cute little 3 year olds playing with toys at school).

The phrase that occured to me on the way home was "people get the government that they deserve". Unforunately, the individuals who have to live with those people are also scr*wed.

Posted by K at October 16, 2006 01:26 PM

It's legal to have sex with 17 year olds of either gender
in DC. What made the issue have legal jeopardy is that
the Internet Predator Act makes it illegal to use
the internet to set up these liasons. Much as it's
legal to have sex with 16 year old girls in Illinois,
it's illegal courtesy of the Mann Act, to bring a girl from
Indiana to have sex.

Gicen the GOP spent the last 4 years playing "Smear
the Queer", it certainly raises issues of hypocrisy to be
protecting a gay GOP member who is trying to have
sex with the pages. House rules do prohibit members
from having sex with any of the pages.

It's kind of sad to see Simberg stooging for the GOP,
on an issue that even the republicans can't defend.

Posted by anonymous at October 16, 2006 06:19 PM

I'd just like to add that I always thought Mrs. Lovejoy was kinda hot...

Dude.

That's just .. wrong. She's a cartoon.

Everyone knows that Maude Flanders (rest in peace) is the real hottie in Springfield.

Posted by brian at October 16, 2006 06:52 PM

particularly the maternal instincts of women, who are more often the target of such political tactics

Not all of us have maternal instincts. I personally want to throw something at the radio or TV whenever I hear someone bleating about Da Cheeeldrunnn.

Posted by anonymous II at October 18, 2006 01:48 PM

What "child predator" paid money to the Republican Party? When? How much? In what form? Did the Republican receiving the "hush money" know that it was being paid by a "child predator"? And that it was "hush money"?

One or two facts that could be substantiated would be nice. So are candlesticks.

Posted by S Chamberlain at October 25, 2006 04:48 PM

What "child predator" paid money to the Republican Party? When? How much? In what form? Did the Republican receiving the "hush money" know that it was being paid by a "child predator"? And that it was "hush money"?

One or two facts that could be substantiated would be nice. So are candlesticks.

Posted by S Chamberlain at October 25, 2006 04:48 PM


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