Thursday, October 19, 2006

Partisanship makes smart people stupid

I just saw this posting at DovBear:

Last night, former AG John Asshcroft implied to the Daily Show's audience that their host Jon Stewart, a great American, would not go to heaven. Here's how it went down (paraphrased):

Stewart: Let's make a bet. If the Cardinals win tonight, I'll give you a TDS tee-shirt. If the Met's win, I go to heaven.

Asshcroft: Well, my father was a preacher and he used to say he was in sales, not management... I'll tell you what. If the Mets win, you can move to St. Louis and you'll think you've gone to heaven.

So now this ancient grounds for anti-Semtism, and the pogroms and acts of mass murder that followed, is being played for laughs? Asshcroft can concede that he thinks Jews lack the spiritual stuff needed to enter the eternal kingdom of the Lord and no one boos? Suppose Stewart was black and he asked for admission to the White-only restroom. Would the audience have then tittered so appreciativly?

I just saw the clip and DB quoted it pretty accurately.

But what on Earth made him think that Ashcroft made an anti-semitic comment? Because Jon Stewart is Jewish????

It is obvious what Ashcroft meant with his "sales, not management" comment - that he cannot guarantee anyone's entry into Heaven but he can try to get people to buy the concept. It follows easily from there that what he can guarantee is that a visit to St. Louis is tantamount to a visit to heaven. All done in a very joking way, while seated on Stewart's "Seat of Heat."

This all comes back to the stupidity of partisanship. I touched on this theme last week and it has really been bugging me. It is not by any means limited to the Left, it is equally idiotic on both sides, as people obsess over the tiniest details of the lives of the people on the other side that they hate with a passion, convinced beyond all reason that the other side is Evil Incarnate.

And when Mr. Evil Incarnate makes a statement, it symbolizes Everything Bad about His Ideology and Those who Think Like Him.

How often do we have to see the moronic argument that "The other side says it is moral/just/progressive. Here is a case where someone on that side did something immoral/unjust/Neanderthal. Ergo, the entire group is a bunch of hypocritical subhumans and I cannot understand why any sane person would want to be associated with them." ?

And these are not stupid people making these stupid arguments. They are smart people who are so blinded by their ideology and their irrational hate for the Other Side that they completely lose any sense of logic or proportionality.

To use this example: Bigotry exists on both the far Right and far Left. If people are really concerned about anti-semitism or racism, let them work to eradicate it from their own side, not throw stones about the hypocrisy of the other side. If they don't, it means that they really don't care about bigotry to begin with, but only about scoring political points.

And that is the true hypocrisy.