On Penance

This thread got awfully personal as people went tripping on their shoelaces trying to rip Michele to shreds.

I don’t need any political penance for Republican voters who are now turning away from Bush. A simple “I was duped” will do. No penance is going to bring back lives or reerect buildings bombed into powder, so I suggest we all rethink whether or not we all want former Republican voters to walk out of the city with rocks in their shoes.

What kind of good does that demand do, other than soothe some need for liberal moral comeuppance?

In other news, Panda Amanda (she’s going to get tired of this nickname soon) has started a great conversation on abortion, the language surrounding reproductive rights, and moral approaches to the abortion issue.

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6 comments for “On Penance

  1. Roxanne
    March 17, 2005 at 12:44 pm

    Oh, I don’t know. Panda Amanda is a pretty good nickname. And it sure beats the hell out of “Turtle Butt.”

  2. March 17, 2005 at 1:04 pm

    “A simple “I was duped” will do.”

    I think some Republican voters have picked-up on the Bush Administration’s habit of never admitting fault or taking responsibility for any wrongdoing. Old habits die hard. But people shouldn’t pick up other people’s bad habits.

  3. Linnaeus
    March 17, 2005 at 1:04 pm

    While I agree with you, Lauren, that I-told-you-so-ism is not, in either the long or short run, constructive, I think there’s a context of which we should be aware.

    I’ve spoken with a few “morning after” Republican voters, and the tone of their remarks tended to follow a “I’d vote for a Democrat, if only he/she were…” and then proceeded to elucidate a number of “ifs” that would make the Democrat not much more discernable from a Republican. It’s kind of a face-saving strategy in which the regretful Republican voter says he or she is wrong but then tries to argue that it’s the Democrats’ fault that he or she was wrong.

    Forging relationships of any kind requires some kind of mutualism. I don’t having anything against working to accomodate cross-over voters, but there should be some understanding that this accomodation goes both ways. Democrats need to have core principles upon which they stand and that they will not abandon. If proto-Democrats impose conditions such that Democrats would have to abandon said principles, then those voters aren’t really interested in being Democrats. Better to focus on long-term shifting of the political spectrum, which has gone so far right as to make a centrist like Howard Dean look leftist.

  4. March 17, 2005 at 2:41 pm

    I can respect that somebody is a single-issue voter, but if the depth of analysis is “Magic Rock : Prevention of Tiger Attacks :: Magic President : Prevention of Terror Attacks,” and all counterveiling facts and studies are dismissed as the work of anti-American foreign policy think tanks, then my normally low level of sympathy falls yet lower.

    But I don’t require anything of anybody. Just that one little vote, assuming that one is in a non-gerrymandered-to-shit district or battleground state.

  5. March 17, 2005 at 5:21 pm

    Unfortunately, voting isn’t like buying a stereo: You can’t return it, you can’t sell it on eBay, and you can’t swallow your losses and buy a new one.

    So I don’t envy Michele her conscience. Am I feeling a bit of schadenfreude now? Yeah. Does that make me feel better about this election? No. Shit, it makes me feel worse–people have their great enlightenment NOW? Not in September?

    Perhaps I should start selling bumperstickers with Bush’s face that say “I can’t believe I voted for that douchebag!”

  6. Emma Anne
    March 17, 2005 at 7:33 pm

    The thing is, I know people who say things like this, and it doesn’t seem to end up well. I’m thinking of one friend in particular. She acts like she has thought about things and changed her mind about things, but next time there is always some reason not to vote for the Democrat. There is always something the Democrat should have done differently. Some character flaw or bad vote or dislike she can’t explain. Then afterwards she acts like she cares about torture and preemptive wars.

    I don’t know Michelle, so I may very well be being unfair here. But I don’t see what changed in the last few months. So I don’t see why this change of heart would stick. Maybe it is just a twinge of buyer’s remorse, and somehow the Democrat won’t be quite good enough next time either.

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