"God does it, too!"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Recently, Sarah Palin unwittingly illustrated the absurdity of the notion that mystic insight can provide guidance for living one's daily life. How? By attempting to defend, on biblical grounds, her practice of scribbling notes on her hands:

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee. (Isaiah 49:15-17)
P.Z. Myers notes what God does about ten verses later: He "punishes [the] enemies [of the Israelites] by making them eat their own flesh and drink their own blood." One wonders what else Sarah Palin might deem practical or morally acceptable based on such a standard.

Certainly, God-like inconsistency and hypocrisy are fine with Palin, judging by her actions. This self-proclaimed champion of freedom and capitalism "admits that she would regularly hustle across the border to take advantage of Canadian health care."

[Update: Since Palin was very young when this occurred, this phrasing is disingenuous on the part of Myers and Megan Carpentier in at least two ways. See comments by Jim May. This, of course, means that such trips to Canada do not constitute a valid reason to attack Palin for hypocrisy regarding socialized medicine.]

Such an action on her part opens her up to the obvious criticism that Myers, a fan of physician slavery, dishes out:
[C]an we have Canadian-style health care put in place here in America? It's good enough for Sarah Palin, so it must be good enough for God, so it must be the right thing to do.
As a very young child, I learned that, "The Devil made me do it," was a poor defense for stupid behavior. "God does it, too!" strikes me as equally childish, and it floors me that an adult would resort to it. (That she does so in half-jest is an example of what Ayn Rand called the "court jester premise," and is further proof that she (a) feels the need to defend herself, and (b) doesn't have a decent answer to offer for the cause.)

For different reasons from Myers's, I, too wish that Sarah Palin would just go away.

-- CAV

3-11-10: Added an update. Palin was at most five years old when she was "hustled" over to Canada for medical care.


mtnrunner2 said...

The problem with cherry-picking from the Bible is there are too many rotten cherries.

Obviously, following the edicts of a Bronze Age sky wizard (thank you Andrew Dalton) is not a recipe for acting on principle. But I think it's a multi-pronged attack: on principles, by leaving one with too few tools for daily living, and by letting people off the hook for being good, provided they follow certain concrete rules.

Gus Van Horn said...

That's an interesting observation, and I like that turn of phrase. Either I'd missed or forgotten it.

Jim May said...

Aw hell, Gus, you got pulled in by that bit about Palin and Canadian health care?

Here's the points I emailed to Glenn Reynolds about that non-story, based on this story at Canoe.ca:


1. According to Palin, this happened during “her first five years of life”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t hold people to being consistent with how they thought or acted when they were five years old *or younger*.

2. **Parents** usually make those decisions, don’t they?

3. Socialized medicine only came into being in Canada in 1968, the last year of young Sarah’s stay in Skagway. Unsurprisingly, the negative consequences for the quality of health care in Canada were not yet apparent. In fact, when I was a kid in the ‘70’s, I heard stories about Americans sneaking into Canada for the “free” health care, but those stories disappeared by 1980 and I didn’t hear a thing about cross-border medical traffic at all -- until I noticed American for-profit medical providers advertising *in Canada* by the early 90’s.

4. Even if we ascribe full adult moral responsibility to a five-year old girl, the Palins still paid in full for the medical services rendered. So where’s the hypocrisy?


There's plenty to dislike about Palin, not the least of which is your first point... but remember, Palin really gets the Left and their toadies in the MSM seething, so anything coming from there must be questioned.

Gus Van Horn said...


Thanks for the debunkery. Being in a hurry, I had missed the phrase, "growing up," which might have tipped me off. (Of course, this makes her use of the term ironic wrong in an important sense, even if there HAD been socialized medicine at the time she was "hustled" over there by her parents.


madmax said...

Regarding Palin, Jim May writes:

"but remember, Palin really gets the Left and their toadies in the MSM seething, so anything coming from there must be questioned."

Do either you or Jim have a good grip of why the Left hates her so much? I know they hate all Conservatives, but why the extra, extra, hate for Palin? I have read commentary that argued that it is because she stands for family and the Left hates family, that she stands for traditional values and the Left hates those, etc.. I just can't get at what is driving the Leftist insanity over her, but I sense that it is something very essential to Leftism.

Gus Van Horn said...

That's an excellent question, madmax, and I'll need to let it percolate.

My first stab would be that they see her as typical of "little" people who need their help -- except that she is uppity.

As such, there is perhaps also a combination of projection and self-loathing or jealousy going on. As what they see as a leader of a popular movement, she is what they aspire to be and see themselves as, but are not, and can not be in fact. (There's the projection/possible self-loathing and the jealousy) And yet she's plainly an ignorant hick.

Time and again, I have seen leftists sing the praises of one oppressed or "disadvantaged" group after another, and yet display extreme (yet inconsistent) emotions towards them. Leftists fetishize black culture, and yet some are major closet racists.

They do the same thing with white southern men. Think about movies like *Sweet Home Alabama* and you get my drift: Southern men (like black men) are often depicted by Hollywood as archetypal himbos. And yet, in real life, southern white men are pre-judged as ignorant racists at every turn.

Look at George W. Bush. Stupid out of one side of their mouths, paragon of cunning evil ot of the other side.

So with Palin, they have a type of person whom they claim to be cheering on, AND a type they despise. This is the emotional contradiction inherent in altruism, and perhaps since Palin evokes both ends of the spectrum at once, she causes them to reflexively side with the bad end as a means of evasion.

madmax said...

"So with Palin, they have a type of person whom they claim to be cheering on, AND a type they despise."

Do you mean by this that the type of person that they claim to champion is a woman? And that the type that they despise is a Christian Conservative? So as a woman, she should be a victim. But she hunts live game with her own guns and can skin it herself. So she is no victim. I think there is merit to that. She violates the tenets of feminism and that must piss of Leftists.

There are legitimate reasons to criticize her. Her religiosity which borders on craziness. Her altruism. Her typical big-government conservatism which pretends to be otherwise. But none of these are the reasons which Leftists use in condemning her (some might argue against her religiosity). So, I am going to go with her insult to feminism as the leading reason why Leftists hate her. Leftist women especially who heap on her more abuse than Leftist men, or so it seems.

Gus Van Horn said...

That's part of it, but not all of it. To the degree that many conservative cultural traits are taken for independence, they dislike her for her (perceived) virtues. That's ON TOP OF the fact that they hate conservatives (and, perhaps that's where the self-loathing comes in since they're both types of altruists.