VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby A Combustible Lemon » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:17 pm

"Could use to twist his words in the absence of context" is the opposite of "at best, accidental". As Kate points out, the context makes it worse, not better. because the accidentally only really comes in if he had no clue what he was talking about.

It is amusing because the responses he gives in defending Tran's bill ignore what the bill aims to do; he talks about it taking multiple physicians and only being done in these circumstances, but the bill aims to expand circumstances and to require only one physician. So that was kind of a blunder all around.


Why are you so invested in the conservatives twisting this? I suspect Covington has something to do with this, as Crimson tried to make it, the left wanted this to be the right's covington, but they failed to establish that right wing media is as evil as they are. (clearly they are, in the case of interventionism, as an easy example, but this ain't warmongering, this is baby killing)

Here's what jewish nazis think about the situation


Not present, any argument that relies on this being infanticide.



Does this bit rely on infanticide?



clearly an argument that depends entirely on the "untrue" "smear" that he was advocating infanticide.



Whole article, literally just says infanticide over and over again 500 times.



Clearly this man is not speaking any rational arguments and is just hatemongering.

But wait, clearly they're just pretending to be reasonable and didn't wait for him to explain himself.



Here's the conservative side after he's explained himself. Whaddya know, still no fucking fake news anywhere to be found.

Oh there it is, five days back, he said infanticide once, as a subtweet about how his wife is taking care of his daughter.


This isn't the gotcha you think it is by the way, he shared this the next day



Let's see the champions of context try to twist this into saying he's always been talking about infanticide.
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby Absentia » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:42 pm

I'm not sure what point you're even trying to make, but I'm done discussing it. As long as it's clear what his actual position is and what the law actually does, I'm not interested in parsing his exact words for clues to the vast liberal conspiracy.
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby A Combustible Lemon » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:52 pm

But you had to keep jabbing about how conservatives were twisting it? Weird.

It's almost like you backfilled this information from the starting point that the racist shit was the only thing he did wrong, because that's what the headlines the news went with told you.

By the way, why're you ignoring Kate's argument that it's not clear at all what he supports because he keeps contradicting himself? Is Kate one of those evil pouncing conservatives?
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby Kate » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:45 pm

My contention this entire time has been that he is a terrible communicator. So sort of, but I don't think it is crazy or twisting things to say that someone talking about a baby being born alive and made comfortable while decisions are made about what to do can easily sound like purposely leaving a baby to die, especially when it is an actual fight some conservatives are involved in. I'm not a conservative, nor did I post here to suggest that the legislation he was discussing allows for infanticide (it doesn't...which is my entire point). Just to say, the thing that sparked the deep dive in the first place was a gaffe, and it's not shocking his press conference went poorly because of his poor judgment and communication.

But I guess please tell me more about how I needed to really twist to take issue with what he said in the context of an abortion discussion rather than in the context of necessary hospice. I want to know exactly how backwards I am for judging him to be a bad communicator rather than judging people for responding to his poor communication.
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby Crimson847 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:55 pm

Good to see you again Lemon; I was afraid the mod response in the social conservatism thread had driven you off.

A Combustible Lemon wrote:
Kate wrote:He went on WTOP to defend an abortion bill and ended up either accidentally or purposely supporting infanticide in a scenario that did not actually have to do with the bill in question, and needless to say that did not do any favors for support for the bill (that's what prompted the conservative deep dive, btw).


Crimson847 wrote:Bluntly, I consider that story conservative media's answer to the Covington affair: a stellar example of confirmation bias and group polarization working together to make us all fucking hate each other.


So what you're saying, Crimson is he did not
  • accidentally or purposefully support infanticide
    -AND-
  • the scenario had something to do with the bill in question
    -AND-
  • This did not prompt a conservative deep dive


Wait, what? I contested #1; I don't see how you inferred #2 and #3 from that.

Do you think the scenario of "End of life care for babies born while non-viable" has something to do with a late-term abortion bill.

If it doesn't, what's your explanation for "accidentally or purposefully support infanticide". Because the context is literally about killing babies in the womb. He answered a question about killing babies in the womb by talking about non-viable babies that were born. It doesn't take "confirmation bias and group polarization working together to make us all fucking hate each other" to think he was talking about...what he was talking about.


Specifically, the chief sponsor of the new bill said it would allow a woman to have an abortion "even while she's in labor". Northam was asked if he agreed with this, and in his response he described what he thinks the medical response should be at that point, if a woman in that situation goes into labor.

I'm aware how it sounds to pro-life ears to hear a pro-choice politician talk about having a "discussion" about a flawed infant's future. Shades of Margaret Sanger, at the very least. I'm also aware how it looks to woke eyes to see a smug white kid with a MAGA hat standing and smirking right in a Native man's face as he's trying to protest. Just because something looks or sounds awful at first glance, however, is not dispositive evidence that evil is actually occurring.

And tell me which bit of the infanticide thing is the lie, since you're both sidesing this with the Covington stories.


That Ralph Northam said he supported infanticide in that interview, and that the left all secretly agrees with him or they'd have denounced him for it already.

I hesitate to call either of those or the media claims about Covington "lies", because that implies a degree of intentionality I don't think is present. I doubt anyone is privately rubbing their hands together gleefully at how many people believe their lie; I do think an awful lot of people carelessly jump on wild negative stories about their ideological opponents that they'd be rightly skeptical of if roles were reversed.

Here's the lies from Covington, in order:
  • The man wasn't a vietnam vet, despite this being in every tweet about the situation and every headline.
  • Phillips decided to "de-escalate the situation" by deciding, racistly, that the white kids were the aggressors. He "de-escalated" by siding with the hate group calling the kids faggots. That he knew was a hate group, and that he knew was calling the kids faggots, considering his group is standing right there in the entire first hour of the video.
  • The kids surrounded Phillips and Nick Sandmann stepped into his way. Neither of these is true. Phillips makes a turn straight into the kids, finds Sandmann and stands in his face drumming.
  • Literally none of this was escalated by the kids, who stopped chanting the second they realized that Phillips was being hostile to them instead of being supportive.
  • The kids were not public figures. They were not elected to any office. They did not endorse any controversial political position. They did literally nothing of note.

The media clearly targeted them for being, in that order, Trump supporters, Pro-Life, and Catholic. This is inarguably true given every single point before this. You don't get points for skipping all the way here and only denying this bit and saying I'm wrong.

Each one of these lies is deliberate and takes deliberately ignoring the evidence to believe. And you're equivocating this with a grown-ass man supporting a late-term abortion bill by talking about infanticide.


I can see you differ on that last point of mine. Well, if it's inarguably true that the same media folks who later apologized en masse for jumping to conclusions were in fact intentionally lying from the start, I shan't try to argue it then. Damn clever of those assholes to engineer things like that I suppose; they must really love the taste of crow.

Even his own fucking defence condemns him, since if the kid wasn't going to be killed on the table, why would killing it in the womb make it more ethical.


It certainly does underline the, uh, precarious moral logic involved in late-term abortion.

"Doctor, I think she's going into labor!"

"Alright, get the ICU on the line, we're gonna have to pull out all the stops to save this precious baby once it's out!"

"Wait, my bad, false alarm."

"Oh. Alright, let's get on with vaccuming that thing out and scrambling its brains then."


How's broadening your sources working out for you so far, because it looks like you're comparing a man with a shovel digging himself deeper with the fourth estate trying to get a bunch of kids killed.


Oh, it's quite fine. Oddly enough, it's actually kinda relaxing--you'd be amazed how much of the stuff we're supposed to hate each other for is media-driven bullshit, and how many supposed disagreements are really more about the language we use. The disagreements that hold up even after you look at the world through the other guy's eyes seem downright manageable. I'm even developing a fair amount of sympathy for Trumpers nowadays, though my feelings about their leader remain unchanged.

It's come at the cost of my respect for political media, though. I mean, I always knew a lot of it was bullshit, but I didn't really understand the degree or that the sources I thought were exceptions...weren't.


PS: Absentia, what Lemon's on about is that the new bill that Northam was discussing removes the requirement for three physicians to sign off that exists in current law, and also eliminates the need for substantial and irremediable harm to the mother. The new law effectively says "one doctor must agree that the pregnancy is likely to impair the mental or physical health of the woman". Pro-lifers allege that this effectively does legalize on-demand 3T abortions, on the theory that impairing heath to any degree is such a low bar it's practically a limbo stick, and the patient only has to get one person to agree it's been met.


Kate wrote:And this is why I am giving the benefit of the doubt of the maybe accidentally, because it isn't actually clear if he is only referring to babies that aren't compatible with life and normal end of life hospice decisions or of he is including "severe deformities" that are compatible with life and leaving born infants to die at the parents' behest; this is something that does happen and that some people do believe should be legal, we have had that discussion on TCS before.


Aren't DNRs legal already?
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby A Combustible Lemon » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:59 pm

I'm sorry did I not say no skipping? You had one rule if you wanted to keep talking about Covington.

Also I literally listed the things Kate said. Where'd you think I got that from? Did you couch it as an answer to Kate for shits or giggles?

#2 is where #1 comes from. This was literally what was being talked about. If your best defence is that he was making a non sequitur, that's literally Kate's point, that it was a gaffe that he endorsed infanticide.
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby gisambards » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:58 pm

I have to say, I don't think Covington is really an apt comparison at all. Northam is making a gaffe in the video and almost certainly doesn't mean to imply some of the more extreme conclusions one could come to from his exact turn of phrase, but it's still in the defense of a bill that is deeply troubling to especially those opposed to abortion, and I think even a lot of people who do support abortion in some circumstances, and that's true even if one doesn't take Northam's interview into consideration at all. Further, he is a high-level state politician, not some random kid, and the false Covington narrative received much wider media coverage than any narrative taking Northam literally. Both are examples of media piling onto false negative coverage of an incident that makes their opponents look bad, but the circumstances are very different. Even though I think it probably was more just thoughtless dogpiling than active intentional lying, and the rationale behind it is understandable, you've still got the potential ruination of several young people's lives for no reason other than their politics and being in the wrong place at the wrong time, which is a lot worse than taking a politician at his word when he accidentally makes something one already considers objectionable sound even more objectionable than it really is.
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby Crimson847 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:20 am

gisambards wrote:I have to say, I don't think Covington is really an apt comparison at all. Northam is making a gaffe in the video and almost certainly doesn't mean to imply some of the more extreme conclusions one could come to from his exact turn of phrase, but it's still in the defense of a bill that is deeply troubling to especially those opposed to abortion, and I think even a lot of people who do support abortion in some circumstances, and that's true even if one doesn't take Northam's interview into consideration at all.


It's certainly true that the "infanticide" storyline is connected to a real issue, in the form of new 3rd-term abortion policy proposals like the one initially under discussion. I'm not sure how that differentiates the two cases though--does race-based harassment not connect to any broader issue in American political culture? Some initial reporting claimed the kids were derisively shouting "build the wall" at these Native American protesters. Are we arguing that all this doesn't play into genuine fears the left has about Trump and his supporters that are rooted in genuine policy differences about which valid points can be made?

Further, he is a high-level state politician, not some random kid, and the false Covington narrative received much wider media coverage than any narrative taking Northam literally.


Granted. The scale was different, since conservative media has less reach and the centrist "mainstream media" didn't bite this time. The targets in the Covington affair also weren't public figures. No analogy is perfect, but the fundamental draw of both stories (that it confirms people's darkest suspicions about particular political factions) is the same, and the media error (rushing to the worst possible conclusion from vague and inconclusive "evidence") is the same.


I object to the notion that Northam "literally" endorsed infanticide, however, and I feel even more comfortable about that than I do criticizing the idea that it's what he really meant if you connect the dots properly. Why? Because his intended meaning is subjective and cannot be 100% proven or disproven, while his actual literal words are objective and easily verified. So if you say that a "literal" reading of his words supports the infanticide claim, can you quote me where he literally endorsed infanticide? Not where he implied it, not where it kinda sounds like that's what he meant based on context, but where he literally said the words "we should kill a born infant" or "I endorse infanticide" or any string of words that literally endorse the killing of infants?
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby gisambards » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:07 am

Crimson847 wrote:It's certainly true that the "infanticide" storyline is connected to a real issue, in the form of new 3rd-term abortion policy proposals like the one initially under discussion. I'm not sure how that differentiates the two cases though--does race-based harassment not connect to any broader issue in American political culture? Some initial reporting claimed the kids were derisively shouting "build the wall" at these Native American protesters. Are we arguing that all this doesn't play into genuine fears the left has about Trump and his supporters that are rooted in genuine policy differences about which valid points can be made?

The difference is nothing the Covington kids actually did played into those fears, only actions that were falsely attributed to them. There was no actual race-based harassment there, and the idea that there was came entirely from inference of the goings-on in a single, chaotic and contextless video and a decision to not fact-check fabrications that benefited the image of the more sympathetic-seeming party in the video. Whereas here one of the defenders of something people are concerned about is accidentally making it sound worse than it is, which is unfairly being jumped on by some in the conservative media - but Northam still unquestionably does support what those people originally disagree with, even if he doesn't support quite as extreme a version as could be inferred from taking his fumble as what he meant to say.

Crimson847 wrote:I object to the notion that Northam "literally" endorsed infanticide, however, and I feel even more comfortable about that than I do criticizing the idea that it's what he really meant if you connect the dots properly. Why? Because his intended meaning is subjective and cannot be 100% proven or disproven, while his actual literal words are objective and easily verified. So if you say that a "literal" reading of his words supports the infanticide claim, can you quote me where he literally endorsed infanticide? Not where he implied it, not where it kinda sounds like that's what he meant based on context, but where he literally said the words "we should kill a born infant" or "I endorse infanticide" or any string of words that literally endorse the killing of infants?

That's an overly literal interpretation of literal. One has to take context and inference into consideration. His exact wording is:
... it's done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that's non-viable, so in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen:

The highlighted part above is key - to follow this literally, the process he describes can apply to viable babies, albeit only "severely deformed" ones. And the process as he inaccurately describes it (following immediately on from where the previous quote left off):
the infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.

The "discussion" is clearly about whether to kill the baby, which has at this point in the hypothetical been born, and thus is no longer considered a fetus by anyone's standards. No, he doesn't literally say this, and so if we're being "literal" the discussion could be about anything, but what else, if we were to operate under the assumption this isn't a gaffe, could he possibly rationally be considered to mean? And the process he is inaccurately describing is what would happen under a bill he is expressing support for. Thus, if one did not accept this as him misspeaking, the only possible interpretation would be that he supports a bill that he thinks involves killing babies, including viable babies if severely deformed, after they've been born. I don't even understand why describing his words like this is even contentious: I don't think anyone here, certainly not me, is suggesting that he meant to suggest this. But it's absolutely what his exact wording comes out as.
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby cmsellers » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:58 am

I interpreted the discussion not as being about whether to kill the infant, which is flat illegal in the US, but about whether to put the infant on life support.

Now, a lot of people in the US do consider ending life support as murder, though the legal grounds for this are questionable, at best. (Any one else remember Terry Schiavo?) And there are cases I would consider parents refusing to provide basic medical care for their children as manslaughter and the courts would agree me. (This comes up with JWs and Christian Scientists.) However, presumably we're talking very expensive care for an infant considered terminally ill, and I personally would see that as needlessly extending an infant's suffering.
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby gisambards » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:17 am

I'm sure that's probably closer to what he meant. The point I was just trying to make is that a fully literal interpretation of exactly what he says can only imply killing babies, because his exact wording does not limit it solely to non-viable babies. A deformed baby doesn't necessarily need to be on life support, but his exact wording makes it seem like a "discussion" could take place there too. But the larger point I was making is that he clearly misspoke and so such a literal interpretation is probably unfair, and he almost certainly did not actually mean to imply that.
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby Crimson847 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:21 am

gisambards wrote:The difference is nothing the Covington kids actually did played into those fears, only actions that were falsely attributed to them. There was no actual race-based harassment there, and the idea that there was came entirely from inference of the goings-on in a single, chaotic and contextless video and a decision to not fact-check fabrications that benefited the image of the more sympathetic-seeming party in the video.


Not entirely true; a lot of it also came from ignorance of Southern sports culture, e.g. the outrage over the kids doing the "tomahawk chop". That stuff can be worrying if you don't know (as I initially didn't) what those gestures mean to a Southern sports fan.

Whereas here one of the defenders of something people are concerned about is accidentally making it sound worse than it is, which is unfairly being jumped on by some in the conservative media - but Northam still unquestionably does support what those people originally disagree with, even if he doesn't support quite as extreme a version as could be inferred from taking his fumble as what he meant to say.


Yes, it's true that Northam really does support abortion policy that these people disagree with, even if the "infanticide" storyline is wrong. How does that make his case different from the Covington case though? The targets in that case were in Washington to attend the March for Life, a pro-life political demonstration. They too support abortion policies their critics disagree with.

(Of course, unlike Northam they're teenagers and aren't public figures, which IMO is the important difference.)

The "discussion" is clearly about whether to kill the baby, which has at this point in the hypothetical been born, and thus is no longer considered a fetus by anyone's standards. No, he doesn't literally say this, and so if we're being "literal" the discussion could be about anything, but what else, if we were to operate under the assumption this isn't a gaffe, could he possibly rationally be considered to mean?


The mother just gave birth to a "deformed, possibly nonviable" baby. Even if viable, do such babies not require any additional care after birth? Conversely, if the baby's likely to die soon without care and probably won't live long even with it, is it not wise for the doctor and the mother to discuss how far she wants to go to prolong the baby's life?

Seriously, I'm baffled at the idea that the only thing a doctor and a mother could have to discuss in this hypothetical situation is infanticide. Utterly hornswoggled. Someone halp.
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby Absentia » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:31 am

Kate wrote:My contention this entire time has been that he is a terrible communicator. So sort of, but I don't think it is crazy or twisting things to say that someone talking about a baby being born alive and made comfortable while decisions are made about what to do can easily sound like purposely leaving a baby to die, especially when it is an actual fight some conservatives are involved in. I'm not a conservative, nor did I post here to suggest that the legislation he was discussing allows for infanticide (it doesn't...which is my entire point). Just to say, the thing that sparked the deep dive in the first place was a gaffe, and it's not shocking his press conference went poorly because of his poor judgment and communication.


Kate wrote:He went on WTOP to defend an abortion bill and ended up either accidentally or purposely supporting infanticide in a scenario that did not actually have to do with the bill in question, and needless to say that did not do any favors for support for the bill (that's what prompted the conservative deep dive, btw).


It looks to me like your contention was that he "accidentally or purposely support[ed] infanticide". If you thought it was just a gaffe or a misstatement, then how do you figure that purposely supporting infanticide is on the table? If you're going to raise that possibility, I feel obligated to point out that it's not what happened. And then suddenly everybody agrees that of course he wasn't purposely talking about infanticide and how dare I put those words in your mouth.

Like crim, I'm honestly confused at how you could listen to that interview and go straight to "They're murdering infants" unless you were primed to draw that conclusion from the start. But if all we're arguing about is how easy his statements are to misinterpret, then we should just agree to disagree. I know you have a different perspective on the underlying issue here than I do so maybe that's coloring our interpretation. As long as we're all on the same page that Ralph Northam doesn't want to kill infants, and that doing so is against the law, I'm happy.
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby Kate » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:14 am

Because I don't actually know how he feels. I suspect and have given him the benefit of the doubt this entire thread that he didn't mean to support leaving a viable baby to die on purpose, but in the context of a discussion about a mom seeking to purposely terminate a life, and in the context that this is a thing some people (and not bad, horrible people - just normal people) support and that actually does happen (though the legality is questionable in some places and not there in others), I don't know for sure.

For the record, no, not primed. The first thing I heard or saw about this was that video without commentary. My raw reaction was to wince and say "Oh I hope you didn't mean that buddy, but you just dug yourself a hole." But if you really want to think no reasonable person can think that and this is my reaction from being "primed" then...okay? If you didn't know I was pro-life, would you assume that? Because I got it from a pro-choice friend who then said "Is this really what the bill says?" after I said "wow" and I had to explain that no, it isn't, so I don't think I am particularly crazy or unreasonable here.

By the way, you left out the actual point of my post and only quoted the part where I described the gaffe: "
Why anyone thought it would be a good idea for the man who went out to defend abortion and instead condoned infanticide to do an hour long press conference in response to these accusations is beyond me. If we give him any more time in the spotlight, he might accidentally deny the Holocaust."

That. There. The whole point of my post. The contention in question. But sure, just quote the explanation and leave out my actual point and pretend that's what I was coming here to say, because after all you know how I feel about abortion so that must be what I actually wanted to argue about, right?

I should change my name to Ralph Northam if that was your takeaway.
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Re: VA Gov Northam yearbook page had blackface, KKK outfit

Postby Absentia » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:02 am

Kate wrote:By the way, you left out the actual point of my post and only quoted the part where I described the gaffe: "
Why anyone thought it would be a good idea for the man who went out to defend abortion and instead condoned infanticide to do an hour long press conference in response to these accusations is beyond me. If we give him any more time in the spotlight, he might accidentally deny the Holocaust."

That. There. The whole point of my post. The contention in question. But sure, just quote the explanation and leave out my actual point and pretend that's what I was coming here to say, because after all you know how I feel about abortion so that must be what I actually wanted to argue about, right?


I was taking issue with your premise, not your conclusion. (I agree that that was one of the more ill-conceived press conferences I've ever seen.) Whether it's the main thrust of your argument or not is irrelevant; you left open the possibility that Ralph Northam is genuinely pro-infanticide, and I felt it was important to state the fact that he is not, despite the fact that I (still) don't really want to be in this conversation because abortion-adjacent arguments always turn into a shitshow.

If I offended you, it was not my intention and I apologize. Again: as far as I can tell we agree on everything of substance here, including the fact that Northam sucks at press conferences and needs to go away. Can we just leave it at that?
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