Thursday, September 16, 2010

Or at least, if she is, she's my kind of nut

Cristine O'Donnell, seven years ago, giving a reasonably good short talk on the women in The Lord of the Rings. Along with her niece, who is the real enthusiast—but has some tendency to confuse the movie with the book.

A much more attractive picture than one gets from news stories on the campaign.

15 Comments:

At 12:29 AM, September 17, 2010, Blogger David Friedman said...

And for the real enthusiasts, the mistakes:

1. Gandalf is not the original holder of one of the three rings--he is given it by Cirdan.

2. Arwen doesn't merely accept marriage to a mortal, she herself accepts mortality.

3. The business about how Saruman produces orcs is the movie, not the book.

4. Lobelia isn't responsible for Saruman's seizure of the Shire. Indeed, she at one point defies his people and gets locked up as a result.

And Christine doesn't get the details of Eowyn's great speech quite right:

"But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Eowyn I am, Eomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him."

But it's clear that she has read the books, has thought about the books, and has things to say about them. And the views she expresses about the role of women are consistent with her case against ISI and inconsistent with the parody picture of her implied by the news stories of the past few weeks.

 
At 2:27 AM, September 17, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad she is a raging homophobe.

 
At 7:02 AM, September 17, 2010, Anonymous Purgatus said...

"Too bad she is a raging homophobe."

Source? Genuinely asking, given the inconsistencies between "generally accepted facts" about her and what I am seeing now.

 
At 8:28 AM, September 17, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It always amuses me when "libertarians" endorse candidates who are:

- anti-civil liberties
- pro-life
- anti-science
- young earth creationists

I expect it's because they really aren't libertarians.

 
At 9:15 AM, September 17, 2010, Blogger David Friedman said...

"It always amuses me when "libertarians" endorse candidates..."

And "she isn't the nut her opponents portray her as" counts as an endorsement?

As for your list, I don't know if any of the points on it are true of O'Donnell. Very likely you don't either, although if you do have evidence it would be interesting.

 
At 10:11 AM, September 17, 2010, Blogger Tim of Angle said...

You have to be anti-life to be a libertarian?

Wow, I didn't know that.

 
At 10:18 AM, September 17, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know nothing of this person other than having come across a couple of posts about her in this blog. But a few quick google searches provide significant evidence (in the form of direct quotes) that she is, as the other poster suggested, a young earth creationist, a homophobe, heavily anti-civil rights, and anti-abortion in all possible circumstances except where carrying to term would result in the death of the mother.

Based on these quotes from a CNN interview, it seems at the time of the interview a creationist who believed that the Genesis creation myths are literal truth:

http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/09/odonnell_the_young_earth_creat.php

It's easy enough to find direct quotes supporting the other points mentioned as well, so I'll leave that as an easy Google exercise for the reader.... good starting point is also the wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_O%27Donnell

 
At 11:10 AM, September 17, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And "she isn't the nut her opponents portray her as" counts as an endorsement?

No.

"she's my kind of nut" does.

Not to mention that you've picked her as your topic du semaine.

As for your list, I don't know if any of the points on it are true of O'Donnell. Very likely you don't either, although if you do have evidence it would be interesting

If you are having trouble finding citations and sources, a good place to start would be wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_O'Donnell

O'Donnell quotes from cited sources:

"It is not enough to be abstinent with other people, you also have to be abstinent alone. The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery, so you can't masturbate without lust."

"Now too many people are blindly accepting evolution as fact. But when you get down to the hard evidence, it's merely a theory."

From the Newshour: "Christine O'Donnell, a conservative Catholic activist and outspoken opponent of abortion, pornography and premarital sex."

 
At 12:09 PM, September 17, 2010, Blogger David Friedman said...

""she's my kind of nut" does."

Only to a reader who isn't paying attention.

As should have been obvious from my own comment at the beginning, if not from the post itself, I'm a longtime Tolkien enthusiast. Lots of people regard that as a form of nuttery, although probably fewer than before the books were made into a popular movie. The video I linked to and discussed in that post was about women in Tolkien, and demonstrated that she too was an enthusiast, although probably less of one than I am.

 
At 12:13 PM, September 17, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only to a reader who isn't paying attention.

Were you not paying attention to the next sentence?

Not to mention that you've picked her as your topic du semaine.

Way to spike the irony meter.

 
At 4:07 PM, September 17, 2010, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous writes:

"Were you not paying attention to the next sentence?

Not to mention that you've picked her as your topic du semaine."

Are you conceding that the first half of your argument was wrong?

My topic wasn't actually O'Donnell—she was merely the occasion. My initial topics were the problems faced by a political insurgency such as the Tea Party movement and the question of to what degree the impression one gets from press reports on the candidates of such a movement can be trusted. That then developed, in my most recent post, into the question of what it means to classify someone as a nut.

 
At 6:15 PM, September 17, 2010, OpenID hudebnik said...

"Now too many people are blindly accepting evolution as fact. But when you get down to the hard evidence, it's merely a theory."

This quote (assuming it's accurate) doesn't make her a nut, but it does put her in the category of people intentionally misusing the word "theory" to push a political position. In most cases, the listener is expected (or helpfully guided) to conclude that if evolution is "just a theory", then the book of Genesis has as much scientific validity as The Origin of Species, and should have an equal claim to be taught in science classes. (Without context, I don't know whether O'Donnell makes the latter point explicitly in the interview, but even if she doesn't, her repetition of the "just a theory" line lends support to other people who make it.)

In other words, something more dangerous than a nut: an active campaigner against the separation of church and state.

 
At 7:55 AM, September 18, 2010, Blogger David Friedman said...

"but it does put her in the category of people intentionally misusing the word "theory" to push a political position."

I'm not sure "intentionally misusing" is fair, in this case or other similar ones, left and right. That assumes that the person agrees with you about the meaning of "theory" and in what sense evolution (or economics or whatever) qualifies.

My assumption is that most people who make arguments against evolution, or the theory of comparative advantage for that matter, believe the arguments and don't understand the theory.

I suppose my favorite "anti-evolution" writer would be G.K. Chesterton; one of his books is an entertaining attack on both evolution and comparative religion.It's pretty clear that he simply doesn't understand what Darwin's theory is. How an intelligent man living in the 20th century managed that is puzzling—but then, it isn't clear that Ayn Rand understood it either, and certainly a lot of people today, left and right, don't.

 
At 1:36 PM, September 18, 2010, Blogger Neolibertarian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1:39 PM, September 18, 2010, Blogger Neolibertarian said...

I'm not sure "intentionally misusing" is fair, in this case or other similar ones, left and right. That assumes that the person agrees with you about the meaning of "theory" and in what sense evolution (or economics or whatever) qualifies.

Regardless of whether she is ignorant or malicious, she is misusing the word to push a political position. Her positions and arguments are not excusable.

 

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