First up is William Saletan in Slate, on "Christine O'Donnell, masturbation socialist". Saletan notes that O'Donnell is against socialism and then notes that 14 years ago, when O'Donnell was 27, she also expressed an opinion contrary to masturbation. Which last might be a bit silly, but, as Saletan is at least honest enough to note, was also merely echoing the teaching of a major faith. What is truly silly, on the other hand, is Saletan's vein-popping stretch to link anti-masturbation with socialism -- how does he do that, you ask? Watch:
In other words [paraphrasing O'Donnell], masturbation is wrong because you do it alone, outside the "moral order" of social relations in which you're supposed to perform your proper function. It's something you do for yourself instead of "giving" yourself to the larger purpose of human procreation. You're just a cog in the wheel. You exist to serve the community.Oooookayy. I get it. So because you oppose the state treating you like "a cog in the wheel", you should logically be opposed to any moral claim of the community, right? Ross Douthat, who provided me with the link in "Why We Have a Culture War", takes this down at far greater length than the simple guffaw it deserves.
The other one is also from Slate, a quick little potshot that, while it can't match Saletan for silliness (which would make a nice slogan of some sort), outdoes him in catty pettiness. It's about that other O'Donnell find:
... the thing I can't get past about Christine O'Donnell's assertion that she tried witchcraft is the way in which she describes her experimentation with it. What she said--twice--was that she "dabbled into witchcraft." Can we just point out for the record that you don't dabble "into" witchcraft, you dabble in it?It's funny enough that she takes this seriously, as though no one else garbles the language, even twice, in the midst of an interview, but what really shows the tension is her sudden thought that, ... what, ... what if she planned this?! "I guess O'Donnell could have deliberately inserted a casual malaprop to enhance her populist appeal and distinguish herself from the nitpicking media elite, but she said this long enough ago that it doesn't seem purposeful." It's a nerve-wracking thought though, right? As Ann Althouse says (for whose link I must give thanks), "Hey! What if these rubes are just pretending to be rubes?"
Ah well. This is what gives an atheist like me such delight in Sarah and Christine and their ilk -- not just for the nature of their enemies, but for the confounding fear they inspire in the fashionably orthodox.