Liberty for Me, But Not for Thee.

There is some good discussion downblog about whether Sarah Palin's family issues are fair game. Normally I would side with those who say "none of our business", because I am all about "mind you own damn business".

But Sarah Palin has made it very clear: our most personal, intimate, and private affairs are public matters to be regulated by government. Whether reproductive rights, alternative lifestyles, sex education, or just when a couple can or cannot have sex; Sarah maintains that it is the right and proper role of government to intervene those areas.

Sarah, take your pick - are these private affairs to be determined by each individual, or are they the government's business? We the people are at least ostensibly the government, if they are the government's business then your family's difficulties are fair game for us.

Liberty for me but not for thee, is not a small town value; however, it is business as usual in D.C.

[edited to fix Freudian slip]

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Some real examples?

But Sarah Palin has made it very clear: our most personal, intimate, and private affairs are pubic matters to be regulated by government.

First of all, not all private affairs are pubic matters but surely some of them are. My private affair is most certainly a pubic matter, indeed a large and at times a swell pubic matter.

Second, for some reason the cartoon reproduced in a previous blog entry reads, I quote:

No condoms in schools!
No sex education!
Abstinence only!

All three of these refer to school, and apparently (taking into account background information I came across) to government funding of schools. School funding is not a private matter.

If you have something better, it would be interesting to see it. I googled palin homosexual and found articles saying stuff like this:

Meanwhile, Alaska legislators passed a law to prevent any changes from being made that legitimized homosexual marriage in the state. Gov. Palin vetoed the law, and in effect granted marriage benefits to state employees and their partners.

In this quote Palin is shown to materially support homosexuality, and to do so in opposition to the rest of her government. However, even if she had been on the other side of this, this would not constitute making personal affairs public. State employees are already public employees. Where public money goes is already a public matter. Whether public money is given to, or kept from, the same-sex partners of state employees is already a public matter.

Reproductive rights is only a "private matter" if you assume, as a given, the pro-choice side of the debate. The pro-life side considers unborn children to have rights similar to those of born children and considers abortion to be a kind of infanticide. The pro-choice side does not.

If you have examples that demonstrate what you're talking about, it would be worthwhile to see them.

By this standard:

In this quote Palin is shown to materially support homosexuality, and to do so in opposition to the rest of her government.

Sarah Palin materially supports the Republican Party, which by your standard above means that she materially supports various restrictions on individual liberties, including bans on consensual sodomy, bans on the purchase or possession of sex toys, bans on recreational drugs, and a whole host of further infringements on individual liberties.

Democrat Party also guilty

Both Republicans and Democrats support various restrictions on individual liberties.

So please feel free to argue that since Palin is a politican, therefore it is okay to pry into her private life. But that is not what David argued. His argument was tailored to Palin. So my critique and challenge (to support his specific points about Palin) stands.

It isn't my place to say what David is saying, of course...

...but I took the key line which addresses your issue as the final one:

Liberty for me but not for thee, is not a small town value; however, it is business as usual in D.C.

Yes, the Democratic Party is no better, at least on an absolutist scale (if we wish to try to quantify and measure the various restrictions on individual liberties advocated by each party, I suppose we can try). But as I understood it, the reason that the argument is tailored to Palin is because she is styled, both by herself and by the McCain campaign, as being distinct and free from the political views of the Republican Party orthodoxy and the general political attitudes of the D.C. political establishment. We are being asked, in fact instructed, to perceive her differently than the average elected official. The idea that Obama, Biden, or McCain believe in anything you or I would define as "liberty" is openly ridiculous. The case being made by many is that this is not as laughable in the case of Palin as in the others.

I took the meaning of David's post not to be that Palin is exceptionally hypocritical about liberty, but rather that she is equally hypocritical as the average Senator.

I am David Masten and I

I am David Masten and I approve this message.

But, I must admit that Constant is beating up on me fairly.

David Masten

I didn't get the cartoon below

No condoms in schools!
No sex education!
Abstinence only!

Presumably the cartoonist would've preferred the opposite policy:

Condoms in schools!
Sex education in schools!

How is this any less an imposition on privacy?

Google "palin abortion". On

Google "palin abortion".

On Palin and gay rights here. The only reason she vetoed the bill was because of her legal staff's opinion.

David Masten

Palin abortion

Google "palin abortion".

Already addressed.

On Palin and gay rights here.

Already addressed.

The only reason she vetoed the bill was because of her legal staff's opinion.

As I pointed out, even signing the bill would not be a regulation of personal conduct. To restate the point, If I refuse to pay you money to write a poem about war but am ready to pay you money to write a poem about peace, I am not regulating the content of your poetry in the relevant sense. A regulation in the relevant sense would be to make it illegal for you to write a poem about war, e.g. to arrest you and send you to jail of you write a poem about war.

I do not understand your

I do not understand your abortion argument. Palin specifically said that her daughter's decision was her daughter's decision to make, yet Palin has publicly stated a fairly extreme pro-life position, i.e. it was not her daughter's decision to make.

I think you have gone too far with the public payments argument. Alaska is not a private organization, it has certain responsibilities to its employees and taxpayers that a private organization does not (or at least should not) have.

Further, Palin's public stance on that issue, association with the Republican Party, and association with a fundamentalist church are, I believe, sufficiently damnning evidence that she believes as I stated.

David Masten

Changing the subject?

Palin specifically said that her daughter's decision was her daughter's decision to make, yet Palin has publicly stated a fairly extreme pro-life position, i.e. it was not her daughter's decision to make.

You are changing to a new argument. Your original argument was about this statement by Palin:

We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.

That is a request about media coverage. You argued that her request contradicted her position. But in your new formulation, you mention nothing about media coverage.

Or, if that is what you had been arguing about all along, you should have been clearer, since it is pretty clear that Palin's request to the media is what was being lampooned in the comic, to which you referred, and following the link to Hilzoy we see that it's the topic of interest.

In any case, this has nothing to do with my argument about abortion. My argument is aimed at your claim that:

But Sarah Palin has made it very clear: our most personal, intimate, and private affairs are public matters to be regulated by government. Whether reproductive rights...

I am addressing your implied claim that reproductive rights are private affairs. This implied claim is not a claim about Palin's statements: it is a general claim about reproductive rights. I pointed out that reproductive rights are only a "private matter" if you assume, as a given, the pro-choice side of the debate. So the difference of opinion between the pro-lifers and the pro-choicers is not over whether our private affairs are public matters. The difference of opinion is over whether abortion is infanticide, which depends in part on when, in a human's lifecycle, it gains rights. Most pro-choicers agree that infanticide should be illegal. The difference of opinion is essentially on what is an infant.

I think you have gone too far with the public payments argument. Alaska is not a private organization, it has certain responsibilities to its employees and taxpayers that a private organization does not (or at least should not) have.

Would you care to make a more specific argument? "It is not private therefore it has certain responsibilities" leaves a lot - pretty much everything - up to the imagination. Do you have a specific argument that refusal to provide coverage to same-sex partners is regulation of a private affair - in a sense which libertarians must recognize as such and oppose?

Further, Palin's public stance on that issue, association with the Republican Party, and association with a fundamentalist church are, I believe, sufficiently damnning evidence that she believes as I stated.

Palin's public stance on that issue - already dealt with if you're talking about coverage for same-sex partners. Her association with the Republican Party hardly merits the statement that

Sarah Palin has made it very clear: our most personal, intimate, and private affairs are public matters to be regulated by government.

I mean, really, let's try the following extension of your statement:

Sarah Palin has made it very clear by being a Republican: our most personal, intimate, and private affairs are public matters to be regulated by government.

I mean. Come on.

Her association with a fundamentalist church - well, please, go ahead and clarify. You mean to tell me that the fundamentalist church specifically preaches that our private affairs are public matters to be regulated by the government? While I have read about her fundamentalist church, what I have read is stuff like:

Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer.

Prayer is not government regulation.

The government may regulate

The government may regulate behavior, but it does not (usually) broadcast it. Palin behaved exactly according to both current regulation and her proposed regulations. There is no inconsistency.

private affairs

Anyone who thinks there is (more) privacy in small towns has never lived in one.

Everyone..

"Everyone dies famous in a small town." - Miranda Lambert

David Masten