Monday, April 28, 2014

"Baptizing terrorists"

I see that some conservative and/or Christian pundits are hyperventilating over Sarah Palin's recent quip that “If I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

I think they're overreacting. Now, I'm not a big fan of Palin. I think she's a lightweight. And in this statement she seems to be channeling Ann Coulter. It strains to be clever and faux tough. 

Some people are naturally clever. Take Chesterton. Although even he became overly enamored with his own wit. But unless you're naturally clever, it's best not to try too hard. 

Moreover, the tough pose is just that…a rhetorical pose. Terrorists will be unimpressed. It's like dressing up as a Klingon warrior princess at a Star Trek convention. Comical rather than fearful. 

That said, she was giving a red meat speech to a sympathetic audience. The comparison was satirical. Political satire. 

In addition, the critics are confounding their own view of waterboarding with hers. They equate waterboarding with "torture." They think "torture" is inexcusable under any and all circumstances. So they find her comparison morally repressible. 

But their interpretation of her comment is premised on a moral analogy which she obviously rejects. So the objection is equivocal. 

This is aggravated by the fact that some pundits have a Roman Catholic view of baptism. But she doesn't espouse their theology. 

I don't care for her punchline, but it's not that big a deal. Really. 

1 comment:

  1. Liberals will always try to portray conservatives as hopelessly out of touch cro-magnons - the right consists solely of FOX News and Bill O'Reilly.

    Having said all that, are there any particularly erudite right-leaning authors and/or bloggers that you'd recommend?