The Times is so eager to play the field that they'll flog an anti-gay talking point as a reasonable reaction to a court case.
Times fail.
That second block quote is one tangled piece of writing. The comma after McKenna is annoying. Is something missing? Such as, "One fucking douchenuts politician, King County Councilman Rob McKenna, criticized..." ? That's probably it.

A couple emdashes -- after "its argument" and before "could leave marriage open to" would've been nice, too.
This is what happens then you have an editorial board that is pro-equality but even more pro-Republican.
Also notable is that the Times featured this prominently on the front page of the Sunday local section, above the fold. Take a wild guess at who they'll be endorsing for governor.
The Times guilty of partisan hackery? Color me surprised. I've taken to telling those poor unfortunates tasked with flogging Times subscriptions at every fucking street fair around here that I can't subscribe because I'm literate.
I don't think what he's doing is really "equating".

He's using a typical bullshit slippery slope argument, that if we legalize one thing, it will lead to legalizing another. Which is bullshit because legislatures and courts make decisions about where the line should be drawn all the time. That's their job.

But inherent in the slippery slope argument is that the thing that could legalized later is much worse than the thing to be legalized now, not "equal" at all.
In fairness to all the bigots, the 'slippery slope' argument does not necessarily imply equivalence among all the things placed on the slippery slope.

Basically, the slippery slope argument plays on the fear that once you overstep or eliminate a particular boundary, you will be unable to reestablish a firm boundary to prevent a descent to some imagined logical extreme.

The most damning part of the slippery slope argument is that it reveals an assumption that straight marriages and gay marriages are not equivalent to each other. Specifically, gay marriages are somewhere downhill of straight marriages. And every other imagined kind of marriage is also somewhere downhill.

So the slippery slopers are guilty of placing everything that is not hetero-exclusive marriage downhill, but not all things on the slippery slope are necessarily at the bottom of the hill. This is basically what Santorum, Hutcherson, McKenna and others object to when we say they have equated gay marriage with horse/dog fucking. They object saying, essentially, that not all lesser things are equally lacking.
#9 Interesting explanation.

I think what is going on is less "slippery slope" than it is meaning by association. That occurs when an argument/candidate/product is placed in association with other things to which the audience will repsond in a predictable way. The goal is to have that response transferred to the argument/candidate/product.

In the 80's or early 90's, Cheverolet had a television ad campaign that used meaning by association in an explicit manner. The slogan was "Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chervrolet." Note that what links these four items is the aura of good old-fashioned American values, i.e. Chevrolet is as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie.

Now when Hutcherson, McKenna, Santorum, et al mention homosexuality or gay marriage in the same paragraph or sound bite as bestiality, incest or pedophilia, their obvious intent is to associate those things with gay marriage and homosexuality. You say they are not implying an exact equation; I find that argument disingenuous, but I'll accept it. Even if those things are not precisely equal, though, they are still being lumped together as threatening, undesirable, destabilizing and dangerous.
the 'slippery slope' argument is a rhetorical tool used to equate gay marriage w/ incest/polygamy/beastiality etc. wo/ directly doing so. it's the slimiest of the slimy. anyone who falls for it is either a self-defeating liberal or a bigot.
Slippery slope arguments are most often used when people have run out of ways of legitimately opposing something (say for instance gay marriage). It's an argument judo move that allows them to get on firmer ground and oppose something that a much higher proportion of their audience is opposed to (say for instance bestiality).

When a lot of slippery slope arguments start appearing on one side of an argument, it's usually a sign of desperation.
Santorum slope
When Rob McKenna said "spook", he was not directly refering to African Americans.

"Nothing specific in this law prevents African Americans and other spooks -- gays, spooks, ragheads -- from moving into your neighborhood."

@10, I think Goldy's "mostly true" assessment is valid for that reason.

I do think that when the bigots object and insist that their statements were not meant to imply equivalence, they are reasoning from the 'slippery slope' argument. But rhetorically, it amounts to the same thing anyway.

And yes, they possibly find the thought of man-on-man buttsex and horse-on-man buttsex equality titillating and therefore equally sinful. Oh, but surely the horse-on-man buttsex must be so much more deliciously sinful. See? Not equivalent. After all, if they could marry several baby horses who were biologically related to them, wouldn't they have to? Wouldn't that just be... so... so... wrong?
The slippery slope implies that only at the top is there any Inherent stability---all other spots are equivalent in that they will all lead to the bottom.

This stability is not natural to a real slope's highest poInt, so it's probably due to some god; it seems more likely that there's really a plateau up there.
Goldy, is polygamy wrong?


what harm comes from allowing consenting adults to practice polygamy?
I hate the dude, but I think it's pretty obvious from the context of that article that he's talking about the ruling's finding that there's no compelling state interest in defining the boundaries of marriage and his fears of the implication of that, rather than any feelings on homosexuality.

And "transparent piece of partisan hackery" is rich coming from someone who allowed a union to finance his reporting trip to DC.
@18, You're right. My trip to to DC was totally transparent, as I fully disclosed the source of my funding (not to mention, my unabashed support for organized labor).

The difference between me and the Seattle Times is that I admit my bias, and trust my audience to read me in that context, whereas the Times' constantly struggles to conceal and/or deny theirs.
#19 at least you're willing to admit you're a partisan hack, albeit a transparent one. That's progress. Maybe in the future when you're name calling, use "non-transparent partisan hack" to distinguish those you hate from yourself.
@9 - well said.
@20, No, I admit to being partisan. In fact, I've always proudly proclaimed it. But I'm not a hack.
I have a real problem with the layout of the so-called Truth Squad on the page, where its headline essentially made it sound like this was fact, not opinion. This is sort of the flip side of the brouhaha the NYT public editor caused by asking about fact-checking and its role in the news pages. "Taken out of context" is an interpretation, not a fact about which truth can be told. Leave something like to a quote from a McKenna campaign official, not to a column allegedly devoted to truth.

On the other hand, when I see a news article that calls into question the unchallenged assertions about Obama's record in the GOP presidential debates, it will be the first time.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.