I got an email yesterday from a friend of mine:
At what point is the line officially crossed.
It would be nice to see those of reason on the right to publicly condemn this type of post.
The link is to Swiftee’s post over at Restraining Order about Robin “Rew” Marty and her husband Smarty’s impending arrival.
Now, don’t get me wrong; Robin’s OK; leave aside the fact that she’s the “editor” of the local Soros sock-puppet astroturf groupblog “Minnesota Monitor”, there’s hope; in fact, of all of the Twin Cities’ leftybloggers, I think she (and perhaps even hubby Smarty) stand a pretty decent chance of becoming conservatives when they grow up – and given that they’re expecting, that might even be happening sooner than we thought. Women without children tend to be Democrats; after they have kids, they tend (statistically) to migrate to the right. There’s hope for those crazy kids.
Swiftee reposted the ultrasound picture (from Robin’s blog, “Powerliberal”), and added:
Robin posted a picture of her fetus, but I noticed something awry right away. Given Robin’s obsession with partial birth abortion, I think that little bundle of cells needs some protection…
fetus baby with a helmet. It’s kinda funny, if you don’t know the people involved. Still funny when you do, but it makes me a little uneasy. I generally prefer to keep politics impersonal. And yet it’s hard to look at, say, this (not safe for work or queasy stomachs; it’s the end-result of a “partial birth abortion”, and it’s horrific) and not want to make it very personal and not-abstract-at-all for those who support it.
So when is “the line” officially crossed? It depends on what you mean by “the line”.
The line of good taste? Swiftee doesn’t just cross that line routinely; he beats it with an axe. Seriously; I get a little queasy when people bring other peoples’ kids, unborn or not, into their humor. Would I rather that Swiftee not have done the cartoon? Sure.
The line of legitimate satire? Plenty of thud-witted leftybloggers cavil and gambol about like poo-flinging monkeys when, for example, someone who didn’t serve in the military supports the war; while such bleating doesn’t really rise to the level of “satire” (more like “ignorant, illogical japing”), it’s the same thing – they’re inserting their politics into someone else’s personal situation. I don’t like any of it, really.
Is Robin and Smarty’s baby “fair game” for satirists, given that
- she put the ultrasound out on her public website, and
- she and her colleagues from the “Minnesota Monitor” rentablog she “edits” have stumped for abortion on demand and partial birth abortion, and fumed and phumphered when the SCOTUS shot the procedure down?
Well, I’d say “I hope not” – but of course, in the world of internet “cartoonists” (and remember – Swiftee is the Twin Cities’ foremost internet cartoonist, if you leave out “Faithmouse” and “Wapsi Square” and pretty much everyone else but Ken Avidor), pretty much everything is fair game. If there’s an unflattering or embarassing pic of yourself out there somewhere online, it’s going to pop up sooner or later, intended to dink at some belief of yours or another.
So – did Swiftee “cross a line” with his cartoon? What line? Where? In the coarse thrum of the political blogging interchange, I’m not sure there’s a line left anymore; any line one person draws is someone else’s sport to cross, and ones’ best bet is to strictly separate the personal and the public (as, indeed, I do). The one that civil people try to observe when dealing with one another…
…and, if you’re so inclined, draw your own line.
Which, for me, is this: Congratulations, Rew and Smarty. I’d have not posted an ultrasound pic if it were my kid, but I hope all goes well. For many of us, the morally-disconnected abstraction of the “right to abortion” became a lot more concrete when we had our own kids; abortion was kind of a non-issue for me 16 years ago, too. But for what it’s worth, I wish Swiftee woulda kept things a lot more abstract – Baaaad Swiftee! Bad boy! – just as I wish a lot of “pro-choicers” could see things a lot less abstractly.
I’d just as soon everyone leave each others’ kids out of it. They didn’t ask to be included in the discussion.
And that’s really all I have to say about it.