Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Baldwin Standard

On Friday afternoon I dialed a talk radio show for the fist time in my life... and got a busy signal. One nice thing about having a blog is that a busy-signal doesn't signal the end of the opportunity to respond to one of Mark Levin's questions. Admittedly, it probably lowers the chances of Levin actually hearing the response, and the receiving audience may be just a little smaller.

Mark asked his listeners to call in and explain a perceived double-standard between the expectations of accountability for Alec Baldwin's recent twitter meltdown and Paula Deen's admission of using a racial slur decades ago. For those that don't know about Baldwin's twitter rant, he went off on a reporter that said something untrue about Baldwin's wife. His rant was filled with R-rated language, and a fair amount of gay-bashing. For those that don't know about Deen's admission of using a racial slur decades ago, Deen admitted to having used a racial slur decades ago. So the premise of a double-standard is centered on expectations of the left responding differently to a 27 year old race issue and a current gay-bashing issue.

Those that called the show generally had low expectations that there would be any accountability for Alec Baldwin, in contrast to high expectations that the Deen issue would be exploited fully. The assumption of inconsistency was apparent throughout the discussion. Conservatives perceive inconsistency, and a double-standard, in this issue because they aren't focused on the proper standard. The simple standard the left is adhering to in this case is the standard of advancing the cause of the left. The first part of the premise that deserves rejection is that the left actually cares that Paula Deen used a racial slur 27 years ago. They don't. They care about what they can gain by exploiting the fact that Paula Deen used a racial slur 27 years ago.

This doesn't mean that there aren't sincerely well meaning (and confused) liberals that see the world through race, or gay, colored glasses, but they aren't the ones that seek the personal destruction of people like Paula Deen. For the same reason that committed leftists will expend great effort to make an example of Paula Deen, they will not make more than a token attempt at accountability for Baldwin. It just doesn't advance their cause to make a big deal about him. The instant that it does, Baldwin will find himself out in the cold.

To conservatives, the left seems inconsistent on this issue because a fallacious premise has been accepted. Leftists don't care about Blacks or Gays. They care about advancing leftism, and they will exploit any group in that pursuit. It is dangerous to assume that the left is as irrational, or inconsistent, as they appear in cases like this. It is safer to assume that irrational behavior is simply rational behavior that has not been properly deciphered yet. If we do that, we may be wrong sometimes, but we will never be surprised.

This week has seen a new term added to my lexicon of Baldwin related phrases. The previous entry was "Baldwin threshold". When an actor becomes so personally obnoxious in real life that I can't stand to watch a movie that they are in, they have exceeded my Baldwin threshold. From now on, when the left applies what appears to be a double standard in pursuit of their broader goals, it can be recognized as a consistent application of the "Baldwin Standard".

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