Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The kiss of death

First it was Al Gore shilling for the screamer, Howard Dean, in 2004. We saw how far that endorsement went. Now Ted Turner is coming out for Al Gore:
Looking forward to 2008, Turner expressed his hope that the next U.S. President would be a "great leader who thinks ahead, like Al Gore." He suggested the audience help convince Gore to run because "we can't afford to waste another eight years."

The article goes on to quote Turner on other issues, and he doesn't disappoint. This next one reminds me of a suggestion that Robert A. Heinlein made years ago: bar men from the practice of law for a hundred years. Women had been barred from the profession for that long; time to turn the tables and find out if the world would be appreciably better or worse. Here's Turner's contribution to that idea:
As for women: "If we had women holding all the public offices, the amount of money on the military would be immediately cut way back and more would be spent on healthcare and education," Turner said. "There wouldn't be lack of family planning or birth control if the women ran things."

Well, I suppose so. Of course, this doesn't take into account the "gila monster" syndrome. What's the "gila monster" syndrome, you ask? It comes from an opinion piece written in 1989 during "Operation Just Cause", the invasion of Panama. Unfortunately I don't remember the author, it may have been Cal Thomas. Anyway, he was writing about whether women should be allowed in combat roles. Panama was the first U.S. action in which women were put into the front lines, and the author wondered whether that was wise. He said that when men fight it's like small furry animals fighting: there's lots of fur flying and growling and tumbling...but when one of them is hurt the fight stops. Then, more than likely, the combatants slap each other on the back and go have a beer together.

But when women fight it's like gila monsters: eyes gouged out, clawed from head to toe, legs pulled off, until one of them lies dead, dead, dead. The author's point being that women in combat wouldn't know when to quit; that sometimes total annihilation isn't necessary.

Do I agree with that? Are you kidding? Do I agree with that? Do I?

6 comments:

Brian Dunbar said...

But a bar fight is not combat; or at least I think so, I've been to neither one, and only trained for the latter.

Which is to say that the gila monster theory is cute and valid but doesn't really apply (I think) to women serving in combat.

My take is that the Marines have it right. Everyone is trained as a rifleman, women excluded from combat arms.

Jessica Menn said...

Well, at the very least, Ted has the good taste to not endorse Hillary or Kerry.

Steve Erbach said...

Brian,

» Which is to say that the gila monster theory is cute and valid but doesn't really apply (I think) to women serving in combat. «

Not being ambivalent, here, are you Brian?

I wish that I could come up with that column. I suppose it requires a microfilm search. Gad! I haven't done that in decades!

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank

Steve Erbach said...

Jessica,

It's "good taste" to endorse Gore but not Mrs. Clinton or Kerry? My, aren't we delicate today!

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank

Anonymous said...

I agree with the theory totally -- put women in charge and you'd see a completely different strategy. Women don't fight to get even, women fight to get ahead -- or they don't bother.

Steve Erbach said...

Susan,

» Women don't fight to get even, women fight to get ahead -- or they don't bother. «

I think you're onto something, there. I'd say that the expression "pick your battles" could be a female thing, don't you think?

I would guess, though, that what would pop into people's heads when they consider women fighting would be the good old jealous cat fight. Does that fit into the "getting even" category or is it more of a dominance thing?

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank