Here we have two recent examples of two politicians (okay, in fairness, one politician and one woman who refuses to accept that her 15 minutes of fame expired in 2011) who, in an attempt to make a valid political argument (despite my vehement disagreement with both points), used extremely stupid analogies to make said political arguments.
The first, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who is also running for president, recently said the following about the Iran deal:
“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”
Now, again, take out whether or not you agree with the framework of the Iran Nuclear Treaty. Why you would compare a nuclear proliferation deal to a genocide is beyond me. How exactly will Iran kill 8 million Israelis? Governor Huckabee does not say, but he is refusing to apologize for his outrageous remarks (despite the pleas from random conservatives for Huckabee to apologize and for the RNC to denounce his comments). So why would Governor Huckabee make such a stupid analogy? Simple. He’s running for president. Huckabee saw the results of Donald Trump’s recalcitrance and refusal to apologize for Trump’s comments about undocumented immigrants from Mexico.
Trump is now polling very well not just in the general GOP field, but more specifically in the all important states of Iowa and New Hampshire (where he is polling second and first, respectively). The problem for Huckabee is that this does not make his presidential campaign exciting in the way that Trump’s campaign is. The “oven” comments just make Huckabee look desperate, lost and unable to come up with a viable strategy to climb the GOP nomination ladder (or at least catch up with the sensationalized Trump campaign). Furthermore, if history is any indication, this desperate attempt to appeal to Jewish voters will not pan out well for Huckabee or the GOP (typically, the GOP only gets 23-28% of Jewish voters in presidential elections). However, Governor Huckabee does have (some) support from the public. Not about the “oven” comments, but about the Iran deal itself. The latest poll from CNN/ORC has the deal polling at 52-44, with 52% of the public saying Congress should reject the deal. However, this latest CNN poll is somewhat of an anomaly among a variety of other polls indicating majority support from the public regarding the Iran deal.
Let’s move on to the other stupid analogy. Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin made a Facebook post yesterday posing the following question: “Which symbol killed 90,000 black babies last year?” (On the Facebook post are two symbols, one is the Confederate Flag and the other is Planned Parenthood’s “PP” logo).
Let’s put aside the question of the morality of abortion. People who are pro-life see the fetus as a baby, therefore consider abortion to be murder. People who are pro-choice see a fetus as a fetus, hence they feel that abortion is morally benign (thank you Kevin Drum for this eloquent phrasing).
Let’s also put aside the argument over whether the Confederate Flag could serve as motivation for a White person to kill a Black person in the name of White Supremacy. For now, let’s just focus on why Palin’s analogy is idiotic. Black women (as well as White, Latino and women of all races, ethnicity, yadda yadda yadda), voluntarily seek out the services of Planned Parenthood (which abortion services only consist 3% of). Planned Parenthood does not go to Black women’s houses, jobs or places of worship and kill them (or their babies). Planned Parenthood provides a wide variety of services that help women of all nationalities, specifically catering to women who have low-incomes. What benefits has the Confederate Flag provided to Black women, let alone women of any race and/or ethnicity? That’s right, none. That’s why it’s a stupid question and an even stupider analogy.
Even if you believe abortion is murder (which I believe is insane, FWIW), you cannot seriously compare the damage that the Confederacy has done to black life and black wealth to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood did not enslave Black Americans and tear them apart from their families. The Confederacy did just that (as well as many other horrific and vile things). Once again, Governor Palin has shown that her circus act is limited to making provocative and idiotic statements. Palin was a terrible Governor, a terrible political fundraiser, and a terrible spokesperson for the Republican Party and the Conservative movement.