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January 27, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-27

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 27, 2004


fte LM-adjigmi &rpokdb lg

opinion. michigandaily.com

SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of
the Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

" All the leaders of the
CIS are (expletive) in
their pants ."
- Russian President Vladimir Putin to
Georgia's acting president, Nino
Burdzhanadze, speaking about his peers in
the Commonwealth of Independent States,
as reported by The Washington Post.



7.2 ._. IN AP4OYPaD gFtof OsA1.
7,t -I)


-V "' -, 'W ~tvr"

'Yeeeagh!' a tale of love and loss

residential cam-
paigns are often
discussed in terms
of romantic conquest:
"courting" key voting
<{blocs, "wooing" the skep-
tical, etc. It's a useful
metaphor. Political parties
do vie for the affections
of voters in much the
same way that individuals
vie for the affections of other individuals. But
the metaphor-wielding political commentators
always get the gender stuff backward - to sim-
plify, they speak as though the political entities
were the male and the Vote were the female of
this arrangement. Wrong and wrong.
Here is what I mean:
The media pounced on Howard Dean last
week after that immortal Iowa-caucus yelp, crit-
icizing him for being too aggressive, too violent,
too intimidating-in-a-scary-manly-way, like he
might beat us and call it love if we elected him.
In fact, Dean's outcry was not threatening nor
even masculine in nature - it was simply a log-
ical outgrowth of the Democratic Party's jilted-
lover recovery process.
It started all the way back with President
Clinton. Remember Clinton's final hours?
Unemployment was low, morale was high, the
economy was shiny - it was a great time to be
a Democrat. The Democratic Party thought the
Vote would be with her forever and ever. So she
got a little lazy, didn't fawn all over him the
way she used to. Maybe she flirted a bit with the
other guys - the young, the old, the poor -
thinking it was all in good fun and the Vote
would understand, would know that she still

loved him best.
And then it happened. The Republican Party
slinked in the side door in a slinky black dress
and black stilettos and red, red lipstick that even
the heterosexual and female Democratic Party
had to admit was totally hot. As the Democratic
Party looked on, startled, the Republican Party
struck up a conversation with her beloved Vote
("Hey, handsome, you wanna see my tax cut?"),
and soon the two left, holding hands. A walk,
the Vote said. Just a walk.
"Just a walk," of course, is never just a walk,
and this one was no exception. It would
inevitably lead the Democratic Party to the first
stage of this mess: shock. The morning after the
2000 presidential election, the Democratic Party
woke up in an otherwise empty bed and found a
note taped to the TV that said, "There's some-
one else and I think you know who. Thanks for
nothing." Though she probably deserved this,
she was floored. Unsure of what to do with her-
self, she stumbled numbly around for a few
months, staring at her hands, babbling to herself,
blinking slowly.
Sept. 11, 2001, snapped her out of it. All at
once, she realized that her beautiful economy
was ruined and that the fear of terrorism and
unemployment had brought the Republican
Party and the Vote closer together than ever.
They were inseparable. They were sitting in a
soda shop, splitting a milkshake with two straws
and a cherry on top and he was paying. This
was bad.
This brings us to stage two of the Democratic
Party's failed romance: heartache. The Democ-
ratic Party disappeared into her bedroom with a
pint of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brown-
ie and wouldn't come out no matter how hard

her friends the Liberal Independents begged.
They pounded on her door, desperate to be heard
above the alternately blaring 1980s rock ballads
and songs from Tori Amos's Little Earthquakes,
pleading with the Democratic Party to go back to
work ("Honey, you can't stay in there forever -
and the president's about to nullify the Fourth
Amendment. Come on out, okay? We need
you"), but she wouldn't budge.
Two years later, when the dust had finally
settled in the chasm where the Fourth Amend-
ment used to be and the Liberal Independents
had finally given up, the Democratic Party final-
ly poked her head out into the hallway, a
changed woman. Stage three. She still loved the
Vote more than anything, but she knew if she
was going to get him back, she'd have to be bril-
liant enough to stop the Republican Party mid-
sentence and stunning enough to upstage those
stilettos. And she was angry. Furious. On her
way out to find the Vote, she practiced what
she'd say to him: "Remember when you used to
care about poor people and gay people and pri-
vacy and not having to work at McDonald's
when you're 75 because Social Security no
longer exists and your brand-name prescription
drugs are outrageously expensive? Don't you see
that wench the Republican Party is ruining you?
She's got nothing on me, I tell you - nothing!
Yoooouuu neeeeed meeeeee!" Which is what
Howard Dean was trying to say last week when
he said "Yeeeagh!" after the Iowa caucuses. He
was just a little tongue-tied. Such is the terrible
reductive power of a lost love. Here's hoping the
Democratic Party pulls herself together before
it's too late.

Henretty can be reached
at ahenrett@umich.edu.


Christians, like everyone,
not exempt from acts of
doing wrong and sin
I am writing in response to Jordan
Genso's letter (Reader: Christian faith
'prejudiced' against others 01/26/03). First,
those were valid points, and I do think they
need to be addressed - not in an insulting
manner, as you feel that you have been
insulted, but out of love - and that is what
I will try to do.
Genso stated that Christians think he
deserves to go to hell. The truth is that Chris-
tians deserve hell as well. Everyone deserves
eternal punishment. We have all sinned and
fallen short of the glory of God. There's not
one person who hasn't done wrong. We've
all lied and acted selfishly; no one's perfect
but God. It is by faith that Christians believe
they are saved - not by treating others with
kindness or doing good - and faith saves
because of Christ's sacrifice on the cross pay-
ing the penalty for our sins, we've done noth-
ing that makes us worthy of heaven.
Still, I too am tired of Christians who
make it a point to emphasize others' condem-
nation without mentioning their own. It's
unfortunate that religion is often an offensive
topic, but it is difficult for it to be anything
else. It is a very personal topic. After all,
one's beliefs affect how he will live, not just
in this life, but in all of eternity. I'd like to
think that Christians don't have a prejudiced
system, for we have been called not to judge,
but to love the world.
LSA sophomore
Christian community
diverse, attacks should stop
At this University, I often find myself
offended by what I think is a lack of respect
for religion by liberal minds. While reading
yesterday's issue of the Daily, I realized that
offense is not due to my thin skin, but rather
a continual barrage of attacks that rarely con-
sist of any logic. Jordan Genso (Reader:
Christian faith 'prejudiced' against others
01/26/03) has taken great liberties with the
Christian doctrine by assuming all Christians

assuming that all Americans supported uni-
lateral action in Iraq. I do not support Chris-
tians forcing their beliefs where they are
unwanted, and in turn expect that I will be
able to pick up a school newspaper at a secu-
lar university without my faith being slan-
dered. So I offer Mr. Genso a challenge:
Find me a practiced religion that does not
attempt to make its way seem best. Until
then, find solace in the fact that even though
some Christians believe you are going to hell,
you don't believe in it anyway.
LSA junior
Abstinence is illogical,
unpopular alternative
After trumpeting his virginity on the
Daily's editorial page, alumnus Matt Schaar
implores someone to explain how his logic of
abstinence until marriage doesn't make sense
(Abstinence education is a logical way to
stop the spread of STDs, 01/23/04). It may
make sense for him, but it is not a choice the
majority of people make and doesn't translate
into sound policy.
Indulge an analogy: Automobile accidents
claim thousands of lives each year. Most of
these people were in cars at the time of the acci-
dent. What would be the only 100 percent effec-
tive way to prevent these tragedies? Ban cars.
Now why wouldn't that work? People aren't
going to stop driving. And a fundamental
knowledge of evolutionary biology, human psy-
chology and 21 st-century cultural mores indicate
that people just aren't going to stop having sex
outside of marriage. So we acknowledge these
realities and use seatbelts to reduce automobile
fatalities and condoms to lower the probability
of STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
Abstinence makes sense for some and
should certainly be encouraged, but censoring
discussion of the health benefits of contracep-
tion for those who choose to engage in sexual
activity is reckless. Abstinence-only educa-
tion is an irresponsible use of our limited
health education funds.
Efforts to continue diversity
critical to ' success

Washington, similar initiatives, worded
almost exactly the same as the MCRI, have
passed and outlawed affirmative action for
women and minorities in education and
employment. Increasing segregation and
inequality has been the inevitable result in
these cases. In fall 2002, only one black first-
year student enrolled at University of Califor-
nia at Irvine Medical School, and only two
black first-year students at the Davis and San
Diego medical schools. The number of
women faculty in the California system has
also decreased by 22 percent since the imple-
mentation of Proposition 209.
Affirmative action has been the only effec-
tive means of desegregating higher education
and opening up schools like the University to
minorities as well as women. There is nothing
democratic in voting on the rights of minori-
ties to equal, quality educational and decent
jobs. If the MCRI succeeds in getting its
proposition on the ballot, these opportunities
will become even more narrow as Michigan,
already the nation's most segregated state edu-
cationally, becomes even more segregated.
The reason O'Brien slanders BAMN with
the label of "thugs and hooligans" (pandering
to racist stereotypes of black youth) is because
BAMN has been the most effective leadership
in mobilizing tens of thousands of people, par-
ticularly black and other minority youth,
around the country into the streets to defend
affirmative action. From building the move-
ment in California that led to the reversal of the
University of California Regents' ban on affir-
mative action in 2001 to mobilizing more than
50,000 people from around the country to
march on Washington last April 1 to win our
case at the U.S. Supreme Court, O'Brien is
right to be wary of us: We fight to win.
LSA seniors
BAMN organizers
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Letters should be kept to approximately
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