Speaking of cognitive dissonance

My sister, a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, had a coffee cup made for her husband, bearing a slogan she admires: "Never talk to your government without a lawyer." Her husband is a lawyer, as of course am I. She had just finished mentioning to me that I'd have a chance to meet a friend of hers at my niece's upcoming wedding, and that I would like her: she's a lawyer, but the "good kind." (No trace of irony or self-awareness.) She also seems blissfully unaware of the irony of her mug, given her otherwise unbounded enthusiasm for looking to government for solutions to everything. I might have observed that I wasn't looking forward to having to bring my lawyer to my medical appointments in decades to come.

But I don't see any reason to turn every single conversation with my sister into a pitched political battle, so I contented myself with repeating to her one of my favorite old jokes:
I come from a mixed household: my mother was Catholic, my father Jewish. So I went to confession, but I brought a lawyer. "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.
-- I believe you know Mr. Cohen."


bthun said...

I've always thought it a sure sign of C.D. when those who are most vocal in besmirching the legal profession hem and haw when asked for an alternative, other than restoration/acceptance of The Code Duello. And then there are instances of how those who bad mouth all legal widgets suddenly change their tune the first time they need legal advice and/or representation. All of a sudden things are a bit different.

Boy do I know how keeping peace within the family often requires the forbearance of a saint or a forced march across a pasture. I could tell stories, but I'll not, today...

Assistant Village Idiot said...

My brother is a theater professor, or was. Complete understanding of the idea that we are not to trust the government or those in authority, but sees liberals as a blessed reprieve from that, because they are countercultural dudes like he is. Kind and understanding, too.

"The Man" is more of a feeling, see.

Grim said...

other than restoration/acceptance of The Code Duello.

I assume you mean by this that you recognize the obvious wisdom of restoring the Code Duello; but aside from that one good suggestion, they haven't any others. :)

bthun said...

"I assume you mean by this that you recognize the obvious wisdom of restoring the Code Duello; but aside from that one good suggestion, they haven't any others. :)"

In a nutshell, yes...

Depending on the partner in the conversation, the reaction typically runs from a yeah right smirk to a full on taken aback, wide-eyed, mouth gaping gesture.

Have knuckles, will drag. =8-}

MikeD said...

I actually had been pondering this very thing on a drive home from Crawfordville. A radio news report cited clashes between police and OWS-type protestors. In general, Liberals favor large government, but are extremely skeptical of (or hostile to) law enforcement. Which inherently makes little to no sense, as those officers ARE (for every intent) agents of the government.

But then I got to thinking if the same illogic was true in reverse. And I must say, it does appear so. Conservatives (in general) tend to dislike large government, but inherently tend to give law enforcement (again, agents of the government) the benefit of the doubt. This also extends in both cases to the military. Liberals (generally) distrust the military, and Conservatives (generally) trust it. I don't have any answers as to why this would be, but I found it an interesting topic to distract myself over the course of what is a fairly boring drive.

Texan99 said...

Yes, even when we believe in limited government, if we're not outright anarchists we do believe some kinds of government are a good idea.

For me it's about identifying functions that have a very good reason for being done collectively and uniformly and with central control. I don't mind some privatization of military and criminal justice functions around the edges (private military contractors, extra-duty security officers for neighborhoods who want them), but I assume that a central government has to be deeply involved, if only because it's so important for the law to apply as equally as possible to all citizens, and for the nation's defense to be conducted in a unified, coordinated way.

If the function is one that can tolerate some duplication and divergence, like the schools, I'm less convinced that getting the government involved is worth the considerable drawbacks.

Lots of environmental and epidemiological issues strike me as peculiarly suited for central, uniform control. Most economic and commercial issues do not. I'm a skeptic, and my default position is to try the non-government solution first.

Ymar Sakar said...

Recent events have modified my view of the Code Duello. Initially, too many innocents or just weaklings would have died from it. Now a days, not enough people will die to fix the problem. So I say re-enact it for 5 years, then out law it again. That will clean up most of the issues, while downgrading most of the potential casualties.

Originally, duels weren't allowed in war time because of the disruption in the hierarchy. The same can be said for modern times. Then again, the Department of Education, the EPA, Fish and Wild life, the IRS, and 93% of the inhabitants of DC, aren't required for war or the nation's integrity/security.