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Ms. Marcotte again

It\’s always amusing to see her leaps of logic:

But if you see the phosphate ban as an arbitrary act of liberal tyranny imposed for the sheer joy of making Real Americans have to wash their dishes by hand, then getting into the car and driving for a few hours to buy dish detergent can become an easy, risk-free way to feel like a warrior fighting for freedom. And while the big cities in Washington often pull the elections to the left, the countryside and suburbs of the state are stuffed with embittered reactionaries who are eager to believe they\’re being victimised by a bunch of dumb environmentalists who are incapable of thinking through the ramifications of a policy like this.

Rightwing bloggers gleefully seized on this story of dish detergent smuggling, gloating that Washington residents were sticking it to the environmentalists by using more gas to buy detergent and using more water to wash dishes. Of course, the ugly reality is that wastefulness has a larger impact than upsetting environmentalists – it means fewer resources for the future and a dirtier environment, of course – but the sheer glee of potentially inflicting stress on demonised environmentalists was enough to distract from these facts. Erick Erickson of Red State, alarmed by the possibility that a wine glass might have a spot on it that some red-blooded American would have to wipe off with a towel, said, \”At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator\’s house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?\”

The commenters at Free Republic also enjoyed gloating over the possibility that this would lead to more water use, showing those dirty hippies (their term) how stupid and short-sighted they were. In a telling exchange, one commenter asked, \”I\’m not exactly sure what the greenies are trying to accomplish, here…\”, and another replied, \”It feeeeeeeeels good, and it demonstrates their \’concern\’. That\’s all that really matters with the libs, not actual results.\”

Except, of course, that a short Google search would have resulted in immediate knowledge of what the \”greenies\” were trying to accomplish: reducing the amount of oxygen depletion in Spokane rivers and lakes that was killing off the fish. But the first rule of reactionary politics is: don\’t learn about the issues, or else you might find your kneejerk anti-liberal reactions weren\’t as smart as you thought they were.

No love, it isn\’t that everyone is \”sticking it to the Man\” by going off and buying phosphate containing soaps a State over. That isn\’t what is being either celebrated or pointed to.

What is being pointed to is that good intentions don\’t necessarily lead to good outcomes. Yes, cleaning up the water by banning the use of phosphates is a good intention: but before that intention was put into practice, there should have been some more thought put into how those contrary and \’ornery peeps, people, would react.

What is being giggled about is the way in which the implementation of this good intention has led to a bad outcome: for the fairly obvious and usual reason that those dreamers mandating how the world should be in order to make it a better place have forgotten that they\’re dealing with those contrary and \’ornery peeps, people.

And the outcome was fairly predictable, after all, wasn\’t it? Non-phosphate soaps were available before the ban and those who cared more about the environment than water stains on their wine glasses were already buying them, weren\’t they? So the very fact that the ban was even being mooted, in order to bring the others into line, was an admission that there were those who cared more about the water spots than the water courses.

7 thoughts on “Ms. Marcotte again”

  1. You might as well try to explain economic theories to your cat as try to explain them to Marcotte. The subtext of her post (indeed, all her posts) is basically ‘Damn that Roadrunner! Oh, well, back to the Acme mail order catalogue…’

  2. I thought it was well established facts that for the “left”:
    1) good intentions are what matter not the outcome
    2) the left always has better intentions than every one else

  3. Good intentions absolve you of all responsibility when your latest scheme goes tits up. If you care, it doesn’t matter if it causes misery to tens of thousands of people, or even kills lots of them.

    You are a caring person, at least you are doing something, that is what counts

  4. Pingback: The Hilarious Unintended Consequences of Naked Individualism « Decline of the Logos

  5. And she glided past the phrase ‘liberal tyranny’ with not so much as a reflection that if your policy could plausibly (if inaccurately) be described as ‘tyrannical’, it’s not much snuff as a ‘liberal’ one.

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