Downton Abbey and the battle for America’s soul

Roy Edroso catches right-wing pundit Jonah Goldberg (of the Evil Veggie Burger idiocy) talking about how painful it must be for liberals to watch Downton Abbey seeing as it’s all about rich aristocrats and doesn’t endorse liberal principles. Haha,take that lefties! Right-winger Ashley McGuire suggests that yes, it may be very nice that women have the vote and can get jobs and equal pay, “But then one side of me envies the women of Downton ever so slightly” because they have husbands who call them things like “my ladyship.”: “Did respect for a woman’s reputation keep men in check and protect ourselves from winding up like Ethel, pregnant and scared? Did good-old-fashioned esteem for women raise the odds of winding up like Anna and Mary, wives who had been thoroughly woo’ed by good men?”
Point the first: As I’ve noted before, what we read does not prove anything about how we want to live. I’ve watched Downton Abbey or Upstairs Downstairs and neither one indicates I want to return to the days of an aristocracy.
Second: As noted in comments at the McGuire link, only a very small number of women got a husband who had to use words like my ladyship.
Third: No, according to fans who are up on the current season (I’m still on Season One), respect for women’s reputations did not stop Ethel ending up pregnant—that’s a major plot point. And that’s on the show, it certainly didn’t stop illegitimate pregnancy in real life.
•A military judge shaves a few months of Bradley Manning’s potential sentence because of the way the government’s treated him. Manning has now been in solitary confinement for two years without trial.
•The National Organization for Marriage defends its efforts to make gay marriage a racial issue (by trying to make it a mark of racial identity for Latinos to oppose same-sex marriage, for instance) on the grounds Rich White Males are trying to force it on the oppressed straights of America.
•The Daily Howler looks at what reviews of What It Takes (an account of the 1988 presidential campaign) and obits of its author tell us about what journalists think is good political coverage.
•Echidne thinks about Jewish and Islamic dress codes for women.
•Not only do the rich think they’re better than the non-rich, they think income inequality is a positive thing.
Two positions mentioned in the article: One is that income inequality isn’t that bad because of taxes on the rich and the welfare benefits they fuel. The second is that concentrating money is actually good for the economy because you have wealthy people who can finance big projects.
As to the first, the after-tax 1 percent are still overwhelmingly in control of America’s wealth (and, of course, the people who make this argument aren’t notably in favor of the poor getting help). As to the second, as several people have pointed out in the past, an economy in which lots of people can buy a car, a house and big meals is better than one in which only a few people have disposable income. Romney’s riches may help him buy and loot companies, but there are only so many houses he’s going to buy.
And while some income inequality is inevitable in any society, there’s no reason on Earth it should be this bad.


Filed under economics, Politics, Undead sexist cliches

3 responses to “Downton Abbey and the battle for America’s soul

  1. Pingback: Half-vacation, half-work, more terrible than either! | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: New And column out | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: The Florida school shooting, victim blaming and other topics | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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