For Lily

In the comments to this post about the idiocy in the Seattle Public Schools commenter Lily wrote the following,

Conservatives make themselves look silly by perseverating on this sort of thing. Sure, it’s stupid. It is also unimportant. Some committee cobbled this together, it will be issued, those who read it will snort with derision, and it will disappear with no impact on anybody. I lived in Seattle, worked for the schools there, and I know.

The problem with this rather sanguine view of public policy idiocy is we never know when it is going to show up and lead to an unfortunate outcome.

BLACK JACK, Missouri (AP) — The City Council has rejected a measure allowing unmarried couples with multiple children to live together, and the mayor said those who fall into that category could soon face eviction.

Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving were denied an occupancy permit after moving into a home in this St. Louis suburb because they have three children and are not married.

And this kind of idiocy is not necessarily “conservative” or “liberal”, it is just simply idiocy. So no, Lily you are quite unequivocally wrong.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. lily says:

    I apologize for the rudeness. I didn’t mean to be rude, but I can see how I came off that way.

    I look around for conservative sites to read because I don’t want to get too stuck within one mindset and I want to understand other points of view. I first saw the reference to the Seattle story at the Corner. It was the second post, I believe, next to a post about the Pledge. Both struck me as disappointing in the same way that Americablog is sometimes disappointing: disportionate emphasis given to something trivial when a real issue worthy or real discussion is implied. The Seattle snippet was just presnted, for everyone to sneer at, without context. The context I would hope to see would be a discussion of what current race relations are and how we can get out of the mindset of the sixties, but there was to discussion of that.
    So I came here where I lurk regularly and I was disappointed to see the same snippet, again with no context for a deeper discussion.
    But I should have expressed myself better so as to not be rude.

  2. McGehee says:

    The context I would hope to see would be a discussion of what current race relations are and how we can get out of the mindset of the sixties, but there was to discussion of that.

    Maybe because most of us are no longer in the Sixties…?

  3. Steven Plunk says:

    For me watching the lunacy in Seattle is like watching a slow motion train wreck. I watch to see liberal ideas being put to the test in the real world. I expect most conservatives are doing the same thing, observing the experiment we expect to fail.

    The idea that we are making something out of nothing is not true. Sometimes it’s the little things that count and sometimes it’s the little experiments that end up giving us insight into the world.

    Many of us still find the idea that thought control can be legislated silly. The way the committee has quasi-legislated this allows us to inject a small bit of humor into our analysis. Like watching the coyote try a new contraption to catch the roadrunner we watch liberals try new policies knowing how goofy they are.

    We are allowed to do this without discounting that we are serious people with serious ideas and concerns. I understand how some liberals feel not being taken seriously and trivialised. My response would be to get serious about such policy initiatives such as this one and we will stop treating them the way we do.

    I guess since they generally think conservatives evil we can think of them as silly. Fair enough?

  4. Alan says:

    Steve, I agree with you its important to pay attention to these things that are written down as policy. Even if they look stupid and everyone is inclined to ignore them, eventually there will be some dispute and someone will pull out the policy statement and some bureaucrat will start enforcing it and then it will take on a life of its own. Its best to nip it in the bud.

  5. Steve Verdon says:


    I didn’t say you were rude, but wrong, sorry if you thought I was implying you were rude. My point is that sure, these policies/laws/regs whatever might lie for years causing nobody any problem, then bang, they are used to cause serious problems for an individual, a group, etc. Fighting idiotic policy isn’t bad nor does it make one silly, it makes one reasonable.

  6. JKB says:

    The importance of these policy propagations is not only in some future enforcement of the idiocy. Promulgating a policy that isn’t enforced leads to corruption of the entire organization. The selective enforcement tells the members that the rules and regulations are not certain and negotiable. That they do not have to follow the rules. It increases risk as no one knows when they will find themselves in jeopardy. It leads to discriminatory and unfair outcomes as one person is allowed to violate the policy yet another is held to account. It is such circumstances where lawyers are fruitful and multiply.

    Either the administration of the Seattle schools is corrupt and dysfunctional or they will implement the policy. This policy will mean that their goal is to produce graduates that cannot communicate grammatically correct, who are shortsighted and cannot think for themselves. They would however be good little ideologues of the collective.

  7. floyd says:

    all social structures are at their root; systems of coercion and domination, no exceptions.