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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    Regarding Butker’s remarks, I guess I just find it amusing that he feels the need to mansplain to women what they might be happy with. Even though I was raised in a pretty traditional Lutheran family, my dad was dedicated to paying for my sisters to go to college and letting them decide what they wanted to do. And they have ended up doing a blend of fulfilling careers and stay-at-home periods, depending on the ages of their kids.

    I mean, I get it, some women may be totally happy with the traditional lifestyle, and if you can find a husband who earns millions for kicking a ball, I guess that’s financially feasible so more power to you. And any couple can decide what roles they want to take on in different areas of life. If one partner wants to be submissive in, uh, certain situations, great. But that should be a conscious choice, not dictated by some male graduation speaker who apparently feels threatened by women thinking for themselves.

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  2. Stormy Dragon says:

    The person that we voted for is not the person who mocks constituents when they bring up concerns.

    Given one of his most notable “achievements” prior to running for Lt. Governor was threatening an unarmed, innocent black man with a shotgun for jogging in a white neighborhood, yeah, that is the same person you voted for.

    I tried to warn people during the primary, but the same people who fell for Sinema all fell for Fetterman too…

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Harvard Says It Will No Longer Take Positions on Matters Outside of the University

    That wasn’t so hard, was it?

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  4. Stormy Dragon says:

    I feel like “It’s for Men Who Want to Abuse Their Wives” is more accurate, because most people in actual kink relationships wouldn’t touch that “Trad Wife” crap with a 10 foot pole…

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  5. Sleeping Dog says:

    These men who are so gung ho for tradwives, are they prepared for the trade offs when the Mrs gives up her job to stay home with the kids?

    I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and when we were little, she stayed home. Dad worked 2 jobs and when we were both in school, mom got a part time gig. After she died and we cleaned out her apartment, my brother ended up with a ledger that showed every bit of income, how much was spent and on what in the late 50’s and early 60’s. There were a lot of pay periods that ended with that balance in the single digits. Though we never went to Disney World and vacations were mostly tent camping, neither of us ever felt like we were denied anything or noticed we were effectively poor-ish.

    So Mr. Tradhusband, find that PT job, give up those streaming subscriptions, sell that fancy 4×4 pickup and of course your precious guns. The bills come due every month even in traditional households.

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  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    My first serious, live-together relationship was with this sweet, aimless, outdoorsy hippie chick. Even then the idea of a tradwife was idiotic. But I was clearly in charge. I worked more, made more, was more decisive and by default rather than intent, controlling.

    When that was over, I knew I didn’t want that again. I was consciously, specifically looking for a partner, an equal partner. I knew I needed someone who’d push back. Well. Be careful what you wish for. In 45 years I have not managed to push my wife back by so much as an inch.

    Your spouse is the person standing next to you in the shield wall of life. Only a fkin’ idiot wants that person to be weak and submissive.

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  7. DrDaveT says:

    ‘Tradwife’ Content Isn’t Really for Women. It’s for Men Who Want Submissive Wives.

    Amazing. Next they’ll be telling me that lesbian porn isn’t really aimed at lesbians…

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  8. Franklin says:

    @Michael Reynolds: That brought a moment of additional clarity to me. Thank you (sincerely)!

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  9. Charley in Cleveland says:

    I find myself wondering how far down the speaker list Benedictine College had to go before Harrison Butker’s name appeared. I also wonder, given the Right’s obsession with cancel culture, if Butker’s choice to publicly express his views will send him to join Colin Kaepernick on the NFL’s version of Elba. (Spoiler alert – it will not. Butker will never be deemed “uppity.”)

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  10. Thomm says:

    @Stormy Dragon: just say you know nothing about Western pa, much less Braddock, PA. There is no “white neighborhood” in the first place. In fact, I doubt your upper middle class, lily-white ass wouldn’t even drive through there without locking your doors, while he won a couple of terms as mayor of the place (which is 80% black BTW).

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  11. Beth says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Don’t you know, trade-offs are for women. The men in the 50’s didn’t have to trade off. They were king and got what they wanted when they wanted it. How come you don’t know that? (Just to be clear, I am being snotty).

    I think @Stormy Dragon: had it right, this is about abuse and domination.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Amusing story and queer anecdote. When my partner and I first met my MIL was over the moon. Her daughter had found a tall “man” that was a lawyer (/swoon) who was going to be rich and take care of her and allow her to be some flavor if trad wife SAHM. We constantly laugh about this. It’s like MIL had never met her own daughter.

    She’s a librarian by training who went into executive search and now works in private equity. In our 17 years together I’ve made as much money as her twice. The only thing MIL got right is that I’m tall.

    Turns out we have a very intentional queer relationship. I’m by nature and choice very submissive, of the brat clan*. Being submissive to me isn’t blindly following her because she’s the boss and says so. It’s a very conscious choice to invest my power in her. It’s not weakness at all. I’m actually the most powerful in this relationship because of it. It’s not about cultural nonsense or sexist dominance. It’s because I have power and I choose to share it with the only person in my life that has ever made me feel safe. A 5’4, 150 woman. Butker would be so lucky.

    @DrDaveT:

    Next they’ll be telling me that lesbian porn isn’t really aimed at lesbians…

    One observation I’ve made at various queer clubs is that, generally from what I see, gay men make out with each other at a club in a real gentle loving cuddly way. On the other hand, lesbians go at it like two drunken pirates fighting over who gets to consume who. I doubt many straight men want to watch actual lesbians…

    *in the kink community Brats are people that get off on and enjoy being annoying.

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  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Charley in Cleveland:

    Good question so I asked google. Benedictine is a small Catholic school in Kansas, and Butker is well known for his devotion to the Catholic faith and a member of the local, Superbowl winning FB team, easy to see why the school chose him. Not to mention that he would appear to be a more entertaining choice than some wealthy alumni gas bag. Even if the school knew what he would say, I doubt they would have stopped him, cancel culture and all that.

    Did find it interesting that he pissed off the Sisters though, every Catholic boy should know that pissing off Sister is not how to get along.

    But no, he won’t get the Kaepernick treatment.

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  13. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Thomm:

    I’m not sure what your point is here? That randomly holding random black joggers at gunpoint is alright in majority minority areas?

    Beause I’m not sure why you think more familiarity with “western PA” would change my opinion of Fetterman’s history of violence toward minorities.

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  14. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I wonder if the Sisters need rulers…

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  15. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    From painful experience, I can tell you that Sister always has a ruler on her person.

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  16. Andy says:

    I’m a live and let live guy. In a country of 330 million people, people form all kinds of relationships that I don’t pretend to understand the dynamics of, but as long as it’s consensual, who am I to judge?

    I’ve known many “traditional” families where the mother and sometimes the father is at home taking care of – sometimes – multiple kids. And in my experience, these aren’t stupid or uneducated people and that role is not an easy one.

    Speaking from experience here, I’m a liberal arts guy who married a scientist. It was clear early on who had the most earning potential (not me) and who was better with kids (not my wife), so we decided early on that when it was time for kids, her career would have priority. So when that time came, after her post-birth parental leave was over, I would be the primary parent. That meant I got off of active duty and joined the Reserve instead, which allowed me time to fill that role. And let me tell you, it’s not easy, especially with the sexism that existed at that time (20 years ago) against men as primary caregivers. It also hurt my own career a great deal. But I knew that tradeoff going in and was fine with it. Unlike the old false promise, there is no way to “have it all.”

    The Reserve kept my work skills up and gave me the flexibility to continue to advance, albeit much slower. Once the kids were older and starting school, I could get back into a full-time position again, but this time in the civil service, which still gave me the flexibility to still be the primary parent for dealing with all the kid stuff – appointments, sick days, etc.

    Now, my two oldest are in college, my youngest is in high school, and my wife and I are in completely different careers; technically, I’m the primary breadwinner now, though that doesn’t really matter because we don’t look at things that way. I’m still the “househusband” meaning I do almost all of the cooking and most of the housework, just out of habit.

    Anyway, the only reason I relay all of this is just to point out that marriage is a partnership, and every marriage and partnership is going to divide responsibilities and do so differently depending on a variety of factors. As long as both parties agree that the arrangement is satisfactory, or at least necessary, contingent on the circumstances, I’m not going to judge. We have friends across the spectrum, from a pharmacist whose husband is a full-time at-home dad and hasn’t worked in 15 years, to the traditional opposite, to power couples who both focus on careers and have a lot of outside help with the kids. Increasingly, we see a lot of people who just aren’t married and don’t have kids, which I guess makes things a lot simpler, but they also don’t seem very happy.

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  17. gVOR10 says:

    The Butker thing seems emblematic of the conservative concept of free speech. He has a God and Constitutionally granted right to say any stupid thing he wants and you have no right to say it was stupid.

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  18. MarkedMan says:

    In this respect, Butker is no different then the Amish, certain branches of Orthodox Jews, a large percentage of Muslims (but certainly not all), traditional Hindus, and the list goes on. Do you feel the same way about their beliefs. I know I don’t, if just barely, but I can’t articulate why.

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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Or the pointer.

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  20. Slugger says:

    Mr. Butker has every right to express his opinions. I doubt that many women seek employment just to poke a finger in the eye of Catholic doctrine. Some women are looking for personal fulfillment from a career. However, economic realities are probably very important. The median male income in the Kansas City area is $55,000. This means half are making less, and I guess only a small percentage is making professional athlete wages. I don’t know the people who send kids to Benedictine College in Kansas, but the tuition is $33,700 which probably requires dual incomes for many families.

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  21. Modulo Myself says:

    I just don’t know anybody who actually thinks their career is more important than their kids. People fall in traps and make mistakes, and sometimes end up distanced (especially men) from their families, but who intends to do this anymore than they intend to make mistakes as parents. Same goes with parents who decide not to work. I don’t think I’ve a single person who thinks of this decision as a battle against propaganda and lies.

    There’s just a lot of projection by very controlling and unimaginative people who are obsessed with appearances.

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  22. Modulo Myself says:

    Also, I love that Douthat refers to Butker as ‘very American’.

    The weird rules-based Catholicism clinging to stupefied arcana which has nothing to do with real life is the least American thing out there. It’s an aristocratic fake for people who aren’t remotely close to being aristocrats.

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  23. Gustopher says:

    Via the NYT: Harvard Says It Will No Longer Take Positions on Matters Outside of the University. That is probably wise.

    An excellent decision that will provide a guiding example to the students who go there to stay in their own lanes, and not concern themselves with anything that doesn’t affect them directly.

    Who are they to say whether the Holocaust was a bad thing, or whether the benefits of manifest destiny outweighed the drawbacks, or whether a destruction of democracy would be a bad thing… these are complicated matters, and the best thing you can do is bury your head in the sand and wait for it to blow over.

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  24. Andy says:

    @Gustopher:

    This isn’t about staying in lanes or burying heads in the sand, nor is anyone suggesting you can’t say the Holocaust is bad – this is about Harvard not taking official positions and releasing useless performative statements on the latest controversy du jour, often because some group of loud activists demands it. Doing that is actually a waste of the University’s time and sets a bad example for students, not to mention it creates an environment where students will be reluctant to challenge whatever the official University position happens to be – IOW, it runs counter to one of the core missions of a University.

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  25. gVOR10 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    this respect, Butker is no different then the Amish, certain branches of Orthodox Jews, a large percentage of Muslims (but certainly not all), traditional Hindus, and the list goes on. Do you feel the same way about their beliefs. I know I don’t, if just barely, but I can’t articulate why.

    Do the Amish, certain branches of Orthodox Jews, a large percentage of Muslims (but certainly not all), traditional Hindus, and the list goes on try to force the rest of us to live by their rules?

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  26. steve says:

    On Fetterman, I think I see this as mostly a pleasant surprise with some caveats. First, he is still voting for the bills Democrats are offering. So far he doesnt seem like a Sinema or Manchin who votes against important initiatives. Second, the far left doesnt have problems. Having some more centrist legislators providing some balance while still supporting major party initiatives is a plus. Third, he can get elected in PA. It’s a swing state. Bernie Sanders isn’t going to win an election here.

    On the pointing a gun at a black guy the largely black population elected him anyway. I figure they know the details a lot better than people who dont live there and know him better as a person. I am concerned about the claims that he is being rude/nasty to people. There is no need for that. He works for the people of PA, he doesnt rule us. I have to wonder if this is a personality effect from the stroke.

    Steve

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  27. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR10:

    Do the Amish, certain branches of Orthodox Jews, a large percentage of Muslims (but certainly not all), traditional Hindus, and the list goes on try to force the rest of us to live by their rules?

    I thought about this, as a reason I felt (not thought, but felt) it was different. It probably has a good deal to do with it. But I also think it is all too close to, “I have nothing against those X, as long as they keep it in private and don’t try to parade their lifestyle around for all the world to see.”

    I also think it unfair to say that he was trying to force anyone to live by his rules. As much as I read of his speech, he feels that his lifestyle is the best one and was encouraging like minded people to stick to their beliefs and not let anyone push them around.

    I could make the case that once he (or an Amish, Hindu, or Muslim) came out and started publicly engaging on the topic, then he should expect to get publicly engaged back, and that since it is something I feel strongly about, I’m compelled to react and my reaction is harsh. This is a good explanation and makes me feel better about myself, but I suspect it is only partially true. I think I am also prejudiced against people like him (a certain type of moralistic Catholic – I was raised a Catholic and there is a certain strain that really pisses me off, and he’s a veritable poster boy for that strain) leading me to a visceral, emotional reaction on my part

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  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Andy: Exactly. Harvard explicitly said it should be a place that enables individuals to put forward their ideas, and not serve as an arbiter of those ideas.

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  29. DK says:

    @MarkedMan: Y’all don’t really buy this do you?

    To Gustopher’s point, if a Holocaust-type event were to occur, does anybody really believe Harvard won’t issue some kind of official condemnation? Of course they will. And when they do, none one here claiming Harvard should be a neutral arbiter will complain.

    What Harvard is really saying — but cannot outright admit — is that they will no longer issue statements on divisive, complicated controversies that may upset donors and stakeholders either way.

    That’s fine and good and probably the right course. But it’s not the noble neutrality they’re trying to pass it off as. I get the reason for the phony veneer, though.

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  30. DK says:

    @gVOR10:

    Do the Amish, certain branches of Orthodox Jews, a large percentage of Muslims (but certainly not all), traditional Hindus, and the list goes on try to force the rest of us to live by their rules?

    Or, do they belong to a church whose mass pedophilic abuse is still being unmasked?

    It is impossible to take seriously moral lectures from evangelical Catholics — and I say this as someone who attended a wonderful Jesuit-run parish for years during amd after college.

    In the midst of his holier-than-thou preening, Butker managed to find time to attack Biden for declining to push his religion onto others and enslave women witb forced birth.

    Yet Butker is *crickets* about centuries of Catholic priests pushing their penises onto children. As performative Catholics usually are.

    Why does anybody care at all what a promoter of such an institution has to say about morality? Any Catholic speech that does not begin and end with an apology to the living and deceased millions abused by Catholic clergy is a waste of time.

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  31. Franklin says:

    @DK:

    To Gustopher’s point, if a Holocaust-type event were to occur, does anybody really believe Harvard won’t issue some kind of official condemnation?

    I don’t know if they would, but I honestly wouldn’t see the point. Ooh, look everybody, Harvard is against Holocausts, what a big newsflash! What does that do? Honestly, I was so sick of our local school superintendent who felt the need to issue proclamations on random tragedies in the news, I was glad when she was fired for somewhat unrelated bullshit (she tried to hide information about an incident involving a bus driver and a student – where was the proclamation on THAT?).

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  32. Gustopher says:

    @DK:

    To Gustopher’s point, if a Holocaust-type event were to occur, does anybody really believe Harvard won’t issue some kind of official condemnation?

    I don’t think it would take that much.

    If Hamas were to kill 100 Israeli Jews, I bet there would be an official condemnation. Probably even if the dead were soldiers and a legitimate military target.

    This is just a fifteen minute proclamation of neutrality to try to deflect not saying anything about dead Palestinians, because of “long standing principles that we just established.”

    ETA: I could respect Harvard announcing that “none of these statements mean shit anyway, so stop getting worked up about it”, but this is just performative, situational neutrality.

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  33. just nutha says:

    @DK: Well stated. And I hope you’re correct about Harvard and the next Holocaust event, but I’m afraid what they’ve learned is to hoist the windsock before saying anything from now on.

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  34. Andy says:

    @DK:

    We aren’t talking about Holocaust stuff here. Harvard was issuing performative statements for stuff people can’t even remember now. If a Holocaust-type event were to occur, I would expect Harvard to do much more than issue a statement; they should give some victims full-ride scholarships at least. That level of the event is a once-in-a-century or millennia event and demands much more than a mere statement from one of the richest and most prestigious schools on the planet.

    That’s really the main problem with all the statements on anything and everything – entirely performative. Harvard is a super-rich school. If they really cared about any of the issues they took positions on, they could have put money and effort behind them, but of course, they didn’t because the statements were never serious and it’s good that Harvard is finally dropping the pretense that it actually cared.

    In short, if Harvard (or any institution) wants to be serious or be taken seriously about any issue, it needs to do more than issue carefully crafted statements designed to rhetorically take a side but not obligate the institution to actually do anything of consequence.

    Actions speak louder than words.

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