Sufficiently Loose

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Memo to Bill O'Reilly, Hillary Clinton, and Ted Cruz: YOU ARE SUFFICIENTLY LOOSE.

Words! Many of them have meanings. But in politics and journalism, all meaning is strictly optional. Wanna say something? Just go ahead and say it, and for a sufficiently loose definition of the words you use, it'll even be true! For sufficiently tight values of "idiot" and "damndest", IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS.

"All right, but I think the founders would be shocked that animals get more protection than the unborn in this country." - Bill O'Reilly, talking shit.

I'm not even sure that's true for sufficiently loose definitions, but let's game it out. Obviously, Bill O'Reilly is talking about environmentalists and endangered species, who he hates because they keep him from slaughtering panda bears in sacrificial erection-enhancing rituals. For sufficiently loose definitions of all those nouns, of course. He's not talking about rats. Or chickens. Or deer.

Of course, you can't hunt the unborn, or really kill any fetus that's outside of your own body. And laws protecting animals are aimed at humans. So if a spotted owl wants to eat its young, nobody's imposing a 72-hour waiting period to make sure it's thought things through. And, of course, human laws don't apply to animals, so there's no real deterrent to a dingo taking your fetus. So really, this is only true for sufficiently loose values of "animals", "protected", and, in many ways, "more".

"Absolutely. Of course you can be a feminist and be pro-life." - Hillary Clinton, because Democrats don't get to be dogmatic.

First paragraph! Sufficiently loose definition of "pro-life". You can believe abortion is wrong and still be a feminist. You can absolutely refuse to have an abortion and still be a feminist. You could be in favor of restrictions you think are necessary and still be a feminist. A stupid feminist who doesn't understand the restrictions, but a feminist nonetheless.

But if you actively oppose legal abortion and want to still be a feminist, you're going to have to REALLY loosen up the definition of feminist. And since feminism means equal rights and opportunities for both genders, then you're opposing the right for women to control their own reproduction (something that men have to the full extent that they need it) and the opportunities that stem from from deciding if and when you want to spend two decades caring and paying for another human being. And I'm not sure fignting for women to be sort-of-mostly-equal makes you a great feminist. But Hillary has to pitch a big tent, because only some people get to be a presidential nominee by appealing to a tiny fraction of people and insisting that everyone else go along.

“America has never engaged in torture and we’re not about to,” - Ted Cruz on Fox & Friends, a sufficiently loosely-defined show featuring sufficiently loosely-defined friends on the Fox Sufficiently Loose Definition Of News Network.

Well, technically, extraordinary renditon means that other countries tortured on Amercia's behalf, which is a sufficiently loose definition of "America". And, of course, Cruz clearly believes that all the torture techniques defined as torture techniques that we employed after 9/11 don't count as torture techniques because, well, we totally had to to stop the bad people Jack Bauer. We've been operating under a VERY sufficiently loose definition of "torture" for a decade and a half, so why the fuck should we stop now?

But wait. "We're not about to"? That's a very interesting hedge, no loose definitions necessary. "We're not about to" is a very, very different thing than "we never will". Hell, it's a very different definition than "and we won't under a Ted Cruz administration". I'm not about to eat dinner as I write this, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to eat dinner tomorrow. Ted Cruz could just mean that we haven't captured a high value target in a while. If I say that Ted Cruz is not about to skin another puppy to replace his face-skin, would you feel comforted? I know I wouldn't.