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Ashley!

[ 77 ] February 26, 2013 |

Thanks to the Daily Caller, I’m now a strong supporter of Ashley Judd’s potential 2014 Senate bid:

On her comparing mountaintop removal to the Rwandan genocide: “President Clinton has repeatedly said doing nothing during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 is the single greatest regret of the Presidency. Yet here at home, there is full blown environmental genocide and collapse happening, and we are doing nothing. Naturally, I accept that I set myself up for ridicule for using such strong terms, or perhaps outrage from human victims of slaughter.”

On fathers giving daughters away at weddings: “To this day, a common vestige of male dominion over a woman’s reproductive status is her father ‘giving’ away her away to her husband at their wedding, and the ongoing practice of women giving up their last names in order to assume the name of their husband’s families, into which they have effectively been traded.”

On the coal industry, which employees thousands of Kentuckians: “The era of coal plant is over, unacceptable,” she tweeted in October.

On how Christianity “legitimizes” male power over women: “Patriarchal religions, of which Christianity is one, gives us a God that is like a man, a God presented and discussed exclusively in male imagery, which legitimizes and seals male power. It is the intention to dominate, even if the intention to dominate is nowhere visible.”

On men: “Throughout history, men have tried to control the means of reproduction, which means trying to control woman. This president is a modern day Attila the Hun.”

Of course, we’ll see how all this plays out in an election, and how strong a candidate Judd proves to be (if she does indeed run). Kentucky is a funny place; we all remember how devastating the Aqua Buddha scandal was to Rand Paul’s political career.

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  1. Cody says:

    Almost makes me wish I lived close enough to Kentucky still to get the ads (if she runs). Much fun will be had!

  2. Davs says:

    I think I’m in love.

  3. c u n d gulag says:

    I don’t think anyone who thinks like she does, has a canaries chance in a Massey Energy coal mine, of winning in KY!!!
    Let alone a woman!

    Move North, Ashley!
    NY’s “Chuckles” Schumer’s term is up in 2016, and WE’D love to have someone like you for our Senator – except, of course, for the Mississippi/Kentucky/Alabama-like rural parts of the state. But we suburban-and-city-slickers outnumber those fools.

  4. Joe says:

    Given her human rights work alone, she is surely more qualified than the likes of Rand Paul, though if the electorate of KY thinks so will remain to be seen. Her autobiography has some good stuff in it. “All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir”

  5. Cheap Wino says:

    We can hope in Kentucky being a hot woman is enough to overcome being an uppity woman.

  6. Todd says:

    On her decision not to have kids with her husband: “It’s unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries.”

    • J. Otto Pohl says:

      This is stupid. Famine is not a result of over breeding. Have not the works of people like Sen not taught us by now that famines result from political decisions not population density? There are lots of very poor countries that do not have any starvation. I currently live in one. In contrast the fairly well to do USSR suffered famine in 1932-33, 1946-47, and almost had another one in the early 1960s which was averted by the conscious political decision of the regime to import food rather than let its population starve once again. The famines in China, North Vietnam, and Ethiopia were all the result of political decisions not too many people. In contrast neither Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, or Bangladesh is currently suffering famine despite being very impoverished relative to the US.

      • Leeds man says:

        You’re right. Better to say “breeding is unsustainable”.

        • J. Otto Pohl says:

          Dude the 70s are over. While the number of kids an individual family can support is limited it is not zero or even just one. I have three kids and most people I know living in heavily impoverished countries have five or more. Yet, none of these people are starving to death. There is plenty of food in the world and absent deliberate decisions to allow people to starve to death it can be distributed in such a way that there is no famine.

          • Leeds man says:

            Dude, I didn’t know the definition of sustainability had changed since the 70s. Hint: It involves the passage of time (hence the ‘sustain’ part), and is not just about how many people we can feed now. Look up “global hectare”, “ecological footprint”, and “carrying capacity”, as well as population growth.

            • It’s not the definition that’s changed, but our understanding of it.

              For instance, if you “look up” carrying capacity today, you’ll find information about how it is not a constant number, and can be increased or decreases, whereas if you were to “look up” how it conceived in the 1970s, you’d see it discussed as a constant.

      • Alan Tomlinson says:

        Bill McKibben’s view is quite similar and it is very well-argued. His book, Maybe One: A Personal and Environmental Argument for Single-Child Families is quite worthwhile.

        Your “argument” rather less so.

        Cheers,

        Alan Tomlinson

        • J. Otto Pohl says:

          Can you name me a single country that suffered famine as a result of “overpopulation” rather than political decisions? I can not think of any in the 20th or 21st centuries. The highly impoverished countries of West Africa are currently not suffering any famine. In contrast during the 1990s the heavily industrialized state of North Korea suffered massive famine. It did not suffer that famine because it had too many people for its land area. Many East Asian states have a higher population density than North Korea. It suffered it because of deliberate political decisions by the regime in power. Really do you think Judd knows more about the economics of famine than Sen?

          • tomsk says:

            But famine isn’t the only issue, right? There are all kinds of problems with scarcity of various resources, and most of them look set to get much worse over this century. The world’s population really is going to have to stop growing before too much longer.

            One could also note in relation to food that the general rate of improvement in farm yields has been tailing off notably in the last couple of decades; that current yields per acre may be difficult to maintain over the medium term due to scarcity of petrochemical inputs, ecological degradation and climate change; and that expanding land under cultivation will compound many of said problems.

            • J. Otto Pohl says:

              Judd specifically used the term “starving to death.” This is just not accurate. The fact is that overall world population growth is much slower today than it was earlier. It may eventually stop like it has in Japan, but people in Ghana or Kyrgyzstan having children is not causing famine. The former second and third world countries have lots of problems. “Over population” causing famine is not one of them. If rich white people in the US don’t want to have children fine. But, my three brown children are not causing the planet to collapse and my co-workers five black children are not either.

          • Jeffrey Beaumont says:

            Otto, you are completely right, famine is political and not due to overpopulation. Malthus was wrong, etc.

            But there are a lot more questions than food and starvation. Clearly our ecological conditions would be much better with 1/3 less humans. Bill McKibben is right.

    • Richard says:

      Is that a real quote? Where she’s claiming that people who choose to have children have no conscience? Doesn’t that alienate most of the voting public?

      • Leeds man says:

        No, she’s claiming it’s not right or reasonable, or maybe even “not guided by conscience”. I think your reading is too harsh, if not technically wrong.

        • Richard says:

          OK. Even if she is saying that the decision to have children is not reasonable or not guided by conscience, then she’s still alienating the majority of the voting population. If that is a real quote and gets publicized, as it undoubtedly will if she runs, she has no chance of winning a statewide election in Kentucky.

          • Leeds man says:

            Sadly, you’re probably right. People hate inconvenient truths.

            • Richard says:

              I dont even think its an inconvenient truth. I have two kids, four stepkids and five grandkids. I dont think my decision, my wife’s decision and our kid’s decision to have children was unreasonable or made without conscience. I like most of what Ms. Judd has said but this statement is pretty crazed. Her decision to have children or not is her own and I’m not about to criticize her for that but I have a problem with her criticizing others for making a different decision.

              • Cody says:

                Am I the only one who (very charitably) interpreted it as meaning she could not in conscience have her own child, as that would detract from helping the others?

                Not so much saying that having children is bad, as saying that she feels responsible for all the children.

                Upon writing this, this explanation seems a bit fetched.

                • Richard says:

                  The quote is “its unconscionable to breed …”. That’s framed in such a way to imply that people who do “breed” (a loaded term by itself) are doing something morallywrong. If she had said something to the effect of “my husband and I have decided not to have children because we want to devote more of our time and resources to helping impoverished children around the world”, I, and many other people, wouldn’t have a problem with her position. I still like Judd and would vote for her if I had the chance but that statement is going to cause her lots of problems if she decides to run.

              • spencer says:

                Whether her statement is right or not has nothing to do with how you feel about the choices you’ve made in your own life.

                • Richard says:

                  Not true. If she is right that having children is unconscionable, then I would have misgivings about the decisions I have made.

                • spencer says:

                  If you’re offering your choices as evidence that you don’t believe her statement is true, then I misread what you were saying.

                  To me, it looked more like you were rejecting the possibility her statement was true because you didn’t like it (because you’d had two kids of your own and you didn’t like the implication that you were acting without conscience).

                  So if I got that wrong, I apologize.

                • Richard says:

                  I’m saying that I made certain choices and that I did not make those choices without conscience. I’m not saying that my choices prove her wrong.

                  If she is right – that having children (breeding in her terminology) is an unconscionable act – then I would have reason to regret the choices I made. But, for a variety of reasons not necessary to go into now, I dont believe that having children is an unconscionable act.

            • Gareth Wilson says:

              I have no children, and have no plans to have any. But if everyone behaves like me, as Judd is urging, the human race will be extinct in 90 years. An fascinating primate species that survived 200,000 years before being wiped out by the moral principles of Wesley Crusher’s girlfriend.

              • GeoX says:

                And if there were even a minuscule chance that anything more than a tiny fraction of the world’s population would ever decide to behave like you, you might have some sort of point. As it stands, however, encouraging fewer people to have children is all to the good.

                • Gareth Wilson says:

                  If you make a moral argument, you should want everyone to behave according to whatever principles you’re advocating. Otherwise you’re just making a fake moral argument to make your lifestyle decisions sound more noble. If you make a moral argument for vegetarianism, you want everyone to stop eating meat, and for all cows to go extinct. Ashley makes a moral argument against human reproduction, so she wants the human race to go extinct.

                • Leeds man says:

                  Gareth: Ashley makes a moral argument against human reproduction, so she wants the human race to go extinct.

                  Judd: It’s unconscionable to breed with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries

                  Qualifiers. How the fuck do they work?

                • Malaclypse says:

                  If you make a moral argument, you should want everyone to behave according to whatever principles you’re advocating.

                  Kant was not the final word in ethics.

                • And if there were even a minuscule chance that anything more than a tiny fraction of the world’s population would ever decide to behave like you, you might have some sort of point.

                  If the possibility of a meaningful number of people, enough to make any noticeable difference, choosing not to have children is so far-fetched, then what point does Judd have?

              • Leeds man says:

                “An fascinating primate species”

                Fascinating to whom?

              • Djur says:

                Humans are only fascinating to ourselves. There wouldn’t be anyone around to regret our passing.

                • Gareth Wilson says:

                  It would be pretty hard on the last thousand humans, in their eighties and nineties, wouldn’t it?

                • Snarki, child of Loki says:

                  Dogs.

                  Cats, not so much.

                • DrDick says:

                  The last thousand humans will not live that long, as they will be unable to maintain the necessary infrastructure which allows it. I believe your method is referred to as reductio ad absurdum.

      • Loud Liberal says:

        Only if they are shallow dim wits who can’t admit that they might have been ignorant, or just selfish.

    • Law Spider says:

      This statement is politically idiotic. Kentucky has few DINKSs (Double-Income-No-Kids) per capita, and a family-friendly culture (though not policies to promote that, natch). Giving up a quote that outright states that every woman who has children is either selfish or stupid is the death knell — rather than just her personal choice — especially when the Democratic primary offers another female candidate (Alison Lundergan Grimes).

  7. Kiwanda says:

    I can’t imagine how somebody with such forthright if commonsense opinions could get elected, but: President Obama.

  8. Jeffrey Beaumont says:

    Star power may mean that at least she gets taken seriously and can explain to people why her comments are sensible and why she’d be a good congresswoman.

  9. Kiwanda says:

    …by which I mean: more surprising things have happened, including a black man named Barak Hussein Obama getting elected president.

  10. Scott P. says:

    “Throughout history, men have tried to control the means of reproduction, which means trying to control woman. This president is a modern day Attila the Hun.”

    Non-sequitur?

  11. max says:

    I’m now a strong supporter of Ashley Judd’s potential 2014 Senate bid

    Well, yeah. I was figuring she should run, and figured she should (what, should I decry the loss of McConnell’s legislative experience or some caca like that?), but having paid no attention to her before beyond knowing who she is, I thought she was an R. I did not know she was so awesome! Even better!

    max
    ['Plus she has her own money, I do believe, and that's always good.']

  12. Nocomment says:

    Just wish she lived in PA.

  13. actor212 says:

    Wow. She’s smarter than I thought. Kudos, Ms Judd.

  14. DrDick says:

    Where do I get me a senatorial candidate like this? I do not normally pay much attention to what celebrities say, but I am quite impressed. She should hire the Daily Caller to do her PR for her.

  15. Anonymous says:

    In a red state like Kentucky, being a Blue Dog Imitation Republican — Ben Chandler, et al. — may not be as good a strategy as simply going full-out Actual Liberal. As some president (Truman?) said, they’ll vote for the real Republican every time. Her star power, name recognition, and the fact that she is courtside at every UK basketball game (y’all {Farley excepted} have no idea how important that is) may neutralize any culture-war-based attack ads, which will just seem desperate.

    • JL says:

      I grew up in Kentucky. I can definitely appreciate how important her being courtside at UK basketball games could be.

      It’ll antagonize the U of L fans, but they tend to be concentrated near Louisville.

      • Cody says:

        Also on the bright side, being a UK fan might seriously hurt her in Louisville. Except that Louisville (like most metros) is probably the most Democrat-leaning part of Kentucky anyways.

        • Anonymous says:

          U of L fans are used to it. They can stand being marginalized and won’t let that stop them from voting for a good Democrat. And she’ll get like 90% of Lexington voters. It’s the rest of the state that needs some excuse to vote for a not-male not-rightwing not-christianist not-crazy person.

  16. Go, Ashley. I a piece she wrote for magazine awhile back and was incredibly impressed. She’s extremely bright and articulate. I just find her really really likable.

  17. Shakezula says:

    The misogynistic shrieking will be loud and damaging before she even decides. If she says psyche! at the end of it all, the GOP will beat its chest over that, doing even more damage.

    Can they help themselves?

    No.

  18. TribalistMeathead says:

    “Kentucky is a funny place; we all remember how devastating the Aqua Buddha scandal was to Rand Paul’s political career.”

    Not to mention that time his supporters curb-stomped a protester at a rally.

    • rm says:

      Well, they sort of foot-shoved her, still an assault but not with the full conviction a real brownshirt would have brought to the job. We only have wannabe fascists here, so far.

  19. Jay B. says:

    Isn’t McConnell being tea bagged on the right? There’s really no downside for Judd to run. If it’s her v. McConnell, she’ll probably lose, but it’ll be pretty close. If it’s her v. some Rape Philosopher, she’ll win. Either way, it’ll suck the air out of a “rebranded” GOP when they continue their amazingly tone-deaf denunciations of uppity women because one — a celebrity no less — had the temerity to exercise her right as a citizen. For the Democrats it’s a million percent win, they couldn’t find a better candidate in KY (who’ll also vote the right way) and they have more than a puncher’s chance of cutting Senator Turtle off at the knees.

  20. I have no idea if Ashley Judd would win if she runs against Mitch McConnell, a prospect looking likelier by the day. I would bet, however, that a lot of Republican men are going to make themselves look like misogynist bullies in the process. For Democrats, a Judd candidacy might be a win-win — if not in Kentucky, then on the national stage.

    Ding ding ding!

    Some arguments, you lose even if you win them. Man, those Republicans sure did kick Harry Reid’s ass when they spent two weeks talking about what he said about Mitt Romney’s taxes, amirite? They sure showed him.

    The thing is, Mitch McConnell might be one of the few Republicans in Washington smart enough to see the trap.

  21. Joe says:

    “It’s unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries.” [2006]

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/ASHLEY%3A+I+REFUSE+TOHAVE+A+BABY%3B+Star+says+%27breeding%27+is+out+while…-a0141402638

    “That’s where my heart is now” … “previously said about pregnancy rumours: “It’s for God to decide.”

    Unlike most who might say something like that, “her role as an international ambassador for Youth AIDS – a charity that helps the families of victims in Africa and the Far East” influenced her mind-set. That was “where [her] heart [was then].”

    Not led to believe she thinks anyone who decides to have children in Kentucky or something are unconscionable people but maybe not taking her totally literally is wrong.

  22. kerFuFFler says:

    “… and the ongoing practice of women giving up their last names in order to assume the name of their husband’s families…”

    Yeah, it’s soooooo important to keep one’s father’s last name as oppose to assuming one’s husband’s as a way of maintaining one’s personal identity and triumphing over sexist traditions.

    I just never thought my last name was particularly important as far as my sense of identity is concerned and can’t really see why people on either side of this issue get so bent out of shape over it. What a lame issue…

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