Archive for September 18, 2012

Double-Down Mania

September 18, 2012 Leave a comment

What is it with this “double-down” culture?  Nobody seems to apologize for anything anymore.  Nobody admits they simply messed up.  They always have to fold their arms and stubbornly shout their offending words even louder.

Take Iowa Republican Congressman, Steve King, for example.  At a town hall event back in May, the topic of immigration came up and King compared immigrants to dogs when he said we should only allow the best of the litter into America.  From

King brought up his experience raising bird dogs to explain how the immigrant-dog metaphor works: “You want a good bird dog? You want one that’s going to be aggressive? Pick the one that’s the friskiest, the one that’s engaged the most, and not the one that’s over there sleeping in the corner.”

And this is how you end up with terrific bird dogs and productive immigrants.

Later at a debate with his opponent, he did not back down, admit using awkward wording, or in any way concede anything inappropriate about the remarks.  In fact, he said he was actually complimenting immigrants saying that we get the cream of the crop of any donor civilization on the planet and wondered how anyone could possibly misconstrue his words.

Oh, I don’t know, as the son of two parents who immigrated legally, I wonder which of the two my mother and father were.  Would he have considered them frisky bird dogs, or the lazy ones that sleep in the corner?

Former Democratic congressman, Barney Frank, recently called the Log Cabin Republican pro-gay advocacy group, “Uncle Toms.”  When the Log Cabin group accused Frank of going over the top Frank, of course, doubled-down.

Some have complained that in comparing the Log Cabin Republicans to Uncle Tom, I was ignoring the fact that they are nice. I accept the fact that many of them are nice — so was Uncle Tom — but in both cases, they’ve been nice to the wrong people.

Comparing immigrants to dogs and throwing racist insults at gay Republicans is cool now in our “double-down” world.

This has become our politics and our culture.  There is no grace, no moderation, no introspection, no recognition of fault or weakness and there will be no apology of any kind for anything ever said, no matter how idiotic, incendiary or offensive.

You double-down in black jack.  It means that looking at the cards you’ve been dealt, you decide to take a big risk and double your bet but can only take one more card.  Big bet- big risk. The probability of success does not increase and the odds, in fact, are now really stacked against you, but you’ve bravely gone with your gut.

It looks admirable, but those who double-down with increasing frequency should note- most lose double what they started out betting.   In blackjack, you lose money.  In life, you risk losing respect and credibility.