Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Good Fences Make Idiot Senators

You probably don't have to be an idiot to be a Republican Senator.

But it appears to help.

On the "We hate all Mezkins" fence bill, the NYTimes
has this quote:

The Senate fence measure was embodied in an amendment offered by Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who borrowed from the poet Robert Frost. "Good fences make good neighbors," he said. "Fences don't make bad neighbors."

ATSRTWT (NYTimes Article)

Now, here's the relevant excerpt from the poem:

He is all pine and I am apple-orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down!"...

...He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."


ATSRTWT (poem)

That poem is the LAST thing you would cite in favor of a fence.
Don't these people have staffs? Is everyone in Washington illiterate,
or are they just not paying attention.

At a minimum, just google the poem, dude, before you quote. Fences
do make bad neighbors, and in fact bad neighbors make fences.

UPDATE: A much clearer, and literate, analysis of the fence and the poem
can be found here. I don't agree with Brimelow, but at least he has
some grasp of the ideas at play in the words.

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