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Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term 
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Post Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
One Hal O'Brien, blogging on the Talking Points Memo site, uses a little-quoted passage from Heinlein to coin a term for conservative opponents of Florida Governor Charlie Crist.



Robert Heinlein once wrote the following definition of a gentleman: Someone who would rather be a dead lion than a live jackal. He had a character, Lazarus Long (who was strongly modeled on Heinlein's friend, L. Ron Hubbard), say that he'd rather be a live lion, so he didn't qualify.[...]

Crist, who supported John McCain loudly and vigorously during the presidential campaign, is condemned by some for having the temerity to act in the best interests of his state and country by supporting Obama and the stimulus plan. [...]

So they're supremely worried that someone who puts policy, morality, legality, and ethics ahead of the in-group out-group tribal dynamics of today's Republican party might... might... win an election, or something equally offensive to their delicate sensibilities.

So, now we finally have a label for these faux "conservatives," who wish to conserve nothing, and are far more radical than anything else:

The Dead Jackals.

I presume it would have amused Heinlein to see writers mining his prose for new figures of speech. In politics, yet.

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Fri May 15, 2009 9:30 am
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
Where on earth did he get the notion that Lazarus was modeled on Elron?

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Fri May 15, 2009 10:36 am
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Post Re: Attempt to Forge New Heinlein-Inspired Political Term
It's just barely possible if you accept that RAH took the inspiration before he figured out that LRH was light on his feet like anything else full of hot air. There is a letter in Grumbles ca. 1943 where he talks about Elron visiting and "all crippled up from having four ships shot out from under him" - but I think his awareness of the truth didn't take much longer than a year back in LA.

All that aside, I have never heard that LRH -> LL. I even checked Wack-O-Putzia to see if someone had slipped that factoid in there. (Nope.)

As for the primary point, I'd say these parties are Disney Lemmings rather than dead jackals. His Noodly Majesty knows the airwaves are full of live jackals right now, in a rush to break their chens and rove all over the new landscape.


Fri May 15, 2009 11:46 am
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Fri May 15, 2009 6:18 pm
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Fri May 15, 2009 6:52 pm
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Mon May 18, 2009 8:58 am
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Bill will no doubt ring in here, but IIRC Hubbard kept up a steady stream of letters to Heinlein, which were answered with decreasing frequency until the last few decades' were filed unopened.

I am less certain but believe that the estrangement was all but complete by the early 1950s. The hysteria and then collapse of Dianetics probably had the most to do with it, as well as RAH becoming aware that LRH's war record was, ahem, overstated.


Mon May 18, 2009 10:05 am
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Mon May 18, 2009 10:08 am
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