Goats, Lambs, Fools, and Knaves

Which of these would you prefer?

  1. A president who told you he or she would accept opposition research from another country but lied about it because he or she actually wouldn’t.
  2. A president who told you he or she would accept opposition research from another country and told the truth.
  3. A president who told you he or she would not accept opposition research from another country and lied about it.
  4. A president who told you he or she would not accept opposition research from another country and told the truth.

My preferences in descending order would be D, B, C, and A. A is a fool. Such a person should not be president. D is a completely honest, decent individual, something rarely encountered in politics for a reason expressed in a proverb: “Better to be hung for a goat than a lamb.” We generally treat Ds and Cs exactly the same. Cs are the norm in politics.

A B is what is referred to as “an honest knave”.

I can see how intelligent people could differ in their responses. There is a certain value to somebody who gives the expected answer. It all depends on your hierarchy of values.

Let’s add some wrinkles. Does it matter if the individual actively solicited information from the other country? Do it matter whether the country is an ally or an enemy?

Other than in wartime I don’t think we have either allies or enemies. There are just shades of gray.

9 comments… add one
  • jan Link

    I would choose B then D. A. & C are not even open for my consideration.

    B was first because I see this answer as being from an open-minded, direct person not hindered by PC consequences of giving a response opponents can gleefully deride. Obviously, Trump fits more into this persona.

    D was second because, while such a person denotes an honest, stellar core, different circumstances have different variables attached to them, which may make such a choice not render the best outcome.

    I do find it “amusing” that Mark Warner seeking dirt on Trump from the UK & Adam Schiff being recorded eagerly trying to get compromising photos from supposed Russians (turned out to be a spoof), as well as meeting with a fusion gps opposition research guy in CO secretly, not to have raised many eyebrows of concern in dems or the MSM. Conversely, when the Mueller Report said nobody from the trump administration sought out Russian info, even rebuffing those who actively approached them, this too made no dent in the dems or MSM in their ongoing crusade to impeach the man.

  • steve Link

    Almost everyone would have chosen D before Trump became president. Who really wants another country having influence in our affairs? It seems to me that seeking the info from another country isn’t much different than taking info if it is offered by a foreign power. You can be nearly 100% sure that if it is information being offered by a foreign power that it is not benign. Otherwise, my order is the same as yours. I would actually add to your list a part about reporting it to the FBI.


  • Jimb Link

    “Better to be hung for a goat than a lamb” is not English. In English, the proverb would be, “Better to be hanged for a goat than a lamb.”

  • They are used interchangeably as is “better to be hanged as a sheep than a lamb”.

  • TastyBits Link

    Somehow, obtaining Russian Intelligence disinformation from an ex-spy is not treason.

  • Jimb Link

    The grammarist says:

    Hanged vs. hung
    Ginger software corrected 98% of people who misused ‘Hanged vs. hung’

    Hung is the past tense and past participle of hang in most of that verb’s senses. For instance, yesterday you might have hung a picture on the wall, hung a right turn, and hung your head in sorrow. The exception comes where hang means to put to death by hanging. The past tense and past participle of hang in this sense, and only in this sense, is hanged.

  • Gray Shambler Link

    Am I missing something? If candidate 1 is secretly operating against the interests of our country and candidate 2 discovers this through auspices of a foreign government, candidate 2 is guilty of collusion for disclosing this information? Or even for entertaining the notion?

  • Roy Lofquist Link

    Remember that “D” spelled backwards is “naive”.

  • Guarneri Link

    While you guys figure out how to execute sheep, how about this.

    Would you like to have one candidate purchasing opposition research from foreign entities, no matter how buffered? It happened.

    Would you like to have an FBI and CIA who sought a FISA warrant based upon an obviously bogus “dossier” to spy on a guy they actually knew was “one of our guys,” like, say, Carter Page? Would you suspect that such a move would only be explainable as a set up to get info on the non-preferred candidate? You know, spying.

    I’d love to hear alternative motivations. Please include any evidence that Mr. Page had turned Russian tool or wasn’t consistently forthcoming with US officials, or that there was evidence that the non-preferred candidate was colluding with a foreign entity, an activity known to Mr Page. Mr Mueller came up dry. Maybe some sleuth here is more insightful.

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