Steven Moffat on Sex in the Tardis and River Song’s Identity

Steven Moffat was interviewed by New York Magazine and discussed topics ranging from the Doctor’s sex life to the identity of River Song. The addition of Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) to the cast has raised question of sex in the Tardis (while ignoring Rose Tyler):

One of your big changes in Doctor Who was introducing some sexual tension, with his new companion, Amy Pond. What was your thinking behind that?
I just thought it would be, you know, Bad Girl in the Tardis. They’ve always been so well behaved, those girls! I just thought, I haven’t met any girls like that. Most of the girls I know would just jump the Doctor as soon as they look at him. I said, It’s time we have one of those.

And one thing that got the fans riled up in Series 5 was that Amy did, in fact, start making out with the Doctor, putting him in this position where he had to say no. That’s never happened before, has it?
On Doctor Who, no. But I think if a man and a woman go through a life-or-death experience and they’re both young and attractive, that’s really quite plausible. In fact, you’d really have to ask why it hasn’t happened before in Doctor Who. I just thought it would be funny. ‘Cause the Doctor is used to deflecting people who are madly in love with him, but he’s never had to deflect someone who has a much shorter and more passionate agenda.

Do you think the Doctor is capable of having a sexual relationship?
We know that he had a family once. And we could pretend that he doesn’t have an eye for the pretty girl, but you’d be struggling to justify that view, wouldn’t you, looking at his choice of travel companions. I think he has at some point in his life indulged. Whether he still does is a secret between him and that big blue box.

Moffat expressed a reluctance to kill off character because Doctor Who is “a lovely, life-affirming, optimistic show without a cynical bone in its body.”He discussed last season when an apparent continuity error was actually set up as an intentional scene occurring after the universe was rebooted in The Big Bang but is also concerned that fans are watching too closely for continuity errors which actually are unintentional errors.

Moffat also revealed that he is at work on an upcoming episode which reveals more about River Song:

Well, you will find out who she is and what’s going on and how it all makes sense. And that will explain a number of things. I’m writing the episode right now where the Doctor finds out who she is. We’re not just going to endlessly tease.

Barack Obama’s Support For Free Markets and Free Societies

In an op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal Bret Stephens was shocked to see Barack Obama speak in favor of free markets before the Indian Parliament. He complimented Obama in writing, “The president gave a terrific speech. Not that it was particularly eloquent. But for all my cavilling, he stood up for free trade, free markets and free societies.”

If Stephens and other conservatives actually paid attention to what Obama has been saying all along, as opposed to spreading ridiculous memes that he is a Socialist, they would not be at all surprised. This is what Obama has been supporting all along. Not only Obama–support for free markets and free societies have long been liberal positions. Liberals do differ from those on the far right in recognizing that markets are creations of men and a certain amount of regulation is needed to ensure they work correctly. Even Adam Smith supported more regulation than many conservatives realize.

Jonathan Chait responded to Stephens:

I think many conservatives genuinely fail to understand that liberals can believe in free markets and free trade in general while also supporting limited government intervention to correct market failures like a recession-induced liquidity trap, adverse selection in health care, global warming, or skyrocketing inequality.

Buy-American provisions were in the stimulus because it’s designed to promote consumer demand in the United States. It was clearly not a signal of rolling back free trade. There is nothing in the Affordable Health Care Act that remotely resembles the central planning that once ruled India’s economy, unless you think that any kind of government regulation is like every other kind of government regulation. Come to think of it, Stephens probably does think that.

Modern liberalism is a continuation of classical liberalism, considering changing times and learning from past mistakes. Matthew Yglesias also disagrees with claims on the right that libertarians, as opposed to liberals, are the true heirs of the classical liberal tradition:

There’s a commonly held view that modern day American liberals aren’t “really” liberals and that the “real” heirs of the classical liberal tradition of Hume, Smith, and Mill are conservatives or libertarians. I think that’s honestly nonsense.

Karl Smith wonders if conservatives who claim to follow the beliefs of   Friedrich von Hayekhave actually read The Road to Serfdom. He points out that “obviously conservatism is very supportive of the permanent military state that classical liberals truly feared, and modern libertarianism often makes a fetish of taxation that is not supported by the original arguments.”

Update: Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, doesn’t sound like a socialist in explaining Obama administration economic plans.

Update 2:  If he’s out to destroy capitalism, Obama is not a very good at it. Bloomberg reports, “U.S. corporations are on track for the biggest earnings growth in 22 years and the stock market is headed for its best back-to- back annual gains since 2004.”

Quote of the Day

“Kanye West on his worst memory: “The day I made Bush so sad, he decided to fuck up the entire world.” –Andy Borowitz

Other recent tweets from Andy Borowitz:

“If only Bush knew what Taylor Swift tried to say about him.”

“So apparently Bush doesn’t remember destroying the economy because he was still so upset by what Kanye said.”

“In comic books, a man exposed to as much radiation as John Boehner becomes a supervillain. Oh wait.”

Palin says Obama should not be meeting with Indians: “This isn’t Thanksgiving.”

‎”Fox News Reports: Obama In Secret Meeting with Foreigners from 19 Countries.”

Republicans And Social Liberals

One distressing tend on the right is that the social conservatives have taken a position of dominance. Yes, there certainly are still some fiscal conservatives who are socially liberal, but for the most part they have been purged from the conservative movement and have little hope for support in the Republican Party.

One example of how the Tea Party movement is heavily dominated by social conservatives, despite the claims of some leaders to only be interested in economic issues, was seen in Michigan. Many in the Tea Party who might have supported his economic proposals are unhappy with Republican Governor-elect Rick Snyder for his more moderate positions on social issues. For example, Snyder favors environmentalism, supports stem cell research, supports civil unions, and opposes abortion but would allow for exceptions in cases of rape or incest. These are views which are hardly far left, and a majority of the country would likely agree with him or take even more liberal positions.

Snyder won because social conservatives split the vote in the Republican primary. In addition, many Democrats crossed over to vote in the GOP primary, realizing that a Republican victory was inevitable and they could make better use of their votes by helping the least objectionable Republican win. It will be difficult for other moderate Republicans to pull off such victories.

One conservative leader is taking the opposition to socially moderate Republicans even further. Jim DeMint is now claiming that “You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative.” Needless to say, many bloggers on the right, such as Doug Mataconis disagree writing, “…it’s fairly clear that when it comes to the shrinking the size, scope, and power of government Jim DeMint is not onboard. Libertarian-minded Republicans should take note of that fact.”

One problem with labels is that they tend to group together people who have differences and divide people who might actually agree on a number of issues. My views are certainly closer to socially liberal Republicans than they are to those on the far left who actually fit the stereotype of big-government liberals which the right wing noise machine demonizes.  Unfortunately, while there are Republicans whose views might come closer to mine than those of some Democrats, they have lost the battle for influence in both the conservative movement and Republican Party. DeMint would have had a stronger argument if he conceded there are socially liberal fiscal conservatives and limited his argument to claiming they have no future on the right. This appears to be true for the immediate future, but I do believe that ultimately social conservatism is a philosophy which will gradually decline in the twenty-first century.