Also via the Political Animal is a post in which Drum discusses Andrew Sullivan’s confusion about the current Republican leadership and this administration:
But it’s not just the Iraq war and it’s not just Bush. It’s the entire Republican leadership. For example, they claim to be worried about nuclear terrorism, but they pay virtually no serious attention to counterproliferation issues and have routinely opposed proposals for tighter port security.
They claim to be concerned about the future financial impact of Social Security deficits, but for short-term electoral reasons they have blithely passed tax cuts and a Medicare prescription bill that do far more damage to our future finances than Social Security ever will.***
I could go on, but I’ll spare you. The obvious conclusion is that they didn’t think Iraq was the central front on the war on terror back in 2002. They don’t think nuclear terrorism is really that big a deal. They aren’t worried about long term finances. And they don’t really care very much about democracy promotion. They just say these things because they’re convenient.
It’s this simple: these guys say a lot of stuff they don’t believe. Their words are largely meaningless. There’s no paradox, and there’s really not much point in trying to make it more complicated.
This seems particularly relevant considering Bush’s nod to a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage. Drum has it exactly right. Bush, and the majority of the Republicans who will run on this issue, don’t really think that gay marriage is that big of a threat. They just find it a convenient issue to divide and conquer the electorate to get themselves back in office in November. It is nothing more than another in the endless stream of wedge issues chucked up every couple of years to keep you and me from really looking at what they are doing.
What is so extremely vexxing about the issue of gay marriage is that if you, even those of you living in remote areas of the south, were to ask people what the most pressing issue facing the country is, people would respond with the economy, gas prices, social security, job security, the war in Iraq, terrorism are our top priorities- a whole host of issues that REALLY are important. Maybe after you said “What about gay marriage, people would mention their support/lack of support for a ban on gay marriage.” But I really doubt that if you asked people what the top national issues are, gay marriage would come up. Try it yourself- ask your political and non-political co-workers and friends and family members and get back to me. I bet I am right.
By promoting the gay marriage amendment, Bush and the Republicans are doing three things that all are of varying degrees of badness:
1.) ‘Queering’ the debate (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). Rather than debating the issues that people find important, this wedge issue will get all the coverage, and issues that need attention will be pushed to the back burner.
2.) Further stigmatizing a minority of the population who already has to deal with a bunch of abuse and mistreatment. By claiming that gay marriage is a threat to society, you are stating that gays are a threat to society, and giving the green light for further negative behavior towards that group of people.
3.) Using this issue to elect a group of people who have shown they don’t give two hoots in hell about addressing the issues people really DO care about.
None of this is good, and it is made only worse by the fact that it is done on the backs of the gay population- a group whose only ‘sin’ is to enter into relationships that don’t have Dr. Dobson’s seal of approval.
The Other Steve
I don’t think you understand. Gay Marriage is the biggest threat to our Republic. It’s what caused the Roman Empire to be destroyed, and it could happen to us.
Drum is the most solid blogger in the ‘sphere. His blog is a little on the dull side, but if you like solid information, it’s the place to go.
Oh, and TOS is right: We gotta stop the gay agenda now, before it’s too late.
No it wasn’t! The Roman Empire collapsed because they fed Christians to lions!
The Easter Bunny
Fuckin’ A, skippy. You and that Steve kid have it exactly right. It’s a short step from gay marriage to people marrying rabbits. You assholes already spray perfume and rub shampoo in our eyes, now you want to bugger us too? If that’s your bag, move to Canuckistan and screw a moose – at least then you’d be helping out in the fight against Canuckofascism.
Remember, kids: if gays can marry, the Canuckofascists have won.
But they only did that to celebrate the consummation of a gay wedding!
The Other Steve
True, and after that they made a visit to the vomitorium.
Rome was sickened from within. It happened after they took over the Greeks, because as well all know the majority of Greeks were engaged in gay marriage, which is what caused their population to decline.
Doesn’t mean we have to marry the damned rabbits.
Why buy the bunny when you can get the Cadbury Eggs for free, right, ppGaz?
And for the record, there’s a capital T, capital G, capital A on The Gay Agenda. If you’re not careful, you could lose your Champion of Family Values membership card.
The Easter Bunny
Screw you, ppGaz, you bunny-molesting pervert. You’re fired as my Information Minister, effective immediately. I can’t have someone with your non-existent moral standards representing me.
For some on the right, it doesn’t matter how incompetent the Bush Administration is as long as they ban gay marriages and rights, and stop abortions. For them, the means justify the ends, no matter how bad things get with every OTHER issue..
Notice how some Republicans refer to Democrats as the “Democrat Party”, instead of “The Democratic Party.” We finally have our answer. We’ll just call them the “Republican’t Party.
Can’t balance the budget; can’t stop raising the national debt ceiling; can’t manage federal emergencies; can’t find Osama bin Laden; can’t control our borders; can’t stop smearing and leaking; can’t answer tough questions from the media; can’t find weapons of mass destruction…
John, you are being way too careful in you prose stylings. I can’t find anything in this post to criticize you about.
Back when local officials were breaking laws left and right in marrying gay couples in violation of state laws, Repubs at least had a legit reason to float the idea of a constitutional amendment on defining marriage, if for nothing else, a warning shot.. as differences in state laws, as well as differences in enforcement, could cause legal problems on a national scale. Doesn’t matter whether or not you agree with the state laws. Voters had already decided on them and they were on the books, and those laws were being violated with impunity.
But unless I’ve missed something, there hasn’t been any rash of state same-sex marriage laws being flouted lately. I can’t believe Repubs are so stupid as to ressurect this issue WITHOUT PROVOCATION. It’s a no-win issue. Those that feel strongly against same-sex marriage will probably vote Repub no matter what. All the others will see it for what it is – transparent political pandering without reason or justification. Bad move.
“The Roman Empire collapsed because they fed Christians to lions!”
Or was it gay loins?
How do these stories even become stories? How is it that all of a sudden every goddamn news agency decides that immigrants or gays or Natalie-fucking-Holloway are the story that needs to be covered? I don’t understand. Aren’t there enough issues out there?
I read recently some old quote which I paraphrase: the news media used to wonder how they could fit their news into only a half hour block. now they wonder what to do with the other 23 minutes.
Thou Americans, ever colonials, ever so foolish in thine politic. Should we not all wish for gay weddings? Such puritans, compelling somberness even in the joining of two families in love and under God.
The Roman Empire collapsed because they fed Christians to lions!
Once you start allowing gay marriage, it’s just a matter of time before you start allowing lion on Christian action. It’s a slippery slope, my friends.
“Rather than debating the issues that people find important, this wedge issue will get all the coverage, and issues that need attention will be pushed to the back burner.”
Now here is the real question – Why? Why will the wedge issues “get all the coverage?” I expect this behavior from politicians, especially those who believe they are in danger of losing their jobs. But I also expect, naively I suppose these days, that the press and broadcast news media will ignore the bait.
Instead, we have a “fourth estate” grown fat on all those hooks, lines and sinkers, and a public starved for facts.
Here’s a question for y’all: if we have civil unions/marriage for same-sex couples that provide all the benefits of marriage, then there is nothing to stop two women, for example, who are housemates but not romantically involved, from entering into such a union to share health benefits, tax breaks, etc. In fact, I’ve been talking over the idea with my housemate and good friend, since neither of us is interested in getting married again and prefer to have non-live-in boyfriends. We were wondering if this would be unethical or gaming the system in some way, but the more I think about it, the more reasonable and fair it seems. It’s getting too hard to make it on your own these days, and as you get older you really need someone to watch your back and take care of things in an emergency. So then why would it be wrong to enter into a legal domestic partnership that was celibate (as many marriages become anyway!)? I’m curious about what all of you think about this–opinions, anyone?
My roomate and a girl down the hall in the dorms were thinking of getting married so my roomate could get in-state tuition. No romatic relationship in the least, it was purely a business transaction.
They chickened out, but these things can happen with straight marriage too. I don’t see how gay marriage changes anything in that regard. What’s to stop two homos of opposite genders from marrying for tax purposes right now?
But is it ethical? I’m thinking that we should be allowed to form whatever kind of domestic alliance we please (among consenting adults, natch) for whatever reasons that make sense to us, and that it should not be limited to potential procreation. This isn’t exactly “redefining” marriage–since historically marriages have certainly been treated more as business relationships than romantic matches–but it does undermine the romantic ideology surrounding marriage.
I don’t see why not. A sexless, romanceless marriage doesn’t hurt anyone if the marriagees are fine with that arrangement.
Is such a marriage valid? Answering such a question almost begs a religious perspective, which underlines that the definition of marriage is religiously derived. As the nation becomes ever more culturally diverse, we may therefore find it neccessary to completely divorce (har har) marriage from government. That’s my perspective, anyway, as a social libertarian. So long as marriage is both government sanctioned and religiously defined, the questions of whose religion and why are irreconcilable with a seperation of church and state.
What do you mean by this? No legal benefits? I think we do need something along those lines for social security, health insurance, etc. If you’re suggesting that the government should grant legal civil unions, but leave “marriage” up to the church, that makes sense. They actually have something like that in Belgium and other European countries, where the couple goes through two ceremonies–a purely secular legal ceremony, and a religious one. I think they’re both required, but I’m not positive.
Usually, no, in the US. Non-consummation is grounds for annulment in most states.
As to the broader question, Jess, you need to realize that a domestic partnership does not provide rights and privileges equal to “true” marriage. There’s no tax break, and any health benefits you receive through your partner are subject to taxation as income. In most states, a DP, particularly an SSDP, is not automatically entitled to consideration as a widow/widower in the event of their partner’s death.
So, whether it’s ethical or not, it’s certainly not the legal equivalent to marriage.
That’s why we need President Jesus now more than ever!
Yes, that was why I wrote “IF” we allow same-sex marriage or a legally equivalent civil union. We still have a ways to go on that one. I think it is going to change the way marriage functions to some degree, especially if people like me take the opportunity to create a friendship-based partnership (grounds for annulment, but not an automatic cause for invalidation, I don’t believe–and even so, how is anyone going to prove it wasn’t consumated?). My question was whether this was sort of relationship could be considered legitimate culturally, not necessarily legally.
Hey whats wrong with feeding Bible Thumpers to the lions. I bet the lions would enjoy Pat Robertson’s thighs, a lot of muscle there. Alot of muscle between the ears, not a lot of grey matter.