Friday, August 06, 2010

Let He Who Is Without Hypocrisy Cast the First Stone

(WARNING - The post below does contain NSFW language, and opinions that are likely to offend the sensibilities of at least a couple of my friends. This is a rant against certain political hypocrisies, fear-mongering, and hatred, and is not intended as a personal insult to anyone not specifically mentioned by name, read at your own risk. Carry on.)

There's nothing quite like the hubris and hypocrisy of a twice-divorced man who cheated on his second wife, and divorced his first wife while she was in the hospital fighting cancer, now carrying the mantle in sacred defense of marriage.

Hey Newt, "Which one of your multiple marriages was the most sacred to you?"

(found and shared on Facebook)

You know, I can respect that opinions on this matter run wide and deep in this country. I really can. There are a lot of passionate arguments to be made in this matter, though I note that passionate argument does not equate to argument based on law and facts, one does not necessarily equal the other.

However, there are two fundamental arguments against marriage equality, that come from two different sources of people, which underscore the fact that for these two groups, their positions are truly rooted more in fear, bigotry, and ignorance than anything else.

The first is this -- all those who base their arguments on the principle of "marriage is under attack", or some other description rooted in a position that the sanctity of marriage is somehow vulnerable here. Well, if you've ever divorced your spouse, than fuck you, you don't get to make that argument, because you didn't give a flying fuck about the sanctity of your own marriage, so you forfeit the right to preach to others that marriage is sacred. Because it sure wasn't for you. And if you divorced because you were unfaithful to your spouse, like Newt Gingrich was (the 2nd wife, you know, the one he left his cancer-ridden wife for, in the first place), then that goes doubly so.

And second, there's the argument that Judge Walker somehow violated the constitution and is a "judicial activist". Never mind the fact that Judge Walker is a Republican named to the bench by the right-wing's hero Ronald Reagan, and has shown himself over the body of his work to be anything but a judicial activist. It should be noted that nowhere in the United States Constitution does the word "marriage" even appear. The Constitution is utterly silent on the subject. So no, gay marriage is not unconstitutional.

What is unconstitutional, however, is a state initiate designed solely to deprive basic citizen rights to those who already have those rights. In California, gay people had already obtained the right to marry, and Proposition 8 was intended solely to take away a right that already existed in state law, and that is clearly unconstitutional. Think about it. If California voters passed an initiative that took away a woman's right to vote, would that be any different? Of course not. The will of a state population to violate the United States Constitution does not make that violation constitutional.

Which brings me to my point. Many of the same far right dittoheads who claim that either gay marriage or Judge Walker's ruling, is unconstitutional, also claim to be "strict constructionists" when it comes to the Constitution. In other words, their normal argument is that the Constitution is to be read on its face, and not to be interpreted in any fashion. Except now, those same people want to claim that the Constitution somehow doesn't apply here, or says something it does not say. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Sharron Angle and Sarah Palin (among others), who after decades of claiming yourselves as strict constructionists, now to apply a completely different standard to Judge Walker's ruling. You don't get no longer get to make that argument. You forfeit the right to argue against your decades-long positions of strict constructionism just because you don't like a ruling that actually strictly follows the Constitution.

If your argument against marriage equality is based on either of the above two positions, and you've ever been divorced, or cheated on your spouse, or even if single participated in a relationship with a partner outside *their* marriage, or even one time carried the mantle of fighting "judicial activism", or even once used the the argument of strict construction to support, say, the NRA...then fuck you, you don't get to make that argument now, because it makes you as intellectually dishonest as a newt. Or a Newt.

Of course, now there's the mud rising to the surface of those claiming that Judge Walker should have recused himself because he is gay (allegedly), and thus impartial in any situation involving gay rights. Really? Is that what you really think? Do you honestly think that a woman cannot judge a case involving, say, workplace harrassment, or a black man is de facto barred from judging a case involving alleged racial discrimination or profiling? Bullshit. You didn't stand up when Justice Clarence Thomas voted in the recent Massachusetts firefighter promotion lawsuit. You know why? Because you don't actually believe that, except when it comes to the gays.

Judge Walker shouldn't have recused himself anymore than a straight judge should have recused himself for the very same reason. One's sexual orientation isn't a basis for recusal anymore than the color of a judge's skin, or the form of their genitalia.

Obviously, the legal battle is far from over, for both sides of the argument. This was only a United States District Court ruling, there are certainly appeals to follow. And really, no one knows how this is ultimately going to turn out. I'm no lawyer, and I certainly don't know how this will end up, though I am extremely curious to see how the issue is ultimately decided, and the impact on the American legal landscape.

I do think it speaks volumes that one of the two lead counsel for plaintiffs in the case is none other than Ted Olsen, he of impeccable conservative credentials, even serving as President George W. Bush's Solicitor General.

But one thing is for certain. The usual windbags on the right are going to have to come up with a new toy to talk about this time, because on this, they're going to have to actually live by the same words they've preached to us forever. In fact, they may want to wear longer pants, be careful, their bias is showing.


lightning36 said...

nesserWow -- been a long time dince you went on a rant about republicans.

I almost feel dirty since I plan on voting for a dem for governor this fall ...

Mondogarage said...

This isn't about Republicans, per se. I have no doubt there's Democrats who make the same arguments. In fact, I can easily imagine a buncha people in towns I went to school growing up who would hold the same positions for the same reasons, and many of those would be hypocrits in the same ways.

But I purposely referred to those who are making the talking head appearances to make those arguments in all the usual forums, because they're the ones blowing the most hot air in ways absolutely contradicting their own previous arguments made on every other issue.

I'm not the least bit excited about either Colorado Dem Senate candidate this year, but when the Republican options are the corrupt Gail Norton, the batshit crazy Ken Buck, and the racist Tom Tancredo, the choices become oh so meh.