The GOP’s DOMA Dead End

April 19th, 2011 at 11:40 pm | 76 Comments |

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A political movement that doesn’t have its eyes on the road ahead won’t like what it finds when it gets there. On Monday, clinic Republicans announced that they are gearing up for a legal battle over gay rights, see seemingly oblivious to the fact that the political sand is shifting beneath their feet. A new CNN/ Opinion Research Poll shows that a majority of Americans think that gay marriage should be legal.

The poll, released Tuesday, finds 51% of Americans in favor of legalized gay marriage while 47% think it should be illegal. If the country seems split on the issue, it is, but the split is not likely to last, for social attitudes on gay marriage have been going one way and one way only in recent years: towards favoring marriage.

This information isn’t new, and Republican leaders read polls. They understand which way public sentiment is headed on the issue. Yet yesterday, Speaker Boehner announced the hiring of a top notch litigator to take up the task of defending a statute, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), against a multi-front legal assault on its dubious constitutionality.

House Republicans justify the decision to defend it on the grounds that they are doing what the Justice Department ought to be doing: defending a federal law. (DOJ isn’t defending it however because they decided the law isn’t constitutional and would be a waste of taxpayer dollars).

The GOP position is obviously nonsense. It’s a purely political decision: House Republicans are defending DOMA because it’s an easy way to score political points with the social conservatives in the party. This might seem like good politics to some of the more conservative Republicans today, but DOMA is bad law and defending it is bad politics.

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76 Comments so far ↓

  • chicago_guy

    I’m not sure you can say that they always understand much about polls when they read them. 70% of the country doesn’t want to see Medicare gutted either, but that didn’t stop them from passing Ryan’s plan in the House.

    But yes, in this case, it seems to be about following the money more than anything. Anything the GOP can do to foment anger among parts of their base is good for business (contributions), so if posturing on DOMA helps keep that segment of the base agitated enough to write checks, that’s what they’ll do.

  • SFTor1

    GOP definitions of freedom:

    You are master of your own person—UNLESS you want an abortion
    You are free to pursue happiness—UNLESS you want to marry a person of your own gender
    You are free to come and go as you please—UNLESS you want to go to Cuba
    You are free to express yourself—UNLESS you want to watch porn or take pictures of a feedlot.

    Is this what is meant by “exceptionalism?”

  • hisgirlfriday

    I don’t agree with the official GOP position on DOMA at all (especially because it seems to totally violate their position on federalism), but I’m not totally convinced that playing to the base here is bad politics. Certainly not in the 2012 election even if it’s more problematic long-term.

    The crosstabs have only 33 percent of self-identified Conservatives, 31 percent of self-identified Tea Party supporters and 27 percent (!!!) of self-identified Republicans in favor of legalizing gay marriage. Also the only parts of the country where a majority opposes legalization are areas classified as the South or rural, the Republican strongholds in this country.

    If the GOP has a depressed base they get blown out of the water in a presidential year and a lot of new GOP Congressman go home. But if the GOP can gin up their base with all sorts of crazy crap like this and the birther crap and never-gonna-pass Ryan budget, well then they have a fighting shot.

    Obviously this is talk radio conservatism and is not governing conservatism, but governing conservatism doesn’t win elections when a party’s entire motivating principle is that government is bad.

  • Smargalicious

    Homosexuality is a filthy, disease-ridden practice explicitly condemned by God.

    How can sexual deviancy and moral depravity ever be good??

    • TJ Parker

      Um, homosexuality is a sexual orientation, not a practice. It can’t be depraved, since all animals do it.

      Ritual cannibalism (consubstantiation and communion), child rape and self-flagellation are filthy and sick practices, ones practiced by Catholics (and the last, by the previous Pope). Worshipping and praying to the image of a hanging corpse is also pretty sick.

      Your “God” denounced divorce, yet you guys do it. Your “God” denounced having and accumulating wealth, and yet few of you live like paupers and give away all your possessions as he demanded. Your “God” says explicitly that the wealthy are condemned to hell — a rich man, heaven, camel, needle — but you do not reject and condemn the rich for their sure damnation. Your “God” said, whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers, that you do unto him; and yet you freely spread lies about gay brothers and sisters.

      So much effort in poking that mote out of your brother’s eye, and none of you can see the planks in your own. You’re lucky that there isn’t a God.

      • Traveler


        • medinnus

          It must be hard for all those GOP knob-gobblers with wide stances like Smeggy…

      • Smargalicious

        Defending sexual deviancy, moral depravity, and atheism is sub-human.

        • TJ Parker

          Hey dude: you’re gonna live forever … after you’re dead! Haw! haw! haw!

          Did you really fall for that scam? Clearly they got your integrity. How much cash did they squeeze out of you?

    • Rob_654

      One of the great differentiators between the United States and other countries such as Iran is that the U.S. does not (should not) decide individual liberties based on what particular religions believe should be allowed and not allowed.

      After all God listed the Top 10 List (The Ten Commandments) and homosexuality is not on the list – I assume God being God could have put it there if God had deemed it so bad – but instead God listed other acts such as “Adultery” – and yet the Far Right doesn’t seem to care much about stopping that practice and holding people accountable to God’s words on that even though it is on the Top 10 List.

  • cotton

    Yes, this may play to the base, but it also alienates independents.

  • TJ Parker

    The dead-end is the GOP.

  • Carney

    Yeah, a real “dead end”. 30 consecutive state referenda in which “gay marriage” has been banned, including supermajorities in blue states, including when heavily outspent.

    Our corrupt cultural elite is certainly “all in” in pushing this on the country by means fair (the political process) or illegitimate (judicial fiat), or by propagandizing young people.

    One of their constantly repeated big lies is the tired leftist propaganda trope of inevitable and irreversible victory. We heard all this before. History has iron laws, marching in only one direction. Communism was the inevitable followon from socialism, the inevitable followon from capitalism. Once a country went socialist it would never return. Even in an American context, the assumptions were the same. Regulations and agencies can never be repealed. Taxes can never be cut. Welfare is permanent. They youth of the 60s were leftist and presaged an inevitable radical turn to the left once their forbears died off.

    But the Soviet empire was utterly destroyed as millions freed themselves. Domestically the open ended entitlement to welfare was ended. Leftist interventions form forced busing to the ban on private gold to heavy regulation of interstate trucking, rail, and airlines were all ended. Reagan won the youth vote repeatedly.

    So the inevitability narrative is nonsense.

    In a broader context, when young people emerge from the cocoon of degenerate pop culture and their colleges (ivy covered North Koreas), they are forced to work to earn a living and pay taxes. They see their friends that fell by the wayside to addiction, or chaotic personal lives, and value stability. They marry and gain a newfound appreciation for monogamy. They have children and suddenly do a 180 on pop culture and peer pressure. Study after study shows that marriage and childbirth are closely correlated with SHARP turns rightward. Among whites, the GOP is the party of the married with children, the Left the party of those who have failed these basic life tasks.

    No wonder the Left is so hostile to the success of these basic social structures. “Gay marriage” pushers are deeply destructive. If “marriage” means anything, then it means nothing. Our social fabric is frayed and decayed enough. Things fall apart, the center does not hold. We are so hesitant to be “judgmental” about anything other than “bigotry” that there are no standards of personal behavior. Illegitimacy is skyrocketing with all the predictable baggage. It’s hard enough already to raise kids, to teach them basics of right and wrong, to keep them from being corrupted by popular culture, peer pressure, and aggressive wrong-is-right radicals. Most normal non political Americans agree that our culture and values have lost their way, that things are crazier and more chaotic, that common sense is dying, that our environment is cruder, coarser, viler, crueler, more degraded. We don’t need yet more chaos, more confusing and mixed messages for children, more “alternative lifestyles”.

    • Houndentenor

      A reality check for Carney. It’s the blue states with the lowest divorce rates. It’s the red states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy. Stop acting as if liberals don’t respect marriage. Look at the divorces among your potential GOP presidential nominees! So a few gay couples want to get married. How does that weaken or destroy the institution? Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate and gay marriage. Nothing has been destroyed.

      • Carney

        Liberals love to be smug about the social statistics of states such as VT, OR, etc., which have low numbers of certain conspicuous demographics with sky high social problems including divorce. If VT had a demographic structure similar to MS, its numbers wouldn’t look as good, and MS’s red voters are not all that different from VT’s blue ones.

        Compare apples to apples, like VT and OR to UT and WY, and things are more fair. Blue states like CA aren’t exactly wowing everyone with stellar stats either.

        • _will_

          Yeah Carney, everyone “gets” what you’re trying to say. But the cold, hard facts show that divorce among Christ-bitten Evangelicals is measurably higher than most religions, and even higher than atheists and agnostics. Look it up. This is one stat you’re not going to be able to pin on “The Blacks.”

        • busboy33

          Carney, we get it — you think homosexuality is icky (except for teh hot lesbians, I assume).

          May I suggest you not go down to the Mineshaft bar? Or possibly not have any gay sex? Somehow I’ve managed to not blow anybody for almost 4 decades . . . its not really that difficult. Well, maybe its difficult for you, but that’s your cross to bear.

        • Carney

          There are evangelicals and evangelicals. Divide them among obvious lines, and the red-leaners look a lot more like Vermonters. Is there still a gap? Yes, but nothing like what causes the sneering guffaws. This whole trope is misleading.

  • Nanotek

    intrusive government conservatives never stop trying to shove their politically correct lifestyles down everyone’s throats …

    • Carney

      Last I checked the CA legislature is trying to indoctrinate the captive audience of public schoolchildren (already compelled by the state to attend) in “gay rights” propaganda behind their parents’ backs.

      And judges have so routinely tried to force their liberal social agenda on the people that in state after state a fed-up populace has had to resort to writing in their state constitutions what marriage really is in explicit language to prevent further chicanery.

      What’s ENDA anyway but the state FORCING unwilling people to hire or do business with those they disapprove of and would rather avoid?


    hisgirlfriday, as usual, makes some good points.

    As for this collection of myopic bullshit…

    “Our corrupt cultural elite is certainly “all in” in pushing this on the country.”

    Actually, polls show that the population itself is dramatically changing in their attitudes on this subject. Blaming it on your imaginary bogeyman won’t work.

    “If “marriage” means anything, then it means nothing.”

    So much nonsense packed into so few words.

    Marriage is defined as whatever we want to define it as. 2,000 years ago it was one man and as many women as he could afford. 500 years ago the king married for political reasons and then had lots of women “on the side” and nobody batted an eyelash. As little as 100 years ago we had middle-aged men marrying teenaged girls and everyone not only thinking it was proper but that this was a sign of prestige. Cultures change, societies change. There’s no one proper strict definition of marriage.

    “Our social fabric is frayed and decayed enough.”

    And that all happened without gay marriage. It is heterosexuals who destroyed the “sanctity of marriage” with their frivolous engagements, rampant adultery and frequent divorces.

    “Illegitimacy is skyrocketing with all the predictable baggage.”

    Again, the fault of whom exactly? Not gays.

    “We don’t need yet more chaos, more confusing and mixed messages for children, more “alternative lifestyles”.”

    The exact same arguments were made against “miscegenation” 50 years ago. Your “we” represents a dying breed of bigots.

    • pnwguy


      I think no one is illuminating a big difference that affects the generational movement towards acceptance of gays and same sex marriage. Most older Americans who find same sex relationships abhorrent rarely ever KNOW any of them on a personal level. They know caricatures, media stereotypes, or news coverage of high profile activists. But they often don’t work or socialize around them. Homosexuals of their generation remained closeted, at least during their formative years.

      American youth today aren’t (for the most part) petrified about acknowledging a homosexual orientation when they become aware of it. Kids in their high school years know other gay/lesbian friends. They work with them in jobs. They see examples of couples who have been together for 25 years, in stable lives. Homosexual people aren’t “the other” boogeymen that they were for their parent’s generation, and they can’t accept the demonization they see of them.

      Even children with a strong religious bias against homosexuality have usually gotten over the “ick factor”. And while they see homosexuality as wrong, they often don’t see them as evil. They may believe their sexual practices are against their moral framework, but they don’t want to treat their fellow humans as if they were depraved criminals. So they have less support for wanting the state to make laws that disfavor homosexuals.

      I’d wager than if you saw polling about the acceptance of gay marriage and linked it with polling on whether or not someone has frequent interactions with homosexuals, the graphs would be pretty similar.

      • Crime Dog

        Harvey Milk was a big proponent of gays and lesbians outing themselves for this very reason. People are much less fearful when they know a gay person or two.

        • Carney

          And yet the same people who say this will also very seriously talk about how obesity is contagious, that being around fat peers distorts one’s notions of what is normal and acceptable. Keep that compartmentalization going!


    “Last I checked the CA legislature is trying to indoctrinate the captive audience of public schoolchildren (already compelled by the state to attend) in “gay rights” propaganda behind their parents’ backs.”

    You mean like how they “indoctrinate” them against racism? Sounds good to me.

    Another 40 years of wandering in the wilderness and most of Carney’s generation will die off — and we’ll all be better for it.

    • Carney

      Societies have cycles of decay and renewal. The Victorian era followed the exhausted decadence of the Regency, in which everyone from the King down flaunted mistresses, public drunkenness was rampant, etc. The 50s were much more conservative than the 20s.

      • hisgirlfriday

        That’s because there is a connection between a culture that embraces anything-goes capitalism and anything-goes moral values. You want laissez-faire economics, you’re gonna get laissez-faire morals.

        • Carney

          I can’t deny that there’s a tension between free market capitalism and traditional-values social conservatism. The world is messy and complicated, and you sometimes have to make tough decisions that balance competing goals.

      • Crime Dog

        They were? In the 50′s tax rates were at their highest, Social Security had been embraced, society was beginning to be integrated, and the (Republican) president gave a major speech about the dangers of the industrial military complex. The 1920′s wasn’t anything like Boardwalk Empire in reality (nor were the 50′s anything like Leave It to Beaver).

  • CentristNYer

    Carney: “Our social fabric is frayed and decayed enough.”

    It’s truly laughable to argue that that social fabric you’re so worried about is strengthened by telling a lesbian couple that’s been together for 20 years that their commitment shouldn’t be recognized by the state. If you “family values” types truly care about social decay, you should train your sites on hypocritical, serial monogamists like Newt Gingrich. His ilk does far more to undermine the value of marriage.

    • Carney

      Newt Gingrich, Britney Spears, etc have harmed marriage so doing more harm is OK eh? A weak argument.

      • lilmanny

        Face it: at this point you and your comrades in arms are Luddites. The culture is moving on without you. You should argue for something practical like steam engines instead of electricity. It makes no sense but at least you all sound less hateful.

      • CentristNYer


        But not nearly as weak an argument as claiming that denying same sex couples the right to commit legally is somehow strengthening the social fabric.

        Really, Carney, you remind me of the old joke about the man looking under the street lamp for his lost car keys. A passing cop tries to help but says, “I don’t see them; are you sure you lost them here?” The man replies, “no — I lost them over there, but the light’s better here.”

        You make excuses for the Limbaughs and Gingriches and Spears — the people who really do undermine the institution and value of marriage — but then scream bloody murder about gays having the right to marry.

        Homosexuals aren’t the threat to marriage. But obviously the light is better there.

        • Carney

          LeftistNYer, I make no excuse for the damage to the social fabric done by prominent divorces, especially serial divorce, public adultery, etc., including by various conservatives.

          But you have to look at the overall net effect of their actions. In general, given the unpleasant choice between a scandal-tainted supporter of sound public policies, and a spotless supporter of destructive and decay-promoting policies, I would have to come down on the side of the former when it comes to picking someone to make important decisions on social policy.

          Jimmy Carter, whom I am quite certain was blameless, did far more damage with his judicial appointments, getting the leftist social agenda going with his White House Conference on Families, etc., than the divorced Reagan did.

        • CentristNYer

          Sorry, Carney, but your argument makes exactly zero sense.

          You claim that the nation’s social fabric is “fraying” and then make no attempt whatsoever to explain why two committed lesbians who’ve been together for, say, 20 years contribute to that by having their union recognized by the state. It’s wildly illogical to suggest that stable, legally-protected relationships between two consenting, loving adults do harm to the community.

          It’s equally illogical to claim that the social values you hold so dear are somehow enhanced by following the leadership of people who actually denigrate the institution they pretend to respect and honor. Sorry, but you don’t do credit to marriage — let alone repair the “frayed social fabric” — by denying it to those who are serious about participating in the institution while overlooking the abject failures of those who treat it as sport.

  • PolishBear

    I’m a taxpayer, and I really resent John Boehner using my tax dollars to defend something as transparently unconstitutional as the Defense of Marriage Act.

    WHY is DOMA unconstitutional? Consider: A Straight couple legally married in Iowa is automatically entitled to 1,138 legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities according to the GAO. Many of those benefits have to do with tax law, Social Security, inheritance rights, child custody, and so on. But because of DOMA, a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa is still unrecognized by the federal government for those benefits.

    Consider, also, the “Full Faith & Credit” clause of the Constitution. Because of this, any Straight couple can fly off to Las Vegas for drunken weekend, get married by an Elvis impersonator, and that marriage is automatically honored in all 50 states, and at all levels of government. But thanks to DOMA, a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa becomes UN-married if they relocate south to Missouri.

    The ONLY real difference between a married Gay couple and a married Straight couple is the gender of the two people who have made the commitment. It has nothing to do with procreation, since couples do not need a marriage license to make babies, nor is the ability or even desire to make babies a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license. So there is really no constitutional justification for denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the same legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities that married Straight couples have always taken for granted. This cannot be accomplished in a piecemeal, state-by-state fashion.


    “Societies have cycles of decay and renewal.”

    You seem to be under the mistaken impression that your bigoted view of society represents “renewal” while equality represents “decay”. I’d argue just the opposite. And fortunately, the trends are with me, not you.

    Your outmoded views on society are what are decaying. And the faster, the better. Just like the parable of the ancient Israelites wandering in the desert until the bitter generation died off, society cannot move forward until enough people like yourself move on. It will happen, soon enough.

  • Xclamation

    So, Carney, you don’t like:

    The cultural elite (it’s a little hard to figure out who falls under that category, but my rule of thumb is that “cultural elite = anyone who both makes more money than and has different values from the person uttering the phrase”. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong)

    The court system (like “cultural elite”, it’s hard to know what “judicial fiat” means but my working definition is “judicial fiat = any court decision someone doesn’t like”)

    American pop culture

    America’s higher education system (which is generally considered to be one of the best in the world and of which roughly 1/3 of all Americans have matriculated from)

    Public Schools

    Americans’ whose politics lean liberal (they are, after all, numbered among those who are failing at life)

    Contract law (how else can you explain why a man and a woman can enter into a marriage contract but two men cannot? By extension, you apparently aren’t fond of the whole “equality under the law” concept)

    Precision (gay marriage does not redefine marriage to the point where it’s meaningless; it doesn’t even come close)

    America’s civil sphere (in addition to being coarse, crude and vile it’s also being held together by a rapidly fraying fabric)

    And finally, gay people

    Can I ask a question, do you ever worry that any opinions you may have arrived at are tainted by an outlook that is so unduly caustic and negative?

  • drdredel

    ok ok… come on… we get it… these assholes who believe marriage is only for heterosexuals will be dead soon.

    Why doesn’t anyone come out and say it out right…

    “Drop dead, carney! (and all your ass-hole ilk).”

    I recently heard a story on the news that finally put the last nail in the legal coffin for why it’s imperative that we legalize gay marriage. It was a story about a man who was in love with (and living with) a foreign national. I don’t recall the details, but the point was that the foreign couldn’t ever get US citizenship or a green card and live here with his husband, as a result of happening to be the wrong sex.
    Just based on that argument alone… that a US citizen is prevented from the same privilege as his neighbor; to marry a foreign national and bring them here to live, is enough to change the law. You don’t need any other arguments (and there’s no shortage of them).


    “Why doesn’t anyone come out and say it out right…

    “Drop dead, carney! (and all your ass-hole ilk).””

    I’m okay with that. I won’t do anything to encourage or speed it up, but I won’t be sorry to see a generation of bigots rotate its way off the planet, no.

    • pnwguy

      Dredel & TRS:

      Not to be the civility police, but “Drop dead” is sinking to the level of talk radio gutter levels. I’ve read plenty of your posts. You are capable of better. Lowering the discussion to insult hurling seldom wins over opponents, it just hardens the preconceptions and makes people act more tribal and less reasoned.

      I’d agree that society will move on over this issue as generations pass. But like a forest fire that’s about to reach a break in the terrain, it’s often better to just let it burn itself out.

  • Xclamation

    Now that I’ve joined the Carney pile-on, let me step back for a moment and at least point out how inappropriate it is to root for his (and his “ass-hole ilk’s”) demise.

    I mean, way to prove Carney’s point about how “our environment is cruder, coarser, viler, crueler, more degraded”. Carney, and the people who agree with him on this issue, may be completely wrong and the world would indeed be a better place if they all changed their minds, but when you’re argument devolves to “boy oh boy, it sure will be nice when you’re all dead” you’ve really gone off the rails.

    The problem is three-fold. First, the “go-die” argument reduces an entire group of people to a stereotype which is a fairly disgusting thing to do (what’s that? You don’t agree with me on this? Man, regardless of who you are or what you’ve done with your life, your death will unambiguously make the sun shine just a bit brighter).
    Second, rather than actually engaging in the debate you’ve removed yourself from reality and are instead responding to a world where your view must automatically be right and any disagreement isn’t worthy of a serious response.
    Third, it’s just callous. Even if you assure everyone that you won’t do anything to cause it, you’ve still aligned yourself with a world view where your politics are more important than a human life. You can’t respond to an injustice with another injustice… they don’t cancel each other out.


    “Not to be the civility police, but “Drop dead” is sinking to the level of talk radio gutter levels.”

    Of course I didn’t actually tell him to drop dead. But I’m not going to pretend that I will be sad to see old bigots expire when their time is up. The “rolling over” of generations is very much at the heart of changes in societal attitudes with respect to these sorts of issues.

    “I’d agree that society will move on over this issue as generations pass. But like a forest fire that’s about to reach a break in the terrain, it’s often better to just let it burn itself out.”

    That’s exactly and all I am saying. I don’t wish any ill on Carney personally.

  • Saladdin

    Hmmm, since when does the GOP look at polls to decide what to legislate and what not to? Didn’t the GOP learn anything from it’s anti-immigrant stance, tossing away Hispanic voters for at least a generation? Now we get to relearn in real time, what happens when a politically motivated group votes en masse against the GOP. The GOP is slowly moving towards irrelevancy.

  • drdredel

    Find just one reference in any text where zeus says anything negative about homosexuality. Just one! Shows how much you know about God!

  • cdorsen

    The GOP always comes across hypocritical when speaking about social issues. One cheek says they are all about freedom and limited government; the other cheek says as long as you are doing what we want you to. You want less intrusive government unless government is intruding on something that you find wrong. The EPA is intruding on business by writing regulations, but you are not intruding on someone by legislatively negating their marriage? This is the kind of stuff that gives the left all the ammunition it needs to paint you as a bible thumping bigoted bumpkin. If you want limited government, that means across the board including socially. Otherwise, you are growing government just like the left. You are just growing government to the shape you want it, but the size is the same. Freedom and choice means freedom to choose something that you may not like. If the GOP doesn’t get over it’s tendency to bible slap people, forget the budget, forget opposing “Obama’s socialist agenda”, forget passing any meaningful legislation because the people are going to use the choice they still have and vote you right out the door.

    • Carney

      cdorsen, conservatives are not libertarians. Our political stances can’t be distilled into a single phrase like “no initiating force against a non-aggresssor”. Complaining that we’re not libertarians, in other words that while we generally do not favor intervention on economic issues, but are more supportive of state action on national security and cultural / social matters, is a waste of time. Conservatives are conservative. If we were libertarian, we’d be libertarian. So what?

  • gmckee1985

    Personally, I’m cool with gay marriage/civil unions, but the split is so even that I don’t think it’s bad politics for now. Five or ten years down the road is a different story, and the Republican position will have to adapt. But for now, as the socially conservative of our two parties, it’s probably a wash.

    • hisgirlfriday

      I agree. Polls like this show support for gay marriage is growing far and wide, but the question is the depth of that support.

      Bigots like Carney DEEPLY oppose gay marriage enough to cast votes largely based upon that bigoted sentiment. But I doubt most supporters of gay marriage, especially newly converted supporters of gay marriage, cast votes largely based upon gay rights issues. It’s a factor, but definitely not as big of a factor as the economy.

      In some ways, the gay marriage issue is sort of the like the issue of the wars, IMO. Public sentiment is steadily growing in favor of gay marriage and in favor of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, sentiments that would seem to favor Democrats as the liberal party. But Democrats, scared of appearing too gay-friendly or being attacked as too soft on defense, do practically nothing to encourage or mobilize those sentiments among voters and yet they still grow anyway. It’s kind of fascinating.

  • gmckee1985

    Also, almost 40% of hispanics voted for the GOP in the midterms…..They aren’t a monolithic voting group.

    • Carney

      Wow, almost 40%! Whee! A two to one wipeout! A natural Republican constituency! Karl Rove is a genius! Amnesty for everyone = permanent GOP majorities!

  • nuser

    Is this what is meant by Exceptionalism?
    No, it is called small government, dictating who you can marry , and who you can not.
    The GOP wants in your bedroom and in your church . For all you bible thumpers : “Judge not, lest
    ye be judged”

  • CentristNYer

    gmckee1985 // Apr 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    “…Personally, I’m cool with gay marriage/civil unions, but the split is so even that I don’t think it’s bad politics for now….”

    You may be right. Politically, there’s just as much risk for the GOP in abandoning its traditional opposition to same sex marriage because it risks turning off its largest constituency: voters who are trapped in the past.

  • busboy33

    The GOP can defend DOMA all they want . . . once Perry v. Schwarzzeneger makes its way up to the Supremes, its going to be a done deal.

    If Conservatives were really concerned about “protecting” marriage, they’d push to remove it from the law. Make everything a civil union — then “marriage” becomes a purely religious term, and you can belong to whatever church you want, define it however you want, and privately snicker than people that call their gay union a “marriage” are deluding themselves and they’ll find out what’s what when the Rapture comes.

    But of course, this isn’t about “defending” marriage . . . it’s about the War Against Teh Homos. Fine. Fight whatever culture wars you like. I’m all for people having hobbies. But the SoCons stupidly put marriage in the middle of the battle, and now they’re going to be upset when it gets “destroyed” in the crossfire. Just a f**kin’ idiotic play, and I feel no sympathy for them despite my personal desire to see marriage remain “the way God intended”. You gambled, and you are going to lose. That happens sometimes when you gamble. Live with your tactical mistake and move on.

    • hisgirlfriday

      I would/will be fascinated to see where Thomas and Roberts come down on DOMA actually.

      Scalia cheats from originalism and 10th amendment concerns when social conservative issues come up and I get the sense that Alito would too.

      But I can’t figure out how someone as steadfast in his federalism as Thomas would be OK with the federal government dictating marriage policy on the states when he did come down for states that had legalized medical marijuana against the federal government and the DEA in Gonzales v. Raich. I know this probably going to be litigated on non-commerce clause grounds, but it’s still a 10th amendment concern.

      And of course we’ll get Kennedy extolling the virtues of liberty and I would expect he would be joined by Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor and Breyer.

      • busboy33

        I don’t doubt the SoCon robes would be looking for wiggle room . . . but Walker’s decision is one of the tightest Constitutional analyses I’ve seen in years. I have yet to read a single critique that actually disputes his reasoning . . . just that “Homos R Teh Debil So He’s Wrong”.

        Walker marches the reader to the conclusion, stopping every page or so to utterly discredit every possible objection in the most extreme fashion. Most Judges, when faced with a guaranteed appeal on a touchy subject, go out of their way to be as limited and narrow as possible. Walker went out of his way to put the whole argument on the table, cover every base, then leave the (thinking) reader with only one inescapable result.

        Honestly, I’d love to see the decisions overturning his ruling, if only to see if its possible to wiggle out of the straightjacket he put the anti-SSM advocates in. But I don’t see how his decision gets anything but upheld, absent a blatant and explicit “yeah, that’s what the Constitution says, and yeh, these are all of our prior case precedents, and yeah, 1+1=2 . . . but f**k all that.”

        If you haven’t read it, here’s a link to the text:
        If you want to get to the Decision, skip to page 111. He found two independently Constitutional grounds for SSM in the Constitution, so Defending DOMA from this decision will require two separate arguments . . . and both are IMO impossible.

        Like I said before, my personal feelings are that marriage should be “man-and-woman” . . . but the law is the law, the Constitution is the Constitution, and I may not like it but he’s 100% right and I’m just biased. If ANYBODY can either ofer a new defense of blocking SSM, or explain (with, y’know, some sort of logic or reasoning) why his conclusions are incorrect, I’m all ears. But if you can’t . . . say hello to SSM.

        • Carney


          Nothing in the US Constitution forces states to enact SSM against their will. Because:
          The 10th Amendment reserves to the states and people all rights and powers not denied them. No power to ban SSM is denied anywhere.
          The 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause does not mandate SSM. The very notion is beyond absurd – the word ludicrous does not approach the blatant chutzpah of it. In the event of a dispute about meaning, you go to original intent. Nobody who wrote or ratified it asserted anything like such an intention, and would also have been revolted at the suggestion they were mandating it. Obviously.

          And every half-educated person knows it. And every honest person will admit it.

        • Crime Dog

          I actually agree with this. There is no Constitutional reason for states to be forced to perform gay marriages. Luckily the “full faith and credit” clause means that Texas has to accept gay couples married in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, or Iowa. Cousins can get married in New Jersey, among about 20 states that allow the practice. Now what if they move across the border to Pennsylvania, where one cannot marry his or her cousin? Are they no longer married? No, they maintain their legal relationship. Gay marriage is exactly the same. The Constitution does not require states to perform gay marriages, but it does force them to recognize marriages performed in other states.

        • busboy33


          That’s sort of the point I was trying to make — you’ve completely ignored Walker’s decision. You aren’t refuting the analysis where he explains in detail how the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment (which is part of the Constitution) prohibit banning SSM . . . you are just pretending it didn’t happen.

          In jurisprudence, the traditional defense of “Na Na Na Na I Can’t Hear You” doesn’t work. You aren’t seeing the explanation not because it doesn’t make sense, but because you’re refusing to look at it. Unfortunately, that’s not going to make it go away. It’s still there.

          I’ll ask it again . . . can anybody explain why Walker is incorrect in what he said starting on page 111 under the heading “Conclusions Of Law”? If his Conclusions Of Law aren’t refuted, then they stand, and SSM bans are Unconstitutional. Pretending the decision doesn’t exist doesn’t refute him, it just avoids the issue . . . and loses the battle.

          You insist that refering to Equal Protection is nonsensical . . .and yet, starting on page 117 of the decision, Walker documents meticulously how it is in fact applicable to the issue. Your response? “Only a dumbass thinks that”. While deeply compelling, that sort of intricate argument fails in the face of quotes and citations from case after case justifying exactly what Walker is saying. Instead of refuting the clear and explicit documented analysis Walker provides, you’re resorted to just insulting him and anybody that doesn’t agree with you.

          Any half-educated knows that’s not how you win a debate past the 2nd grade. Any honest person would admit it.

  • hisgirlfriday

    I’d agree that society will move on over this issue as generations pass. But like a forest fire that’s about to reach a break in the terrain, it’s often better to just let it burn itself out.


    I couldn’t disagree more. Carney and every Carney of his generation could die tomorrow, and our society would still have and be at risk from anti-gay bigotry.

    As our American experience with racial bigotry in the 150 years after the Civil War has shown, bigotry isn’t a fire that can burn itself out. If we’re to use your forest fire analogy, I’d say bigotry is actually much more like the forest itself.

    The forest of bigotry must be completely razed and cleared by the righteous fires of tolerance against bigotry. If the forest is merely pruned back and contained but allowed to continue and the righteous fires of tolerance against bigotry are allowed to burn out, there’s always a risk that the forest of bigotry will be allowed to grow and fester and consume the land again with new seeds of bigotry planted and allowed to grow in succeeding generations.

    Just like the forest of bigotry took everything over again in the days of Jim Crow and the KKK, when the righteous fires of the Reconstruction were allowed to burn out.

    • Carney

      Smash Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas! Start over with Year Zero! Purifying Zeal!

    • Smargalicious

      Homosexuality is a filthy, disease-ridden practice explicitly condemned by God.

    • Houndentenor

      Yep. People claiming that the majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage haven’t read the latest polls. I think the viciousness of the anti-gay crowd have tipped the moderates in favor of equal rights for everyone. The anti-gay bigots were only going to get away with lies and scare tactics for so long before sensible people caught on.

      So if the GOP wants to stay on this dead end road of demonizing gay people to win the votes of a shrinking number of people (people their economic policies will hurt the most), go ahead and see where it gets you in 2014, 2016 and beyond.

    • Crime Dog

      It almost looks like a penis!

      • Smargalicious

        Don’t homosexuals like fecally stained ones to pleasure themselves with?


  • drdredel

    umm is it me or is that graph just a giant cock?


    Chart porn?!

  • Jim in DE

    umm is it me or is that graph just a giant cock?

    Giant for you, maybe. :)

  • jjv

    Let me explain something to you Mr. Golinkin. If your position is so popular than you should have the votes for it. Yet you keep crying to Court for it. Elect people and vote. Your analysis is so shallow as to be laughable. The Republican Parrty stands for law. Its first platform decried “the twin barbarisms of slavery and polygamy.” That’s a long time to be for one man and one woman marriage. To change that view because your chosen poll shows a 4% split is unconservative. If marriage is to change (and I’m against it so doing) let it change by votes not more of this “the forces of history are against you.” That’s what got Newt to jump on global warming and Mitt to go with his disaterous health care law. Men and women are different. The main institution involving child rearing ought to recognize this whether liberals (of whatever party) agree or not.

    • CentristNYer

      Wow. Where to start?

      “The Republican party stands for law.”

      Funny, but I seem to recall that the GOP was largely behind Bush on the issue of torture. Was that the law?

      “Its first platform decried “the twin barbarisms of slavery and polygamy.” That’s a long time to be for one man and one woman marriage.”

      How do you get one man/one woman marriage from this? No one who supports marriage equality is calling for either slavery or polygamy.

      “That’s what got Newt to jump on global warming…”

      If Newt is actually acknowledging global warming it’s because the science community overwhelmingly agrees on it, not because the polls say it’s a winner.

      “…and Mitt to go with his disaterous health care law.”

      Um, if it was so “disastrous,” why is it still hugely popular in Massachusetts?

      • busboy33

        y’ever notice how the critiques of SSM always seem to require some stirring theme music when you read them? Something from “Charge of the Light Brigade” or “Braveheart”. I guess when you know you’re not going to actually make any sense (as Mr. Vecc must realize every morning when he wakes up), you really don’t have any alternative other than pure emotion.

  • Nanotek

    Conservatives deserve nothing but utter contempt from all Americans — given their history is beating up on the politically least powerful of each generation to milk every vote possible they deserve to sink into the swamps of history. They despise equality and, ultimately, humanity.

  • TJ Parker

    Let’s face it, gentlemen. Maybe the GOP is right. Marriage in the U.S. is indeed no more than a breeding contract. Let’s honor it for what it is: taking the most mundane feature of mammalian biology and raising it to a sacrament.

    But lets not let them take it too far, or else they’ll soon want to have their dogs married and their cats married.

  • indy

    Tick tock
    says the cock

    SSM is inevitable at this point. All that is left is the 40 years of petty lawmaking at the local level to make it as difficult as possible.