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Perkins: You're saying some people are trained in the law? THAT'S OFFENSIVE!

by Jeremy Hooper
"When the people vote, the people are not legal experts, constitutional experts, or any of that. I think that's why we have the courts. People may vote with good intentions, but then the court says, 'This is not constitutional.'"

Picture 9-84The above is how Arnold Schwarzenegger has assessed the California Supreme Court's marriage ruling. And it's pretty straightforward, right? After all, that is the judicial system's role -- to preserve the rule of law, ensure the rights and liberties of citizens, and to prevent anyone from yielding power in a way that oversteps the bounds of the constitution.

Picture 10-76Well, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins (or his ghostwriter) is having none of Arnold's rational assessment. Of the CA governor, who he refers to as "Conan the Barrister," Tony says:

"In applauding the ruling, [Schwarzenegger] managed to insult the intelligence of voters on both sides of the issue"

An evaluation that says oh so much about how our opposition views this issue. For on the subject of marriage, they quite literally want mob rule. They overlook the countless historical instances in which the courts have struck down societal missteps (even when those errors still held a majority of popular opinion). Instead, they act as if our nation has, is, and should always be subject to the whims of public opinion, regardless of that opinion's legal merits. That sort of rule might work at the high school cafeteria table, but it doesn't work for America!

If you, like Tony, are part of the vocal anti-gay crew who has duped many people into believing that bias is "pro-family," then of course you're going to be pissed that the falsely compassionate mask you've placed on marriage inequality is being lifted. But if you are genuinely insulted by the fact that justices, unlike laymen, know more about constitutional law than the average citizen, then you are both oversensitive and short-sighted. Plus, you are doing a disservice to those who've studied and worked their robed booties off to make it all the way to the Supreme Court. Because despite the constant oversimplifications from our opposition, this ain't a simple job that should be trivialized by partisan, faith-based attacks. It is a tough role that (ideally) requires an ability to shut out the noise and focus on fact. The majority of the CA justices did just that, casting an opinion that was clear in its logic. The prevailing notion? That the rights of a minority should not be bullied into non-existence by the tyranny of a majority.

Those whose intelligence has really been insulted are the ones who've been asked by folks like Tony to buy into the mindless idea that marriage is "under attack" and needs "protection" from those pesky gays. If there is to be a revolt, then it should be directed towards that hyperbolic, baseless, demonizing, code word-laden drumbeat, and not the melodic, peaceful music that has been trying to prevail over it.

'Legal Jujitsu' [FRC]

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To get a little more insight into Tony Perkins and just what he thinks about "the will of the people"

Posted by: Mark | May 20, 2008 9:51:25 AM

I want to be trained in the art of dysephemism, down-playing, hyperbole and complete bull shit like the fine people at FRC.

When something doesn't go my way, I want to be able to spin it so hard and so fast that its blood cells separate from its plasma.

I know irony isn't lost on someone as bright as Tony Perkins, and so I wonder if he *enjoys* the irony of trying to convince the public that by saying how not everyone is an expert in constitutionality of law, Arnold is actually insulting everyone's intelligence. Expecting people to buy such nonsense, Tony is the one insulting their intelligence, however indirectly.

Posted by: zortnac | May 20, 2008 12:03:46 PM

One thing that these posers have going for them is that those who listen to them are generally (perhaps genuinely) of the belief that Tony Perkins and the rest of the merry band are more knowledgeable on the subject than they are. So, from that angle, he is equally as guilty of the kind of “elitism” (contrived as it may be) that is the apparent accusation in his backhanded slap at the court.

But, obtaining knowledge is a continuing process that takes dedicated effort. It’s really easy to sit back and be spoon-fed someone else's bias (especially if one is predisposed toward that ideology anyway) than it is to actually attempt to gather information to make informed decisions.

So, these guys (like Perkins) set themselves up as oracles of god, they build on a base of baseless preconceptions, and then rely on the fact that their minions are too lethargic to question them. So, I guess what I am saying is the Perkins isn’t insulting their intelligence as much as he is basking in the hammock of their glorified ignorance.

And I know that it is hard (even for me) to read this and not think that I’m some mean, arrogant, condescending ogre. But, I really am a nice guy (well maybe a bit condescending.) I just happen to believe that those who are capable of knowing the truth are morally as culpable as if they do know the truth. And the onus is on the individual to learn the truth – rather than sit back and let the likes of Tony Perkins substitute a fake truth that “sounds good to me.”

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 20, 2008 2:26:22 PM

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