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08/06/2008

'Pride in being ignorant'

by Jeremy Hooper

Last night, while listening to a speech Barack Obama gave in Ohio, we heard him use this line to describe those members of his Republican opposition who aggressively trivialize rational ideas:

( click to play)

200808061418Keep this audio snippet in mind when reading the following comment from longtime anti-gay operative Gary Bauer (which Bauer gave to Los Angeles radio host Frank Pastore):

On California AG Jerry Brown's rewording of California's anti-gay ballot initiative, Proposition 8:

"It could very well have an impact and I suspect that is why the attorney general did what he did. He is trying to stack the deck. People get very confused when they go in to vote on these referenda, and now this referendum has been worded in a way that makes it sound like a right is being taken away from people. Of course, there is no such right. And certainly the Supreme Court of California can’t create a right over and above what the people and the elected officials of California are willing to do. Courts are not supposed to be making law. They are supposed to be interpreting the law that has already been made. I’ll guarantee you that—the people who drafted the California constitution—it never crossed their mind that they were writing a Constitution that would redefine marriage so that men could marry men."

This is ignorance. Deliberate, aggressive ignorance. Because Mr Bauer, if he would be honest with himself, KNOWS...

(a) that Proposition 8 would absolutely take away a right (or at least try, as we're not entirely sure it will be legally kosher).

(b) that the California Supreme Court didn't create a right, but rather ruled on the classification of gay people, whose nondiscrimination they determined should be judged in the same way as things like skin color or religion.

(c) that all persons have a constitutional right to marry the person of their own choosing, the likes of which cannot be limited without a compelling state interest

(d) that tradition, right-wing claims, and homophobia are certainly not 'compelling' enough reasons.

(e) that he himself is quite grateful the courts have protected his rights on the basis of his religion, regardless of how much we wants to undermine the judiciary's role when it comes to things he finds unsavory.

(f) that using the argument that this goes against what constitutional drafters intended is completely unfair, considering there are LOADS of other issues that they also didn't consider at the time that society later had to correct through reasoned analysis.

(g) that Jerry Brown is right to rework the Proposition 8 wording, because the scenario is now quite different than it was when Prop. 8 backers first began their push (pre-marriage equality).

(h) that he and his allies are scared of this more truthful wording, because they know it pulls the mask off the falsely compassionate, code word-laden "protect marriage" campaigns that they have so successfully used to dupe the public into supporting bias!

But it's just easier to point to your opposition and accuse their progressive outlooks as being out-of-line, so that's exactly what Mr. Bauer has done. It is the game of those who have no true justification on which to base their outlooks, and therefore must rely on straw men to sell cheap logic to whoever will buy into it.

California: Frontline of the Marriage Culture War [TownHall]

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Your thoughts

When a group of "concerned citizens" starts pleading for the right to vote on the legality Bauer's and others' marriages, then they get to whine. The sympathy well's completely dry for them now.

Nice to see Obama get back to good sound-biting, incidentally. That was almost as good as his telling a little girl that he ran for president because he was hit in the head with a rock.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Aug 6, 2008 3:18:53 PM

"and now this referendum has been worded in a way that makes it sound like a right is being taken away from people."

No shit?

I predict in the future that Gary Bauer will be caught in a toe-tapping scandal himself - look at him! He looks like one of those old nancy queens who's always checking everyone at the table to make sure they're using the right fork.

Posted by: Scott | Aug 7, 2008 3:16:26 PM

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