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02/03/2010

Focus staffer gets snarky about poll. Which is weird, since it's sh*tty news for his team

by Jeremy Hooper

6A00D8341C503453Ef01156Edb1A04970C-1In a new blog post, Focus on the Family's Bruce Hausknecht gets snarky about a new marriage poll, saying this:

Any Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat who has ever contributed to the glut of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by continually pontificating against “extremist right-wingers” on the Supreme Court who are supposedly way, way “out-of-the-mainstream” are going to have trouble explaining this poll.

Seems that 58% of Americans would prefer the Supreme Court to keep the definition of marriage intact, but only 52% expect it to do so, when the Prop 8 case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger reaches there.

Now, I don’t know how Chairman Leahy and his board of mis-directors (a/k/a Judiciary Dems) define “mainstream” judicial philosophy, but it appears that the American public (I’d say 58% qualifies as “mainstream,” wouldn’t you?) views it as a few degrees to the right of where the Court is now. In other words, THEY WANT MORE CONSERVATIVE JUSTICES in the future, not fewer.
This ought to ruin Pat Leahy’s day [FOF DriveThru blog (where you shouldn't even bother commenting, because they, like most on the discourse-loathing far-right, will block even the most benign of thoughts)]

Okay. So first off: This is a poll. Hopefully Mr. Hausknecht isn't suggesting that our highest court in the land should be putting public opinion meters over judicial accuracy and fairness, and their own learned understanding of the same. And if he is suggesting that higher percentages are always right, then we better never again hear him peep about overturning Roe, a decision that's held more support than opposition in every Harris poll since its inception.

Beyond that: With this latest poll, we're talking about a very small degree of favorability for marriage bias. A 58% desire and 52% expectation of an anti-marriage equality high court ruling? That is nothing! Or rather, it is something, when you consider how far we've come in such a relatively short time (despite considerable odds). Especially when you factor in young support, which is leaps and bounds higher than older support in every last poll. The trend is obviously heading one certain way -- that is undeniable!

But perhaps the most important aspect that Bruce is willfully overlooking? Well, this:

Views on Same-Sex Unions

Americans remain divided on the issue of same-sex marriage. A third of respondents (34%) think couples of the same gender should be allowed to marry, while 26 per cent say they should only be allowed to form civil unions. Three-in-ten people (31%) believe that gay and lesbian couples should have no legal recognition. There has been little change in this question since an Angus Reid survey conducted in August 2009.
[pdf]

Only 34% in this poll came out for full marriage, yes. But another 26% came out in favor of civil unions. That's 60% in favor of something. And that something? Well, it goes 100% against what Focus on the Family is seeking! FOF is in that minority percentage (31%) that wants no recognition at all. As are most of the social conservative activists who seek more conservative justices in the model of Scalia and Thomas! So it's completely disingenuous for Bruce to even claim majority support for his side, when he and his pals oppose the kind of recognition (i.e. some sort of legal recognition) that does hold majority support in this poll! They, the "NO RECOGNITION WHATSOEVER!" camp, are the ones that this poll says are outside of the mainstream!''

So how are we going to "explain" this poll, Bruce? Well, we're going to say that it's yet another indicator that disrespect for our unions is falling away, and that the trend toward marriage equality is inevitable. And we'll also say that polls like this are really bad news for groups like Focus on the Family, who are clearly out-of-touch with their "no marriage or no civil unions" views, and who have invested so much time and resources in that uncaring, hard-line stance that they will look like total and utter hypocrites if/when they adapt to the changing (changed?) times!

But then after saying that, we'll stop looking at this or any poll and start looking instead at what is right and fair under the U.S. Constitution. Because it is a concrete, which is not waiting for a bare majority to give it freedom to give basic freedoms! It's lovely that the winds of time are blowing our way -- but it's even nicer to know that no winds, be they from a principled breeze or a unfair fart cloud, can ever blow away the document that promises us our liberty!

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Your thoughts

maths is hard says fof

Posted by: ZnSD | Feb 3, 2010 1:56:12 PM

Ah, Angus Reid

They were the folks who released a statement last month (relying on an outdated poll) saying that the Portuguese oppose marriage equality in the same week that a current poll revealed that the Portuguese people actually support the decision to allow same-sex marriage.

When I see the name Angus Reid, I grab my salt shaker.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Feb 3, 2010 3:06:57 PM

"The public wants more conservative judges."

Uh huh. Apparently lots of people slept through their Civics classes. Let us by all means throw down the concept of impartial justice in favor of supporting the ignorant biases of "the public."

Ever notice how when polls go their way, they claim the will of the people is sacred, but when polls go our way, it's evidence this is a corrupt society and they must make a stand to preserve morality?

Tangentally related: Unless I can verify that a polling company has compensated for the tendency of younger citizens to have only cell phones and not the landlines typically used to contact people for polling, I assume whatever poll's numbers I'm viewing are skewed to the more conservative side of the issue.

Posted by: Aconite | Feb 3, 2010 4:16:30 PM

They only asked 1,000 people? Tell me, what was the methodology used to solicit those 1,000 people, and how did they prevent people from voting more than once? I'd like to know because these numbers are highly suspicious to me.

Posted by: Tony P | Feb 3, 2010 7:40:10 PM

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