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02/03/2011

Maggie says we want constitutional ownership; we're not sure there's room on the mantle, what with all our happy gay marriage pics

by Jeremy Hooper

In her fervor to paint a portrait of the false monolith known as "liberal," Maggie again gets it wrong:

Maggie"Liberal elites are simply unused to having laws they care about declared unconstitutional.

They own the courts. They own the Constitution. Gay marriage, abortion, porn? -- it's all in there, read the fine print. No matter how improbable the interpretation of the written text, with enough sophisticated cognitive reframing any Harvard professor worth his or her salt can remake the Constitution of Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Adams into a guarantor of all that sexual liberals hold dear.

The courts are the way credentialed liberals get to trump laws with which they disagree. They see themselves as defending "minorities" against the backward moral preferences of the majority.
"
MAKE THEM EAT BROCCOLI! [Maggie Gallagher's Syndicated column]

Looking only at our concern, marriage: No Maggie, those of us who see a constitutional right to marriage on equal protection/due process grounds don't think we own anything. What we are saying is that you who wish to steer America's future using only the "moral preferences of the majority" don't hold America's deed either ! That's a major distinction.

This inability/disingenuous unwillingness to pinpoint who among us is forcibly claiming a right of possession is a (if not the) fundamental flaw in Maggie's marriage advocacy. More than just about any other U.S. citizen, Maggie uses her own unique experiences as an unmarried mother, her own Catholic views on what she admits to seeing as an "unfortunate thing," and her own limited acceptance of what makes a marriage work to guide policy for everyone. And *she* is the one who puts herself (or perhaps her God) in a heightened place that trumps even ownership of the courts and the Constitution. This is evidenced by the way she paints any court that doesn't agree with her as "activist," impeachable, and fit to be reversed by a public vote (guided by largely faith-based, highly misinformative campaigns). She is the one who works from a place of inarguable proprietary right. She is the one who works from a pre-written lease, working to spin and shape all developments so that they embolden the ink-dried terms rather than factoring in the fresh coat of paint brought to light by certain committed tenants.

All people, regardless of contrived and limited political labeling, should be used to laws being both upheld and overturned. That's the court's role. Our shared hope should be for the compelling evidence and fairest reads to win out most often, ideally free from personal politics.

But with marriage equality, Maggie is not looking for the fairest read of the civil law. She wants to own this conversation with code words, eye-opening connections to "ex-gay" advocacy, and losing arguments concerning the obvious non-requirement of procreation. She should instead respect the civil rent that all American mortals pay via their tax dollars.

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