May 9, 2006

"Complete and total slime" and a "complete and total sleazeball."

That's Mary Cheney's language -- in her new autobiography -- for John Edwards and John Kerry. Actually, "complete and total sleazeball" was quoting her sister.
[Mary] herself called him a profanity, she recounts with relish, after Kerry invoked the fact that she is a lesbian in non-response to a question during the presidential debate about whether he believes homosexuality is a choice.
Must we be so hard on the poor, defeated candidate? He already suffered so much for saying "I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter ... who is ... a lesbian," and he was merely trying to get elected. And then he not only lost, but lost in part because he made that remark. Now, because of his innocent invocation of her name, Mary seems to feel entitled to savage him. Oh, why can't Mary see the great benefits to gay people that would have flowed from a Kerry presidency, as opposed to the terrible harms inflicted by Bush?

137 comments:

Simon said...

Well, first I think it bears pointing out that it's not entirely clear to me why, on balance, "great benefits to gay people . . . would have flowed from a Kerry presidency." But second, I think it's entirely appropriate that Kerry continues to be pilloried because he has made it clear he intends to run again in 2008. There was an article in Newsweek a few months ago that said, in essence, that Kerry has basically never stopped campaigning after he lost in '04; if Kerry doesn't think it's over, why should his critics assume it's over?

DCWilly said...

I've never understood how the right can harangue John Kerry for "outing" a woman who was already "out" , but ignore the fact the White House (including Cheney and Rove) intentionally "outed" a woman (Valerie Plame), who was completely "in." And the latter case was for far more political purposes. It's hypocrisy at its worst.

Bissage said...

Hell hath no fury like a lesbian exploited.

Good for her.

Dave said...

Cheney likely can't see the harm caused to gays by the Bush presidency for the same reason that Alan Keyes' daughter (a lesbian) works for him despite his well known aversion (hatred of?) to gays.

Meade said...

Mary Cheney's not so innocent invocation of Kerry and Edwards' slimy sleazeballishness - personal characteristics they neither chose nor have any control over - does seem to hit a bit below the belt, doesn't it? Downright unladylike.

Simon said...

DCWilly said...
"I've never understood how the right can harangue John Kerry for 'outing' a woman who was already 'out'"

That's an interesting straw man you've got there. I'm not aware that "the right" - or any particularly notable person within it - "harangue[d]" Kerry for "outing" Mary Cheney. That was never the complaint. The argument was that it was cheap, irrelevant and exploitational, not that Kerry was putting something new into the public domain. Indeed, one might suggest that if Kerry had outed Cheney, that would have been the ONLY new thing he put into the public domain during the entire campaign, which is one reason he lost.

INMA30 said...

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, it seems.

Joe said...

"Oh, why can't Mary see the great benefits to gay people that would have flowed from a Kerry presidency, as opposed to the terrible harms inflicted by Bush?"
I fervently hope that was sarcasm...
I seem to have missed all the concentration camps for gays that Bush has set up. And what "terrible harms" are we talking about? And how would life under Kerry be so improved for gays?

Bissage said...

INMA30: Are you referring to the Vice President's remark to Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy?

My reaction to that was very similar: Good for him.

SteveR said...

dcwilly: Lets stick to facts here, unless you can point to a a story where the "right" got on to Kerry for outing Mary Cheney (and I expect some one did but it was really a quite well known fact before), I think its more correct to say they harangued him for using her "gayness" to make a political point in a campaign.

Likewise, I know plenty of people think that Rove and the VP outed Plame but I have never seen that established as truth or even legal accusation. Not to mention it really was no secret to begin with.

Chris Matthews and Dana Milbank slobbering on Hardball about Rove frogmarching is less serious than The Daily Show.

Wade_Garrett said...

Oh, the sanctimony! I happen to really like Mary Cheney, and I'm going to read her book, but please, spare me. She had a position as a gay outreach coordinator for the Republican party for a long time, appearing onstage at some events with personalities such as "Mr. Leather 1999" and so forth. And there was a lot of discussion from the right about Kerry "outing" Cheney, who was already as far out of the closet as you can get.

To Vice President Cheney's credit, he has very publicly come out with saying that freedom means freedom for everybody, and that he opposes the proposeed amendment to ban gay marriage. However, that was nowhere to be found during the campaign. During the campaign, he said that, whatever her personal feelings were, the government had the right to pass such an amendment, and that he supported the administration's position. That, to me, when you have a lesbian daughter, is just as much despicable careerism as anything that John Kerry said.

Look, either the personal relationships of the candidates are on the table or they aren't. If you can talk about Bill Clinton's adultery and his troubled relationship with his wife, then you can talk about a Republican candidate who loves his daughter and her partner very much, but refuses to mention them in public, publicly supports policies discriminating against his daughter and her partner, and feigns indignation when his opponent brings it up. I watched the debate, and Cheney didn't get angry at all during the debate, he slowly nodded his head. It was only after Kerry's comments didn't poll well that the intentionally leaked stories of Cheney's outrage made the papers.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Kerry's invocation of Mary Cheney's sexuality was perhaps the stupidest political blunder in the 2004 campaign. Everyone already knew Cheney had a lesbian daughter, everyone already could see the irony, and it was so much more powerful left to fester under the surface.

Whether you like Kerry and Edwards or not though, does anyone else think "slime" and "sleazeball" are kind of odd, juvenile word choices?

Wade_Garrett said...

Joseph - I don't think that everybody knew. I think that people in Washington DC knew, and gay people knew, and people who read the Washington Post, the NY Times, the LA Times, and Andrew Sullivan's blog knew, but I don't think that the type of person who our President aimed his "the happiest moment of my presidency was catching a 7.5 pound fish" comment knew that she was out.

Not coincidentally, those are the sort of people who would be far more likely to consider having a gay child as something shameful, so the fake outrage that the Cheneys and Bushes and Karl Rove mustered up during the '04 campaign was for their benefit, not gay people's.

dick said...

Terry,

I don't know about all the rest of the Bush, Cheney supporters but this gay supporter of Bush/Cheney thought it was an entirely inappropriate comment by the Kerry/Edwards team to bring Mary Cheney and her sexual life into the campaign at all. She was not running for office so what did she even have to do with the subject under discussion at the time at all. Between that and the idiot newspaper reporter at the NY Press who said that she owed it to the gay people to disown her father and come out against him because he didn't support all the gay issues the dems really stepped into it and there was no reason for the subject even to be brought up. I think her feeling that they were trying to use her to get at her father was a total low blow and it was. Now we see all the dems up in arms because she says so.

Ann Althouse said...

Joe: "I fervently hope that was sarcasm..."

I was beginning to think I needed to get out my sledgehammer.

Joe said...

I often require a sledgehammer, Ann.

Dave said...

Well this straight supporter of Bush/Cheney knew that Mary was a lesbian.

But then I'm one of those New York Times readers. But I don't think I read about her sexuality in the Times. What does one thing have to do with the other?

I think it's more accurate to say that the type of people who are aware of her sexuality are the type of people who are informed about politics. And such people are not necessarily found in the fetid swamp of D.C.

Perhaps I'm wrong, of course, and I am merely exhibiting my own biases (a politically informed person from New York City who nonetheless finds liberals loathsome.)

Ann Althouse said...

The sledgehammer was more for the others...

tcd said...

Yeah, that's it Terry. You're just so much more "nuanced and sophisticated" than the average Bush voter.

Speaking as one of those Bush voters, it was not that Kerry had outed Mary Cheney (b/c she already outed herself) that I objected to but that Kerry was using Cheney's daughter as a political club with which to bludgeon Cheney. Also, if Kerry and Edwards were so gay-friendly as they portrayed themselves, why did they feel that Cheney having a gay daughter was something to be ashamed of? And you cannot equate having a gay daughter (Cheney) to being an adulterer (Clinton) unless of course you, Terry, think homosexuality is as bad or worse than adultery?

Too Many Jims said...

"[W}hy can't Mary see the great benefits to gay people that would have flowed from a Kerry presidency, as opposed to the terrible harms inflicted by Bush?"

Can't say I really care. As long as she and her girlfriend stay the heck out of Ohio. We have no desire to support anything about their lifestyles here. She wants to be lesbian let her find another place.

Dave said...

Who knew Jim spoke for all of Ohio?

Ann: do you speak for all of Wisconsin?

Do I speak for all of New York?

The limits of presumption know no bounds.

Wade_Garrett said...

Tcd - More realistically, Kerry and Edwards thought that having a gay daughter and being ashamed of her is something to be ashamed of. Having a father who ignores you in public JUST LONG ENOUGH to win the Presidency by appealing to people who dislike you, then gives you a higher profile to quell the fears of moderates that he might be intolerant, is taking advantage of his daughter's sexuality even worse than what you're accusing Kerry of doing.

Nuanced and sophisticated are your words, not mine. All I know is that, when Bush talks about fish, he's not talking to me. Actually, you know what? Anybody who can't see through the President's joke about catching a medium-sized fish in his own private lake while on a month long vacation is probable less sophisticated than me, and I don't feel obnoxious for saying that.

DaveG said...

Jim does not speak for me. The exact opposite, actually.

jeff said...

To turn a phrase, it sure sounds like Mary Cheney, "Speaks Truth to Power."

Bissage said...

Terry: Why on earth would "Kerry and Edwards" think Dick Cheney is ashamed of his daughter?

Drew W said...

If Kerry was calling Bush/Cheney a couple of homophobes, I'm sure that's what many on the left were pleased to hear, but I saw no tactical advantage in going there, since those people who yearned to hear it were going to vote for Kerry/Edwards anyway. And everybody who'd bothered to read a little bit about the candidates knew that Mary Cheney was a lesbian, so Kerry wasn't "outing" anybody with that comment. Surely Mary Cheney couldn't have cared less if people know she's a lesbian.

Not long after Kerry's comment, the topic came up at lunch with some friends. My wife felt it was a fine thing for Kerry to say, pointing out the Republican Party's homophobia. But one of our friends -- an uber-Lefty and a very "out" lesbian no less -- was quite outraged and offended that Kerry said it.

My take on it: Nobody knows what Kerry meant! In political discourse, this can't be considered a plus . . . but it was all in a day's work for JFK2. The only way it could have been less comprehensible would be if his wife Teresa had said it in that annoying, impossible-to-place accent of hers.

Wade_Garrett said...

Actually, it wasn't Kerry, it was Edwards who brought it up in the vice-presidential debate. You know, the one in which Dick Cheney was across the table from him.

Edwards' comment was tasteful and brought up in the context of a discussion of gay rights and the role that gay people play in society. What's the problem with that? Its NOT about "dragging the kids into this" because that happens all of the time. Rather, I suggest its all about projecting your own dislike of Kerry and Edwards onto their otherwise facially non-judgmental comments.

proudtobealiberal said...

As I recall the 2004 campaign, the charge against John Kerry was that he was using Mary Cheney's sexuality to get between Cheney/Bush and their base, conservative values voters who want to bar gays from getting married, adopting children, etc.

Thus, the argument was that there may be some conservative voters who did not know the VP's daughter was gay who might be discouraged from turning to vote if they thougth that the VP and President were "soft" on opposing gay marriage, etc. as see by tolerating Mary Cheney and her partner.

Republicans made a deliberate effort to appeal to anti-gay voters by putting the anti-gay marriage issue on state ballots, especially in key states to increase the turn-out for Bush/Cheney. I do not understand why Mary Cheney is not as upset, if not more upset, with her father's party for making political use of the anti-gay marriage issue.

Kerry's point, which was inartfully made, was that sexual orientation is not a matter of choice --if it were, there would be no conservative people who were gay -- but because we know that there are conservative gay people, we know it is not matter of choice.

In fact, the Bush administration thus far has done nothing to promote the constitutional amendment against gay marriage. So perhaps Bush & Cheney just used gay marriage to get votes and really don't care to spend "political capital" on the issue. And their failure to push against gay marriage is one of the reasons that some conservative voters are disillusioned with Bush.

Dave said...

"Kerry's point, which was inartfully made, was that sexual orientation is not a matter of choice --if it were, there would be no conservative people who were gay -- but because we know that there are conservative gay people, we know it is not matter of choice."

This makes no sense, considering I've run into conservative bloggers who are, in fact, gay.

chuck b. said...

I agree with proudtobealiberal.

Bush's anti-gay marriage stance has struck me as pandering to his base from the first fierce declaration. And I have to say I think he's *only slightly* more sincere in his objections to judicial activism on the matter.

Jacques Cuze said...

Both of you are opposed to gay marriage. But to understand how you have come to that conclusion, I want to ask you a more basic question. Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?

Bush gives his answer, which is essentially, "I don't know." Schieffer prompts Kerry for his response.

KERRY: We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as.


and

Smith noted that in years past, the vice presidential nominee's whole family joined him on stage at the end of the speech, but after Cheney's speech, only his wife, Lynne, came up.

"Every convention I can remember, Democrat or Republican, the vice presidential nominee has had their entire family on stage: You see cousins and aunts and uncles -- the only explanation is because of Mary.

"Isn't this an obvious exclusion? They're going through tremendous contortions to hide it. Because this family is not palatable to the conservative right. That's a huge departure."

...

But even as Mary Cheney's life partner was being kept off stage at the Republican Convention, USA Today posted her name on its Web site Wednesday night. At least a few other news organizations, including Salon, have withheld the widely available name ...

The Mary Cheney story may be the most overreported yet undercovered story in political history. Friends of Cheney say they've been contacted by numerous reporters, and some have even stopped giving interviews. Yet only a handful of publications have written about the issue of the former defense secretary's lesbian daughter.

Writing in the New Republic, Andrew Sullivan blasted the double standard that has kept the media, and the Republican Party, quiet on the story.

"How does Cheney square [his anti-gay voting record] with his belief that his gay daughter, Mary, is 'wonderful,' 'decent,' and 'hard-working'? I don't know, because the media, which evidently still doesn't regard gay rights as central to our politics, has barely asked ... The New York Times, for all its pretensions to have left homophobia behind, has barely touched the subject. The Washington Post buried it."

Smith also questioned the media's reluctance to delve into the Mary Cheney story. "They have to my knowledge been out and open and part of the Denver gay/lesbian community. This is not a family that has pulled back behind the veil of privacy until Secretary Cheney was nominated as vice president. This is privacy based on convenience. It's politically inconvenient for Mary Cheney to be in a relationship with a woman."

On the convention floor, every Republican interviewed in the delegations for Texas and Colorado -- where Cheney lives with her girlfriend, in Conifer, 25 miles from Denver -- tried to express their tolerance for Cheney's daughter's "lifestyle," even if they didn't approve.

Even delegates from Texas -- which drew attention Tuesday when delegation members bowed their heads in prayer as openly gay Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., gave a speech on trade -- were reluctant to criticize Mary Cheney or the selection of Dick Cheney as Bush's running mate.

Dianne Edmondson of Denton, Texas, says she, too, prayed during Kolbe's speech Tuesday, though she was "not necessarily protesting. I asked that God show him the straight and narrow way."

...

"If she were speaking about these matters on stage, I'd be highly offended," said Bobby Eberle of Houston. "The GOP doesn't support that kind of activity. But Bush picked Dick Cheney because of his long history of public service." Eberle said he sat "silently and respectfully" through Kolbe's speech.

Sharon Johnson, a Colorado delegate from Denver, said "I admire the Cheneys. I had no idea they had a lesbian daughter. I would hate to have homosexuals come into the schools and teach homosexuality, but if she chooses to be a lesbian, that's her business. If she would go into schools and try to tell my grandchildren or sanction it," that wouldn't be acceptable.

Richard Dolan said...

There's always been a "tempest in a teapot" quality to this whole storyline. The hamhanded way that Kerry and Edwards worked in their preplanned references to Mary Cheney and her sexuality during the debates was obviously just cheap political calculation. Because it was so cheap and obvious, whatever marginal impact it had was probably negative for the K-E ticket. But it was far from the only cheap or obvious effort at political calculation in the campaign. If you are expecting politicians to maintain a level of decorum in a hotly contested campaign, you should get ready to be disappointed. And, on that score, it doesn't matter which team you're rooting for. The only unusual aspect of the way that the K-E team tried to take advantage here was in having the candidates themselves do the dirty work.

But, in truth, it was insignificant when K-E pulled their little stunt during the debates. The talking heads focused on it immediately because it gave them something easy to talk about, but as a story it was then and is today of interest only to the political junkie set.

Jacques Cuze said...

From the October 16 edition of FOX News Channel's Saturday edition of FOX & Friends:

KELLYANNE CONWAY: All he [Kerry] has to do, Mike, is say "I'm sorry," and he won't say it.

GALLAGHER: Robert, right, would you agree with that? It's a distraction that the Kerry campaign would've preferred not to have to deal with.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN (Democratic strategist): It's George [W.] Bush and Dick Cheney who keep making this an issue now, after the debate. They keep raising it in sound bite after sound bite.

CONWAY: John Kerry wants someone to say, "Your daughter is a slut," or "We want you to open up the divorce records."

ZIMMERMAN: Oh, my goodness.

CONWAY: Exactly. Doesn't that shock you?

ZIMMERMAN: How can you compare the issue of being a gay person to being a slut?

CONWAY: It's someone's sexuality, it's off limits, and you guys made it that way, just as we don't want to talk about it.

Too Many Jims said...

I don't presume to speak for all Ohians or even a majority of them. But in November 2004, as part of the anti-"gay marriage" amendment, almost 62% of Ohians who voted on the matter dcelared that: "This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage." What's that mean? Beats me. But it could mean that if Mary Cheney lived in Ohio she couldn't visit her girlfriend in the hospital as a family member, she couldn't leave property to her girlfriend in a will or couldn't have her girlfriend covered by her healthcare plan at work. Are any of these likely? Probably not, but we won't know until the family of a (most likely wealthy) homosexual couple litigates them.

Further, if the same group of Ohians was asked (setting aside any legal or practical conerns): "Should we expel all gays from Ohio?" I suspect that question would garner a majority (though not as strong of a majority) in the affirmative.

My point is this, it is quite possible that Bush/Cheney won Ohio by people who hate gays and who showed up to vote on the amendment first and secondly for the Presidential race. Further, this was by design, that is to say, Republicans put the anti-"gay marriage amendment" on the November ballot to drive up the number of people who would vote, banking on them also voting disproportionately for Bush/Cheney.

Should Mary Cheney care? Beats me.

David said...

Kerry has no class!

Thorley Winston said...

Terry: Why on earth would "Kerry and Edwards" think Dick Cheney is ashamed of his daughter?

Because they’re both a couple of clods who could not possibly conceive that someone could (a) believe that civil marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman and (b) not hate homosexual people or possibly even love them. By trying to go after Cheney on the FMA, Edwards inadvertently sent a message to the overwhelming majority of Americans who hold both positions that “if you don’t support same-sex marriage, it’s obviously because you hate homosexuals” which undermined his pseudo populist.

Jacques Cuze said...

Wow, what Jim said!

Pogo said...

During both the Prez and Veep debates, I was watching with others, liberals all (this is in Minnesota, you understand). The comments from both Ewards and Kerry drew audible gasps in the crowd. Afterwards, people justified their approval, forgetting their gut responses.

The "progressive" left has always been about one thing: power. It will use any person or group if it serves those ends, and discard them when no longer useful. They see nothing wrong with abusing their own supporters in order to count coup.

Mary Cheney correctly identifies this as "slimey" and "sleazeball" behavior. Juvenile words are demanded of this behavior, even though Kedwards barely reached the short pants and continence level of maturity.

But they did have pretty hair.

SteveR said...

Simple Guy, I repeat myself:

"You're not funny, not clever, not interesting, not original, and almost always not right.

I couldn't make up someone so pathetic."

reader_iam said...

Actually, it wasn't Kerry, it was Edwards who brought it up in the vice-presidential debate. You know, the one in which Dick Cheney was across the table from him.

Edwards' comment was tasteful ...


If I were sitting across the table at a local IHOP debating whatever issue during a meeting of Toastmasters, I would not describe my opponent bringing up my child as a "gotcha" debate technique as "tasteful." And that's a trivial setting.

Whatever one makes of that tactic (and I think it's cheap), "tasteful" it is not.

That said, that's not precisely what Edwards did. It's funny-odd, but over time I've noted that people are forgetting that both Kerry AND Edwards brought this up separately at separate debates and somehow what Kerry said seems to have gotten attributed to Edwards. Edwards spoke more at length, but Kerry's shorter remark (it's the TONE, folks, and the affect).

I had written in this comment the series of events and pasted in the relevant comments FROM TRANSCRIPTS, but then realized this comment was multiple times longer than the original post--and probably the entire comments section as well.

So I just turned it into a post, if you're interested in exactly what was said and when.

reader_iam said...

Sorry, I see that in the intervening time, I was somewhat beaten to the punch ... .

Joseph Hovsep said...

Terry: Why on earth would "Kerry and Edwards" think Dick Cheney is ashamed of his daughter?

Thorley: Because they’re both a couple of clods who could not possibly conceive that someone could (a) believe that civil marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman and (b) not hate homosexual people or possibly even love them.


No. You seem to forget that Kerry and Edwards both clearly expressed their opposition to same sex marriage. They believe that one can oppose same sex marriage while not supporting constitutional amendments to write gay rights out of the constitution. The reason they might think Bush/Cheney would be ashamed to have gay family members is because the Bush/Cheney campaign exploited anti-gay prejudice for their own political gain throughout the 2004 campaign.

Gerry said...

I love when this topic comes up, since I get to post a link to that.

Pogo said...

Re: "Why on earth would "Kerry and Edwards" think Dick Cheney is ashamed of his daughter?"

I disagree with joseph. Edwards was an accomplished trial lawyer. He knew what he was saying and guessed its effect on the "witness" Cheney, and therefore on the viewing "jury". He was playing to win. He is a hired advocate; I am not sure any basic belief of Edwards played any role at all. It was Victory he pursued, and this was merely a tactic.

As for Kerry's subsequent hissing of lesbian? That was a wooden attempt to emulate Edwards, and it came off mean-spirited, instead of nicely vicious, as Edwards had done.

Simon said...

Sort of off-topic: did y'all see this essay on the full faith and credit clause vis-a-vis gay marriage that Larry Solum linked to? Thoughts?

Joseph Hovsep said...

Simon: I don't think this is really news. The federal DOMA basically codified what states were already allowed to do. The real effect of DOMA is on federal recognition of same sex marriages, which is where you find most of the rights and privileges gay couples are seeking.

downtownlad said...

Oh, why can't Mary see the great benefits to gay people that would have flowed from a Kerry presidency, as opposed to the terrible harms inflicted by Bush?

Mary was upset because she felt that Kerry was using her. That's how I feel about Bush when he uses gay people to score political points. I lost any respect I had for him. And I voted for Bush in 2000.

Ann Althouse said...

Jim: "... she couldn't leave property to her girlfriend in a will..."

Huh? That's an absurd statement.

And I feel I've got to get out my sledgehammer: The question that ends the post is completely sarcastic.

Elizabeth said...

Dave, Alan Keyes' daughter does not work for him any more, not since she came out in her online journal. She's been disowned by the family. At least Keyes lives up to his publicly stated values!

I thought Kerry and Edwards were ham-handed in their references to Mary Cheney, but I likewise think she's a privileged person who doesn't need to much care about which administration would provide better support to gay citizens. She was happy to be out and work for Coors as they gay liaison, and then she was happy to work for people who want to enshrine anti-gay discrimination in our Constitution. She's apparently for sale to the highest bidder. She's a sleazy and slimey as she declares Kerry and Edwards to be.

Walt said...

My own take on this is that it is probably really tough Mary. She has clearly decided to project her anger on others, but I totally understand. Her personal relationship with her father is probably really strong, but that doesn't mean that she must come to terms with the fact that her father is 2nd in command of a political party that thinks her lifestyle is a disease of choice rather than her true personality.

At least she is releasing the anger somewhere. We all know what happens when we allow pent up anger to build to the breaking point. I believe the term is going postal. I guess if she didn't find an outlet, she'd go lesbo.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon said..."Sort of off-topic: did y'all see this essay on the full faith and credit clause vis-a-vis gay marriage that Larry Solum linked to? Thoughts?"

That's very old news as a point of constitutional law. (I'm going by the summary only.) We all know about the traditional public policy exception to the full faith and credit clause, but the problems gay marriage opponents face are: courts might find some way to increase the FF&C duty and (more important) courts might find state or federal constitutional rights requiring recognition of out of state marriages (which would make DOMA irrelevant).

Too Many Jims said...

"Ann Said:

Jim: "... she couldn't leave property to her girlfriend in a will..."

Huh? That's an absurd statement."


Well I acknowledge in my comment that the result is not likely. Nonetheless, if there is a gay person in Ohio who has substantial assets and seeks to leave those assets to their significant other, if the gay person has others who would inherit otherwise, the other relatvies might challenge the will on the grounds that it was an attempt to approximate marriage. Sounds far fetched until you realize that a judge set aside a domestic battery count on grounds that the battery was committed by a man against his girlfriend and the statute (though it had been applied previously to unmarried couples) was an attempt to approximate marriage.

I know the question you concluded with was sarcastic but it was much more interesting to me than talking about what an oaf Kerry is.

downtownlad said...

Gays leave property to their partners all the time in wills. And courts frequently overturn it.

There was a documentary on gay marriage (forget the name) and it shows how this old man lost his farm. The partner left him his farm, which they paid for and built together, but some evil second-cousin contested the will and some bigoted judge decided in favor of the cousin.

Gays are also frequently barred from their partners funerals. I know for a fact that my family would not let my partner (if I had one) attend my funeral. I'm not sure if there is a legal way of stopping that besides divorcing my family.

downtownlad said...

The film is called "Tying the Knot". Looks like the cousins are trying to take his other home too.

http://www.queerday.com/2005/oct/11/tying_the_knots_sam_victimized_again.html

Walt said...

I think the state of Utah is ready to pass a law prohibiting woman from owning property. I'm not sure how the fed feels, but I think it should be up to the states.

Joe Baby said...

Good gravy. Hysteria run amok. Get a good estate planner. Greedy family members are quite willing to pick the pockets of heterosexuals.

downtownlad said...

Joe Baby - Name me one case where a distant cousin was able to seize a home from a spouse.

buck turgidson said...

You're being far too charitable toward Mary Cheney. She's just an opportunist like her mother and father. The book was never written for general consumption--it is intended for the choir. And these people get off on anti-Democrat invective, no matter who the actual target is. So MC see $$$ signs that would flow if she is particularly harsh on the opposition. The joke, of course, is in the fact that even a gay Republican and the offspring of Deadeye Dick is still more gay in these people's minds than Republican.

Slime? Kerry was not the slime, nor was his statement. The operatives that tried to make the statement an issue were the slime. Mary Cheney was the slime (and still is). Kerry? He was not slime--he was an empty suit.

XWL said...

I guess I should have gotten here earlier, I was going to say. . .

Professor, Dude (this post requires the honorific, Dude), I think you broke the sarcasmometer with this post.

I'm amazed that you had to actually explain in the comments that you had been sarcastic with all the Sen. Kerry love contained in the post.

For future reference, anytime, anyone, expresses any admiration for Sen. Kerry, or anything he's said, must either be a complete lunatic, or is being completely sarcastic.

I think some more recent dictionaries define sarcasm as, 'having something nice to say about Sen. John Kerry'.

Ann Althouse said...

reader_iam: "Actually, it wasn't Kerry, it was Edwards who brought it up in the vice-presidential debate. You know, the one in which Dick Cheney was across the table from him. 'Edwards' comment was tasteful ...' If I were sitting across the table at a local IHOP debating whatever issue during a meeting of Toastmasters, I would not describe my opponent bringing up my child as a "gotcha" debate technique as "tasteful." And that's a trivial setting."

Edwards was trying to make Cheney lose his cool, so Cheney would look ugly and people would hate him. It didn't work, and it made Edwards look ugly. (NOTE: I voted for Edwards in the primary.)

Re wills and gay people: If leaving your estate to someone approximates marriage, leaving your estate to your children must be incest. You can leave your estate to whomever you want. But wills can be invalid, and the beneficiaries of wills that turn out to be invalid can be gay. And judges can be prejudiced in making these decisions. Nevertheless, it is absurd to say that a state has a law against willing your estate to your gay partner.

Dave Ebersole said...

Jim: While judges could do some pretty ridiculous things, there's still a fundamental difference between wills and DV law. Like it or not, DV is, to some extent, based in traditional domestic relationships and hence could be construed as approximating marriage. Willing property is a long-established matter at common law. Anyone can leave assets to anyone (with the appropriate langauge provisions, of course). These rights have no historical grounding in traditional marriage or domestic relationships.

Moreoever, to bring the circle back: Is Mary Cheney really saying anything that lots of people haven't already said about the Johns?

Dave Ebersole said...

A minute too late..and I was just trying to apply what I was supposed to have learned in Property...

Too Many Jims said...

"Nevertheless, it is absurd to say that a state has a law against willing your estate to your gay partner."

Agreed and I did not say Ohio had such a law. I suggested that a judge may construe an Ohio constitutional amendment to have the same effect. That said, you and Dave Ebersole raise good points about why this result may be even more remote than I had first suggested.

Bissage said...

Professor Althouse said: "Edwards was trying to make Cheney lose his cool, so Cheney would look ugly and people would hate him."

True, very true. But he's very good at what he does and he was certainly going for a "two-fer," at least. He also wanted people to convict Dick Cheney of guilt-by-association. After all, there are lots of ways to anger someone.

And just so there's no misunderstanding my meaning, I think it was a scuzzy thing to do because Mary Cheney's sexuality is nobody's business but her own. In my humble opinion, Edwards was way out of bounds and that little stunt turned me against him, permanently.

Bissage said...

I should add: What we witnessed was a skilled trial lawyer trying to prejudice the jury.

Any competent trial judge would have taken him to the wood shed for a serious dose of old time religion.

downtownlad said...

Mary Cheney's sexuality is nobody's business but her own.

Really? Then why is she writing a book about it? And why is she going on TV and talking about it? Why are we talking about it right now?

Was Bill Clinton's sexuality nobody's business but his own?

Ann Althouse said...

Walt: "a political party that thinks her lifestyle is a disease of choice rather than her true personality"

A political party doesn't think anything. A political party has members who agree with enough things to stay grouped together. Some subset of Republicans thinks homosexuality is a "disease of choice" (or a disease or a choice). But, man, I remember back in the 80s when it was lefties who would bite your head off for saying perhaps homosexuality had a biological basis. The line then was that homosexuality was supposed to be a choice, because if it was biological, it would be perceived as a disease. I remember oh so well saying to a colleague that if there was a biological cause then people would think it was wrong to discriminate, and what I got for that thought was an icy glare. Those were the days!

SteveR said...

DTL:

If she wants to write a book about it, its her business.

The problem with Bill Clinton is he couldn't keep it his own business. You can argue it was no big deal but an elected, married man (in this case the POTUS)having sex with a young intern in his government owned office (in this case the White House) is not minding his own business.

Ann Althouse said...

DTL: "Then why is she writing a book about it?"

Read the linked article. Her sexuality is not the subject of the book. The subject is working on the inside of a campaign. In that context, how could she not deal with the way the other side used her sexuality?

[In] "10 percent of the book"-- Cheney's own description -- ... [Cheney] writes about coming out to her parents, how she felt about John Kerry and John Edwards bringing up her sexuality in campaign debates, and where she stands on the Federal Marriage Amendment Act, which would ban legal unions between same-sex partners. She opposes it and describes her own relationship as a marriage.

"I didn't sit there and think 'I can't really do 11 percent,'" Cheney says, in a classic moment of caustic wit. "If I wrote a whole chapter [about coming out] I think it would be pretty boring."


She knows we are "used to it."

downtownlad said...

SteveR - Bill Clinton's private sexual activities are certainly more worthy of privacy than Mary Cheney's sexual orientation.

Mary Cheney is gay. Jenna Bush is straight. So what? I fail to see how I'm invading anyone's privacy by mentioning that.

Now if I start mentioning intimiante details of their sex lives - that's another matter altogether.

Bissage said...

SteveR: Thanks. You said it better than me.

DTL asked: "Was Bill Clinton's sexuality nobody's business but his own?"

His and Paula Jones's.

Really, DTL, are you going to argue that perjury's got something to do with the cause of gay justice?

SteveR said...

Without belaboring a very old issue, but as a publicly elected official, Mr Clinton was held to a higher standard of behaviour, (starts with an oath) and a very low standard of privacy. Remember hearing about Reagan's polyps. Most people get fired for doing what he did and if I lied under oath and was convicted of perjury, I'd lose my clearance and my job, no matter the subject involved.

Elizabeth said...

But Ann, it doesn't matter what the rationale is, whether the GOP uses the choice (it's a bad choice!) argument, or biology (if so, let's cure it!), and vice versa. Each side has a position: queer is bad, queer is fine. The point about the GOP is that overall, that party works to make sure we all know queer is bad, and queers shouldn't have the same rights as the rest of us. It's part of a larger problem, an attack on sex outside of marriage, and even within marriage, an attack on sex that isn't reproductive.

Simon said...

SteveR said...
"The problem with Bill Clinton is he couldn't keep it his own business. You can argue it was no big deal but an elected, married man having sex with a young intern in his government owned office (in this case the White House) is not minding his own business."

I disagree to the extent that I don't care that Clinton cheated on his wife. That makes him a bad human being, but that isn't "the problem with Bill Clinton", and it isn't grounds for impeachment. The problem is that he perjured himself when asked about it by the grand jury, and THAT is grounds for impeachment.

Bruce Hayden said...

I suspect that I will read the book. Her mother is a good writer, and Mary supposedly got that from her.

I was struck by a couple of things in the article that I read today. First, she apparently came to her parents in HS and told them about her sexual orientation. Both were extremely supportive then, and, obviously have been ever since.

Secondly though, she is apparently thinking about moving back here to CO because the Bush Administration isn't distancing itself from the anti-SSM movement. And, yes, I do think that it is somewhat hypocritical (explained by political expediency) for the Cheney's, and, I am sure the Bush's, to invite her partner to family affairs, as the Cheney's apparently do, but not have her on stage at political events. Of course, I think it would have been better to do that, but...

Finally, a mention was made of her working for Coors. I grew up around the brewry and the family, and we still have apartment buildings in the vicinity. What is often misunderstood is that Coors is a fairly enlightened employer, but the Coors family are arch-conservatives. So, the company may reach out to gays, both to be employees and customers, but the family may at the same time be strongly against SSM. They and I don't see that as a contradiction. The first is a personal and/or business decision, and the second is government action.

Also, no surprise that Mary Cheney worked for Coors in that capacity. Her father and the Coors family go back a long way, and they believe in a fairly similar type of conservatism (which is emphaticially not the religious conservatism of the religious right, but is rather has a strong strand of libertarianism and individualism).

Bruce Hayden said...

Elizebeth, et al.

The Republican party these days is an affiliation of fellow travelers. There are big differences among them. What I think must be remembered here is that Dick Cheney and George Bush are different types of conservatives.

Cheney is a classic western conservative. This means that he believes in small government, but a strong military. Indeed, he is borderline neo-conservative, as is Rumsfeld. Back during the Ford Administration, when Laffer drew his Laffer curve on a napkin, the third person at the dinner was supposed to be Rumsfeld. At the last minute, he couldn't go, and sent his assistant, Cheney.

But his sort of western conservatives are not evangelical. They may be very religious, but for most of them, religion is very private. Indeed, privacy is a big thing with them (no, not the type of privacy that is supposedly impacted by the NSA international surveilance program).

This is very different from Bush. Bush is a Texan, and from the point of view of westerners, Texans are southerners. They are much more friendly. And evangelicism fits in there much better.

So, the Cheneys have no problem distinguishing between having a gay daughter and SSM. The first is private. It is Mary's business and no one else's. But the second is the government telling you what you can and cannot do and think.

The religious right though comes at it more from a religious point of view - homosexuality is sinful, therefore SSM is sinful.

Maybe this is a good distinction. Wyoming (where the Cheneys are from) was the first state to grant sufferage to women (and Lynn is at least as accomplished as her husband is). This was no accident. This contrasts sharply with the role that many religious conservatives see for women.

Of course, Cheney doesn't play up these distinctions. Like any politician, he doesn't want to alienate his supporters.

ChrisO said...

For some reason my post didn't show up the first time, so I'll try again. The anti-Kerry invective is really over the top. People are clearly seeing this whole issue through the prism they choose, and attributing thoughts and motives they have no way of knowing. I think it's reasonable to believe that the Democrats were trying to point out Cheney's hypocrisy, as he supports his daughter's lifestyle, but doesn't say a word about his party using the gay lifestyle as a wedge issue. (Or do you really think that the anti-gay marriage amendment turned up on the ballot in all those swing states because so many people suddenly felt like it was an issue they just couldn't ignore anymore?) But Ann, I don't know how you can state so authoritatively that Edwards was trying to anger Cheney. On what do you base that?

The real issue is the use of the word "lesbian," which is what has so many gays and lesbians upset. No one cared much when Edwards mentioned Mary Cheney; Lynne Cheney certainly didn't get the vapors like she did with Kerry. But lesbian is still considered a dirty word by a lot of people. Lynne Cheney's message was "Sure, my daughter's gay, but don't you dare call her a lesbian." And for a couple of parents who were so offended, they sure did keep bringing up the subject. Even the Cheney's ouraged protectiveness of their daughter is a cheap political stunt.

One other thing. Mary Cheney had a significant position in her father's campaign. People talk about her like she was in junior high school. She was right in the middle of the political mix. Her outrage now seems manufactured. Not to change topics, but it's the same with Colbert. Once the administration figured out that a lot of people were sympathetic to Bush, they kept leaking stories about his reaction and how angry he was. Interesting that you didn't hear that much from the White House about Harry Taylor, who told Bush exactly what he thought of him without cloaking it in humor.

SteveR said...

Simon:

I wasn't speaking to impeachment only the "sexuality" issue DTL brought up. I agree about the perjury as the far worse offense. But he didn't deserve a privacy pass for the blue dress.

Joe Baby said...

We reluctantly accept that politicians will use their own children as campaign props. But when they attempt to use their opponents' children, well, that is rather gauche.

Regarding Mary Cheney's orientation, I suppose that she is at least as entitled to address it as those who were so courageous to do so while asking for our votes.

As for me, I'm still stunned that Edwards + Kerry went there. More handiwork of a Rovian Conspiracy perhaps. Or maybe they're just exceptionally coiffeured, ruthless pricks.

Elizabeth said...

I suspect that I will read the book. Her mother is a good writer, and Mary supposedly got that from her.

Yeah, but don't expect steamy lesbian sex scenes to rival her mother's work.

Simon said...

I think Bruce has the right idea about the difference between western conservatives and southern conservatives, and there's an interesting bulk of literature on that sort of idea. I live in the midwest, but I fall squarely in the western mold.

Jacques Cuze said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jacques Cuze said...

But when they attempt to use their opponents' children, well, that is rather gauche.

Oh please. In 2004, Mary Cheney was 35 years old, public relations manager for the Coors Brewing Company and worked as a gay and lesbian outreach coordinator, and the director of vice presidential operations for the Bush-Cheney 2004 Presidential re-election campaign.

She was hardly a child. She was out, loud, & proud, except for when it came to the Republican campaign.

In 2000, the Bush-Cheney campaign freely discussed Elizabeth Cheney's marriage and children, but treated Mary Cheney's private life as off-limits. Nevertheless, because her lesbianism was publicly known, it was seen as bolstering the image of the Republican ticket as "compassionate conservatives". Still, there were mixed signals regarding Mary. During an interview with Lynne Cheney, Cokie Roberts brought up the topic of Mary's having declared herself a lesbian. "She has declared no such thing," Lynne huffed, going on to scold Roberts for breaching some sort of journalistic ettiquette. The exchange made big headlines and caused much head-scratching as to whether Lynne Cheney had a problem with her daughter's sexuality, or didn't know about it.

In January 2001, Cheney and Poe were both seen in attendance at the inauguration of President Bush and her father. However, during the campaign she and her family seemed to all but deny Cheney's sexual orientation.

In 2002, she joined the gay-friendly Republican Unity Coalition and said that sexual orientation should be "a non-issue for the Republican Party", with a goal of "equality for all gay and lesbian Americans." Some LGBT Americans saw the organization as little more then election year window dressing to appeal to "moderate swing voters" and they point out the fact that the organization soon vanished after the 2004 election, and that Mary resigned from the RUC's board and in July 2003 became the director of vice presidential operations for the Bush-Cheney 2004 Presidential re-election campaign.

...

The subject of Mary Cheney's sexuality arose again during the 2004 presidential election debates, when both presidential candidate John Kerry and vice presidential candidate John Edwards mentioned her lesbianism when questioned regarding homosexuality issues. At the end of the debate, Mary appeared on the podium with her partner and the rest of the family. During the third and final presidential debate, the debate moderator asked, "Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?" John Kerry replied, "If you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as." This prompted an angry response from both Lynne and Dick Cheney. "You saw a man who will say and do anything to get elected," Vice President Cheney said at a campaign appearance in Florida the day after the debate.


The reason Mary Cheney is bringing this up now is to sell books.

The reason you guys are piling on Kerry yet again is to convince yourself yet again that your vote for Bush wasn't as disastrous as all evidence amply demonstrates.

Wade_Garrett said...

ChrisO - I think you're absolutely right. I've said to people over and over again, and I posted it here on this blog back during the '04 campaign, that the stories of Dick Cheney being so widly upset didn't show up until FORTY-EIGHT HOURS after the debate. During the debate, Cheney THANKED Edwards for his remarks. And he didn't thank him just to be diplomatic, as righteous indignation is an effective debating technique.

Guess what happened between the debate and the leaks? Polling! Pundits! The Limbaugh crowd latched onto it, and 48 hours the stories leaked. Personally, I was shocked to find gambling going on in the casino.

Mary Cheney was in her 30s and a high-profile member of her father's campaign, in all circles other than those that to which the Republicans were using gay marriage as a wedge issue. She's had no problem earning large salaries from companies as a gay spokesperson.

Put the shoe on the other foot. Do you think that if one of Kerry's daughters worked for a pro-P.L.O. organization, or for naral or something, that the Republicans would not have brought it up during the campaign, out of respect for Kerry's family's privacy? Give me a break.

Jacques Cuze said...

Do you think that if one of Kerry's daughters worked for a pro-P.L.O. organization, or for naral or something, that the Republicans would not have brought it up during the campaign, out of respect for Kerry's family's privacy? Give me a break.

Kerry's daughter, 31 in 2004, wore a black dress that under a flash turned see-thru. That was the hit of the conservatard net where it was highlighted on Drudge on his site and radio show to freerepublic to wizbang to belgravia dispatch to littlegreenfootballs....

Joe Baby said...

Good Lord, I didn't realize that Belmondo Wizblog made nasty comments about a nipslip. This internet thing is kinda scary.

But not really what we are talking about. Rush Limbaugh wasn't running for anything, but Kerry + Edwards were and they both, on nat'l teevee, brought up the sexual orientation of their opponent's daughter. How classy!

Which is more irrational -- Kerry + Edwards for doing it, or those who continue to deny that it was a huge tactical mistake?

Jacques Cuze said...

Kerry & Edwards brought up the sexuality of an adult representative of the campaign itself and brought it up in such a respectful manner that the father thanked them. Before attacking them.

Drudge aired the nipslip of the daughter. Limbaugh earlier called Chelsea Clinton the White House Dog.

Please don't tell me of Republican class.

reader_iam said...

Oh, Terry. Cheney said the words "thank you," but it was clear to anyone watching at the time (and is still clear, from the context, in the transcript, readily available) that he wasn't actually applauding, lauding, or expressing gratitude.

And he was not actually THANKING Edwards.

Please tell me that you're kidding that you didn't then, and can't now, discern that.

I'm not a Cheney fan or apologist, but please.

If you ACTUALLY believe that Cheney was THANKING Edwards, in the sense that most of us understand "thanking," then there is, indeed, no more to be said.

About the quality and substance of your thinking ...

(Pssst: There are many people who criticize Cheney's reaction about whom I would not make that judgment ... so it's not a political thing, but rather, about what I said.)

Jacques Cuze said...

Edwards: Now, as to this question, let me say first that I think the vice president and his wife love their daughter. I think they love her very much. And you can‘t have anything but respect for the fact that they‘re willing to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her. It‘s a wonderful thing. And there are millions of parents like that who love their children, who want their children to be happy.

...

Cheney: CHENEY: Well, Gwen, let me simply thank the senator for the kind words he said about my family and our daughter. I appreciate that very much.

He didn't mean that?

Wade_Garrett said...

CHENEY: Well, Gwen, let me simply thank the senator for the kind words he said about my family and our daughter. I appreciate that very much.

He didn't just say a quick, disingenuous thanks. It was an entire paragraph thanking Roberts. Most people mean what they say.

Reader iam, there's no end to your argument. Watch this: please, don't tell me you BELIEVED him when he said there were WMDs in Iraq and that it was a slam-dunk case. Please, don't tell me you BELIEVED him when he told Gorbachev to tear down this wall. Anybody who watched it knew he wanted the wall to remain standing. Please don't tell me you BELIEVED him when he said that our nation was having a crisis of confidence, America was doing so well at that point . . .

The fact remains, he sincerely thanked John Edwards. It was only when Karl Rove told him to feign outrage for political reasons that he did so. And if you don't believe that he would feign indignation for that reason, then it is you, and not I, who is naive.

Pogo said...

Re: "The fact remains, he sincerely thanked John Edwards."

Terry, your lack of reference to Cheney's tone of voice, facial expression, and body language during his "paragraph of thanks" suggests either (1) you don't know that speech is more than words, or (2) you're unaware of it (the latter a problem with internet-only communicators; and sarcasm seems unlikely here). Neither deficiency should evince pride.

My take on Cheney's words of "thanks" were: controlled seething. Edwards the attorney wanted an angry reaction, like he surely got from hapless witnesses in in court, but all he got a calm "thanks," and many people thought Edwards a bit creepy ever after. Edwards and Kerry lost in part because of stunts like this. My hope is that Democrat strategists come up with more plans like those in 2006 and 2008.

Ann Althouse said...

"The reason you guys are piling on Kerry yet again is to convince yourself yet again that your vote for Bush wasn't as disastrous as all evidence amply demonstrates."

If I had the choice right now to trade what we have with Bush with where Kerry would have us by now -- in Iraq and in the war on terrorism -- I wouldn't trade. And I suspect it wouldn't be that different. But I just couldn't trust Kerry. Bush, on the other hand, did what he said he'd do, and he continues to do that, even if Americans become petulant and impatient, as we tend to do.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Simon said...

Quxxo:
"The reason you guys are piling on Kerry yet again is to convince yourself yet again that your vote for Bush wasn't as disastrous as all evidence amply demonstrates."

I got a great Chief Justice of the United States and a superb Associate Justice of the United States out of Bush, and even if that were all he'd done, it'd be enough.

How's your vote or Kerry working out for you? Get any good emails from him lately, perhaps?

Jacques Cuze said...

Good morning.

If I had the choice right now to trade what we have with Bush with where Kerry would have us by now -- in Iraq and in the war on terrorism -- I wouldn't trade. And I suspect it wouldn't be that different.

See "cognitive dissonance"

Too Many Jims said...

Ann said (among other things):

"If I had the choice right now to trade what we have with Bush with where Kerry would have us by now -- in Iraq and in the war on terrorism -- I wouldn't trade. And I suspect it wouldn't be that different."

I don't think it is cognitive dissonance at all, I think it is quite probable. A President Kerry would not have been able to abandon where we were in Iraq. He recognized (or would have had to once he became President) that if we were in for a penny we were in for a pound (regardless of who threw the penny in). I do think that a new administration would have been able to be more honest about how long and how much investment it is going to take but that is a function of being able to blame things on a predeccessor and does not effect where we are.

On the domestic front our fiscal situation would have been much better, however.

Pogo said...

Jim said "On the domestic front our fiscal situation would have been much better, however."

But think of all the Bush-deranged pundits who'd be out of work. Unemployment would have skyrocketed!

Simon said...

We can apparently add cognitive dissonance to the list of terms quxxo doesn't understand..

ChrisO said...

"I got a great Chief Justice of the United States and a superb Associate Justice of the United States out of Bush."

No, you got that out of the Republicans controlling the government. Who do you think another Republican President would have nominated, Ralph Nader? Those Supreme Court justices aren't sitting there because of the wisdom of George Bush. If he'd have his way, you'd be swallowing hard and telling us how blessed we are to have Harriet Meiers on the court.

"How's your vote for Kerry working out for you?"

You're right, Bush won the election. Is that all you got? That automatically makes everything he does right, because he won? I'd say my vote for Kerry didn't work out, but your vote for Bush is killing us. Exactly how badly does he need to f*ck up the job before you start having second thoughts? Or do you just wrap yourself in the cuddly glow of winning and stop thinking after that?

Simon said...

Jim beat me to it. ;)

Speaking of things Jim said...
"On the domestic front our fiscal situation would have been much better, however."

In the short term or the long term? Because to my recollection, Kerry doesn't even admit there's a problem with entitlement spending. Now, let's be honest: Bush has tried and failed to get reform onto the agenda. And he has tried and failed miserably to explain why it's necessary (honestly, I'm not sure why it's even necessary to explain it when a fourth grader can do the necessary math). But although he's failed, he's tried, which I suspect is more than Kerry would have done.

Moreover, I'm not sure Kerry ever repudiated the allegation that he'd rescind the tax cuts, while I'm very sure that he proposed a great deal more federal spending. So under Kerry, we'd have a President pushing for larger and larger government funded by more and more taxation, which is precisely what is breaking the backs of the Europeans right now. So in a medium to long term sense, I think we're better off with an incompetant Republican than any kind of Democrat.

Simon said...

"No, you got that out of the Republicans controlling the government. Who do you think another Republican President would have nominated, Ralph Nader? Those Supreme Court justices aren't sitting there because of the wisdom of George Bush."

You seem to think that I'm interested in George W. Bush. I'm not. He wouldn't have been my first choice in the 2000 primary, and he's repeatedly proven why since taking office. The question isn't whether Bush is personally responsible for Roberts and Alito, the question was, do you want a Republican administration led by Bush picking Justices, or do you want a democratic administration led by Kerry picking Justices? THAT'S the bottom line.

I don't care if he does nothing else, and I don't care WHAT else he does. Whatever else he does, we can fix when Bush leaves office in a couple of years - the man is GONE in three years. We never have to worry about him again. But Roberts and Alito are going to be there in three DECADES. And if Kerry had won the election, we would have had three decades of Justice Chereminsky, or Justice Guido Calabresi rather than Justice Steven Calabresi. It would have been a DISASTER. What matters, what REALLY matters is fixing the judiciary. That's job one, and Bush - if not personally then by proxy of the team he leads - is doing that, bit-by-bit. Al Queda can blow up a few buildings, and a President can increase the deficit, but the Supreme Court can (and frequently has) done infinitely greater damage to this country, and that's job one. If that means glumly looking the other way on some aspects of what Bush does, that's a trade worth making. I'll take blunt force trauma over cancer.

Too Many Jims said...

Simon,

With respect to fiscal policy, I do not hold delusions that Kerry would be more responsible than Bush if both were left untethered. In reality however, the Republican Congress would have been a real check on spending. As it stands, Bush asks for entirely too much, Congress demands more and the two sides settle on yet more.

The biggest problem is that no politicians are willing to address the entitlement spending/financing problem (medicare is the more immediate problem but at some point we do have to talk about Social Security) but at least if Kerry's team had said something like "deficits don't matter", they would get more push back from the majority party in congress.

Katharine Lindgren said...

Some of the comments seem to assume that Bush and Kerry were very different on gay rights.

Bush favored a constitutional amendment denying the right of gays to marriage. In one of the Southern states in the election, Kerry came out for a state amendment (or referendum) restricting the rights of gays to marry. So the policy difference between the two was only one of federalism, whether anti-gay restrictions should be state or federally based.

Of course, everyone assumed that Kerry was merely being an opportunist by opposing gay rights so strongly, while Bush really meant it.

Which way does that cut?

One might hope that Kerry would flipflop on his (presumably dishonest) anti-gay position.

So would you rather have an honest president or one that you believe and hope was lying to you but might be more pro-gay in policy choices, including appointments?

Katharine Lindgren said...

BTW, the post above by Katharine Lindgren was not from Katharine, but from me.

Jim Lindgren
Volokh Conspiracy

Too Many Jims said...

So Kerry is the candidate making a federalsim argument and Bush supporter a national centralized solution to the situation?

Simon said...

Jim,
I'll agree with all of that. Essentially, the federal budget is going to be screwed until we deal with entitlement spending, which means that not only are a lot of these programs of dubious constitutionality, but that they are financially ruinous in practical terms. Of course, that's overly glib; if everyone was willing to have three children starting right now, perhaps the tax base would be there in twenty years to meet the revenue gap, but that does rather beg the question of how we can afford to train that generation in the meantime.

Jim Lindgren-
See, I think the Federal amendment is a terrible idea. It seems to fly in the face of everything I think was smart about the design of the Constitution; for or against gay marriage, the FMA is essentially moronic for the same reason as was the Eighteenth Amendment. I just don't think decisions like that belong at the Federal level, and I certainly don't approve of writing policy fads of the moment into the Constitution; to be sure, it's more legitimate to do so per Article V than for the Supreme Court to do it, but I still don't think it's a good idea. Fortunately, however, the FMA is a dead letter; it will never make it through Congress, let alone the ratification process.

Thorley Winston said...

Bush favored a constitutional amendment denying the right of gays to marriage. In one of the Southern states in the election, Kerry came out for a state amendment (or referendum) restricting the rights of gays to marry. So the policy difference between the two was only one of federalism, whether anti-gay restrictions should be state or federally based.

Which is not terribly interesting because the POTUS has as much to do with a federal constitutional amendment as a member of the United States Senate would have to do with a State constitutional amendment, which is to say nothing.

As far as the practical effects of their positions, Kerry (who voted against DOMA) would leave open the possibility of a State supreme court like Massachusetts legislating so-called “same sex marriage” from the bench and the federal courts deciding that the “full faith and credit” clause essentially requires other States to allow Massachusetts to rewrite their statutes on civil marriage. The FMA is more conducive to federalism and self government because it (a) stops one State from redefining civil marriage for the entire nation and (b) prohibits the courts from imposing it on the people of those States rather than having it voted on by their legislature.

Simon said...

Thorley:
"The FMA is more conducive to federalism and self government because it (a) stops one State from redefining civil marriage for the entire nation and (b) prohibits the courts from imposing it on the people of those States rather than having it voted on by their legislature."

Well, (a), one state can't redefine civil marriage for the entire nation and I'm not sure how you're reaching the conclusion that they could, and (b) that's the business and concern of the people in each of those states, first and foremost. Within certain very broad parameters, how each state organizes and restrains its branches of government is its own business. It seems vaguely incredible that you're suggesting that a federal straightjacket is in fact a boon to federalism; the FMA would impose a policy fad of the moment on the people of ALL States, regardless of what their legislature says, and at the same time, making it far harder to change.

Elizabeth said...

On the domestic front our fiscal situation would have been much better, however.

I also doubt Kerry would be signing bills then scripting in a little "but I don't have to obey this law" addendum.

If Kerry wouldn't be able to do much differently re: Iraq and terrorism than Bush, then why put up with the domestic horrors of Bush's administration? I've never understood why so-called moderates and socially liberal conservatives are willing to put up with the deals the GOP makes with its "big tent" of religious fundamentalists and other assorted whackjobs. Real people suffer actual consequences from your willingness to turn a blind eye to these bastards.

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Katharine Lindgren said...

Simon,

Sorry I wasn't clear enough.

I think the state referenda are bad, but a constitutional amendment is much worse for the reasons you state.

My point is that we were faced with a choice between two candidates, both of whom were advocating for strong measures against gay rights.

Jim Lindgren
volokh.com

Simon said...

Elizabeth said...
"[I] doubt Kerry would be signing bills then scripting in a little 'but I don't have to obey this law' addendum."

Signing statements are nothing new; Clinton used them, Kerry would have used them. Here is how the CLINTON Justice Department defended the use of signing statements by the CLINTON administration:

"If the President may properly decline to enforce a law, at least when it unconstitutionally encroaches on his powers, then it arguably follows that he may properly announce to Congress and to the public that he will not enforce a provision of an enactment he is signing. If so, then a signing statement that challenges what the President determines to be an unconstitutional encroachment on his power, or that announces the President's unwillingness to enforce (or willingness to litigate) such a provision, can be a valid and reasonable exercise of Presidential authority." Any questions?

This is not to say, of course, that the President can do so when the Supreme Court has ruled on the issue. The question is whether, in the absence of clear Supreme Court precedent, the President may exercise judgement as to the constitutionality of a statute. The answer is surely yes; the President affirms the constitutionality of every piece of legislation he signs.

I have no interest in picking a fight over this, because frankly, I'm not in favor of a strong executive vis-a-vis Congress, and I think Bush has really been pushing to strengthn the executive beyond that which I approve of. Signing statements have been part of that. But for Congress - which has been aggrandizing its own scope of power to and beyond its constitutional limits for decades - to now turn around and demand a strict reading of Article II and an extremely broad reading of Article I is simply absurd.

Elizabeth said...

Simon, thanks. My questions, not for you, but for my own research, would be how often are signing statements used, and to what effect over time. There's a bit of irony in the escalating efforts to acquire more power in the two branches of government (well, all three) and the rapidly dropping approval ratings the public is giving to politicians of both parties. Which one fuels the other?

Jacques Cuze said...

Kyoto vs. Iraq

is one of many many differences.

But has Bush really been consistent about what he has said about Iraq and the War On Terrorism?

Wanted Dead or Alive.
I really don't think that much about him.

Then Murtha said we should redeploy over the horizon. Bush said we can't get out and we can't give timetables! And then Bush said we would be reducing armed forces by the end of 2006.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200603140011

And more of course all available via google and clicking.

http://www.americanprogressaction.org/site/pp.asp?c=klLWJcP7H&b=118263

Bush claims he can win the war on terror: "One of the interesting things people ask me, now that we're asking questions, is, can you ever win the war on terror? Of course, you can." [President Bush, 4/13/04]

…Bush says war on terror is unwinnable: "I don't think you can win [the war on terror]." [President Bush, 8/30/04]

…Bush says he will win the war on terror: "Make no mistake about it, we are winning and we will win [the war on terror]." [President Bush, 8/31/04]

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/28/politics/main646142.shtml

Does it bother you then that Mr. Consistent on the war is now saying that talk of war with Iran is just wild speculation? http://billmon.org/archives/002379.html

Jacques Cuze said...

No one before Bush has used signing statements instead of a veto. Bush has issued over 500 such statements with over 750 challenges in them. President Bush has used presidential signing statements more than any previous president. From President Monroe's administration (1817-25) to the Carter administration (1977-81), the executive branch issued a total of 75 signing statements to protect presidential prerogatives. From Reagan's administration through Clinton's, the total number of signing statements ever issued, by all presidents, rose to a total 322.

Bush uses the statements to veto bills without having to go public about vetoing these bills. Since the line-item veto was declared unconstitutional, one might wonder about the constitutionality of these statements, including the one that effectively vetoed the torture ban.

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20060109_bergen.html

There is some argument that the unitary executive argument that Bush's signing statements refer to runs counter to Marbury vs. Madison and violates Separation of Powers. Perhaps the divine Ms. A can weigh in here.

In his view, and the view of his Administration, that doctrine gives him license to overrule and bypass Congress or the courts, based on his own interpretations of the Constitution -- even where that violates long-established laws and treaties, counters recent legislation that he has himself signed, or (as shown by recent developments in the Padilla case) involves offering a federal court contradictory justifications for a detention.

This is a form of presidential rebellion against Congress and the courts, and possibly a violation of President Bush's oath of office, as well.

After all, can it be possible that that oath means that the President must uphold the Constitution only as he construes it - and not as the federal courts do?

And can it be possible that the oath means that the President need not uphold laws he simply doesn't like - even though they were validly passed by Congress and signed into law by him? ....



It is the foundation of our system. James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers, No. 47, that:

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.


Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense:

In America, the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.


I for one welcome our new presidential signing overlord.

Simon said...

Quxxo:
Answer me a hypothetical.

As we all know, "an act of the legislature repugnant to the constitution is void," as Marbury says, and we also know that the President has a duty to faithfully execute the laws, per Art.II §3.

Two more premises we surely all agree with: you would presumably agree that a President can veto a bill for any reason he chooses, and that one of the more legitimate reasons is because he doubts the constitutionality of the measure. And you would also presumably agree that when the Supreme Court has deemed a statute unconstitutional, the executive has no obligation to execute that statute because being repubgant to the constitution, the statute is not a law.

Now, suppose that there is a given law in existence when the President takes office, which the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on - perhaps because no one can muster standing to challenge it - but it is clearly unconstitutional. Now, the original statute passed by Congress, the "Help America Write Catchy Statute Titles Act (HAWCaSTS), 196 Stat. 12575, has three chapters: chapter one defines and sets a punishment for piracy, and is codified at 18 U.S.C. §1652, chapter two appropriates money for a period of one year to maintain the United States Navy, to the tune of several billion dollars, while chapter three created 18 U.S.C. §2381(a) to punish treason by creating the sentence of the shunning of the traitor's family: the executive will ensure that no children of a convicted traitor ever recieve federal money, and will carry signs around their necks identifying themselves as spawn of a traitor for the rest of their life. Now, obviously, chapters one and two are constitutional, because they fall into explicit grants of Congressional power, and equally obviously, chapter three is unconstitutional, violating Art.III §3. And again, remember: the Supreme court, for whatever reasons, hasn't reviewed the case. In your opinion, can the President refuse to enforce §2381(a) on the grounds that it is unconstitutional, even absent a ruling from the Supreme Court saying so?

ChrisO said...

Simon:

The President can veto the bill, and tell Congress he'll sign it when they remove the offending chapter. Congress can then decide how they will respond. It's part of the back and forth between the branches.

And the use of extreme examples does nothing to further the debate. No on is claiming that Bush is the first to use signing statements, or that he should be prohibited from doing so. But Bush's signing statements are often focused not on a provision that will cause undue suffering for the public, but on provisions that he feels restrict his powers.

I think it's more than a little ironic that the "Accountability President" chooses to use siging statements (which if he had his way the public would never know about) rather than a veto, which he would have to defend.

ChrisO said...

Sorry for the typos. Blogger made me post this three times before it took.

SippicanCottage said...

One time, Bushitler said it was sunny out.

And then, LATER THE VERY SAME DAY, he said it was dark out! (insert ellipses and brackets as necessary)

Thomas Paine, while walking his dog, once commented that if he had his way, that cobblestone he stubbed his toe on would be fixed. That, and "What did I just step in?" The meaning here is clear: In forty presidential terms or so, whoah nellie!

The Supreme Court ruled in The Boston Phone Book v. The Topic at Hand, that all opinions henceforward would be weighed judiciously, and in the avoirdupois, not the apothecary system; and then they had lunch.

When will people WAKE UP!?!!!??

Joseph Hovsep said...

Jim Lindgren: My point is that we were faced with a choice between two candidates, both of whom were advocating for strong measures against gay rights.

Kerry has been from inspiring in his defense of gay rights, but to say that Bush and Kerry somehow support comparably strong measures against gay rights is just not true.

Kerry and Bush both oppose gay marriage, but Kerry has said he think all the rights associated with marriage should be made available to gay couples through civil unions (including federal benefits like Social Security survivor and spousal benefits) and has generally opposed state constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage and other gay rights. Bush supports amending the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions to exclude gays and lesbians from marriage. Kerry also voted against the federal DOMA; Bush supports it.

Kerry would lift the ban on openly gay servicemembers. Bush, even in a time of war, supports the military's explusion and refusal to hire of openly gay people.

Kerry supports gay couples' right to adopt; Bush has publically expressed his skepticism that gay couples can make good parents.

Kerry opposes sodomy laws; Bush has never retracted his promise to veto any attempt to take sodomy laws out of the Texas criminal code.

Kerry supports including sexual orientation as a protected class in the Civil Rights Act and supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation' Bush opposes both.

Kerry supports expanding the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation; Bush supports hate crimes laws unless they include sexual orientation.

You can make the argument that Kerry would not have followed through on his positions, but its simply not true to argue that there aren't big substantive policy differences between Bush and Kerry on gay rights issues.

Jacques Cuze said...

In your opinion, can the President refuse to enforce ... on the grounds that it is unconstitutional, even absent a ruling from the Supreme Court saying so?

I'm no lawyer and it's a miracle I can drool without drowning, or so would say Slippery Cheese. But here is a link to consider:

http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/nonexcut.htm

That memorandum would say that within certain constraints the answer is not only yes, but that the President has a duty to do so.

But I might ask just what is it about the Republican House and Republican Senate that has issued so many unconstitutional laws during the President's term. 750 in six years in comparison to something like 322 in the prior 224 years.

Is Bush really is he really presuming enactments are constitutional? Is he really coming to the decision that the provisions are unconstitutional and that the Court would agree with him? Why now? And why no use of the veto at all?

Maybe you're right though. Maybe this Republican controlled Congress really is as corrupt as Bush is suggesting. There is some evidence to that.

Jacques Cuze said...

Deep breaths Slippery! Spine straight, head erect, hands on knees, mouth closed. Breathing to the count of four. Hold the breath, counting to two, and start slowly exhaling slowly through your pursed lips - like blowing a kiss - all the way out..., again to the count of four.

Close your eyes, relax your muscles and allow the tension to leave your body.

And relax your muscles - all over - every muscle - just relaaaax - like butter - like crusty, old snow melting on a warm, sunny day - from the tip of your head to the tip of your toes. It's going to be okay, we're just one election away.

Feel a bit better even though your man is hated by most of America and you find yourself realizing that you personally sold our birthright for a future of cold pottage for all of us? I hope so.

Simon said...

ChrisO - don't get ahead of yourself. ;) Go re-read the hypothetical.

Quxxo - I'll take that as a yes, that is, you think that the President can (and probably should) refuse to enforce §2381(a). Good, I agree with you. Now, let's take the hypothetical a little further. Having agreed to the proposition that the President can refuse to enforce §2381(a) standing alone, in your opinion, can the President still refuse to enforce §2381(a) while enforcing §1652 and paying the sailors wages provided for by chapter two?

Remember, this is all one statute we're talking about and presently (although Chris missed this part) this is a statute enacted and signed into law before this President came into office.

SippicanCottage said...

If he's, as you say, "My man," why is he always hiding under your bed?

I'm definitely suggesting making you Althouse's Vice President in Charge of Hyperventilation, though. You've obviously got experience.

Add it to you business card.

Then tell us all again how Madison v. Marbury was about the vice president's lesbian daughter. There's a kind of fun in watching the contortions you'll go through to get Bush is Hitler in there.

You have the attribute I like most in folks: dependability.

Joseph Hovsep said...

I should have written above: Kerry has been FAR from inspiring...

ChrisO said...

Simon:

You're right, I missed your caveat at the beginning of your post. Something aboput reading 125 comments that makes you miss the occasional detail.

In view of how you phrased it, and I'm posing this as a question to the legal experts on this board, doesn't the solicitor general go before the Supreme Court on occasion to argue the constitutionality of a law passed by Congress? Is the President's only option to ignore elements of legislation for as long as he's in office?

I do believe the rest of my post is still germane, however. So we stipulate that the President can refuse to enforce a provision in a law that he feels is unconstitutional. In addition to the fact that your example is more than extreme, I fail to see how it effects the argument against Bush's signing statements. Since the issue at hand is not about Bush refusing to implement provisions in legislation already passed when he came into office, it appears that you've established the right of the President to issue signing statements, which has never been in contention.

The fatc remains, his signing statements quite often are designed to let him accrue more power, not to prevent children from having to walk around with signs around their necks. And the fact that he hasn't issued a single veto after five years makes it pretty clear that he has opted for a back door method, rather than being upfront about his actions. I'm interested to hear how that's defensible.

And finally, he issues sigining statements that contravene agreements he has made with Congress in order to get legislation passed. Where exactly does that fit into his pledge to return integrity and accountability to the White House?

Simon said...

Chris,
Well, I'm probably being unfair, because you're definitely right in seeing where I'm going with this hypothetical. I was hoping to pursuade Quxxo to go along a little further, because I really think that he might be able to drink on this point if he's led to the water. ;)

Since I think he's abandoned his posting, though, let's pick it up there. You're right, I'm using a hypothetical that is extreme in its detail, but the point of the hypothetical is this: the obvious answer to the last question I posed to Quxxo is that yes, the President can still abide by chapters one and two of that statute while refusing to enforce chapter three. And of course, it would be absurd to suggest that the President must hide this behavior; if she believes that §2381(a) is unconstitutional, and has no intention of enforcing it, she can say publically that she will not enforce §2381(a).

But you must surely see what this means: if all three of these regulations were passed within the same statute, if this President (who did not sign the bill) refuses to enforce §2381(a), the President is refusing to enforce one part of our hypothetical act of Congress while continuing to enforce other parts of the same act of Congress.

If you can agree that this much is fair game, it surely becomes a less daunting step to get to signing statement, to which we turn next.

Now, we've been dealing with a hypothetical which is, as you point out, quite extreme in its detail. Chapter three is so obviously unconstitutional as to be a reductio ad absurdum (although it should be noted that the principle still holds true in less extreme hypotheticals, as I intend to show). We've also been dealing with an example where the President was not asked to sign the law; it was in force before she took the oath of office.

Pause for two more axiomatic points. First, a President who believes that a piece of legislation presented to him is unconstitutional in whole is obligated by his oath of office to veto the bill. (In point of fact, this is actually the worst thing that one can say about Bush: he signed BCRA while saying that he believed it was unconstitutional. That's an impeachable dereliction of duty, IMHO). Second axiom: not every challenge to legislation is a facial challenge; sometimes an otherwise constitutional piece of legislation can be unconstitutional as applied to a particular situation or person.

Suppose our fictional President is presented with a bill similar to the one we were using in our earlier hypothetical, HAWCaSTS. In so clear-cut an example, I agree with you: the President should veto the whole thing, and send it back with the stipulation that she will sign it when chapter three is removed. But what about a less extreme example? What about, a statute presented to the President for their signature which contains six thousand clauses in three hundred pages; 5,996 of those clauses are simple, straight forward, self-explanatory and self-evidently constitutional. But the four clauses that comprise section 283(a) are ambigious: they could be interpreted in two ways, one of which is arguably constitutional, the other one is arguably not constitutional. It's a close call. Now what? Should the President reject the statute in toto? After all, the idea of comity between the branches is not just between the Court and the Congress; the Congress has implicitly declared its belief in the constitutionality of those clauses by passing the statute. Deference to Congress in such a circumstance, when the call is close, is one valid strategy for a President who isn't sure.

Now, if you can accept all the foregoing, doesn't it seem to stand to reason that a President who accepts the bulk of a statute, but believes one or two bits could be interpreted either way, is entitled to sign the law while saying that he - without binding his successors to the same interpretation - will construe the unclear clauses in a manner he believes to be consistent with the Constitution?

Jacques Cuze said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jacques Cuze said...

It's not that I abandoned the post, it's that there is a little thing called work and dinner. (Interspersed with the Divine Ms. A calling me names and then deleting any post where I responded.)

Also, your post was this enormous hypothetical, my post was a series of actual facts on the ground with several questions for you.

I responded to you. You didn't respond to me. You then added more to your hypothetical. And now claim I some how abandoned your argument. Sorry, homey don't play that.

BTW, you really do not understand what cognitive dissonance theory is....

Simon said...

Quxxo - welcome back. So, let's pick up (I set aside the disagreement on cognitive dissonance; you can look that up in an encyclopaedia on your own time). When last we left our heroes, you had agreed that the President can (and probably should) refuse to enforce §2381(a), which I agree with. Having agreed to the proposition that the President can refuse to enforce §2381(a) standing alone: in your opinion, can the President still refuse to enforce §2381(a) while enforcing §1652 and paying the sailors wages provided for by chapter two?

Simon said...

Incidentally, with regard to your question, I can't answer those because I'm not Bush. You'd have to ask him. I'm helping you understand the premise of signing statements, not their use by any particular President. As you'll gather from previous comments in this thread, my interest in defending what this particular President does is fairly low at this point; we need a Republican President for reasons previously explained, Bush got the nomination, so tag, he's it. So in any event, let's get back to business.

Jacques Cuze said...

You'll have to play with yourself.

I'm not going to deal with your hypothetical when you refuse to look at the actual facts.

Simon said...

Okay, so you're conceding th epoint. Fair enough, although I think it's fairly sad that you won't engage in something unless it provides ammunition in your jihad against Bush. Carry on.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm not going to deal with your hypothetical when you refuse to look at the actual facts."

That's a concession that you do not care or have a basic grasp on reason and principle. Simon posed a great hypothetical to illustrate the problem, and he's handling the discussion of it perfectly.

Carry on.

Stacy said...

Yeah, because Bush has been so good for gay civil rights. Please.

I think it was stupid for Kerry/Edwards to bring Mary into the political discourse, but I find the tone of the post about kerry to be totally insincere. I think it's reasonable to infer that kerry WOULD have been a lot better for gays and lesbians, but of course, with a GOP congress, who knows. The GOP platform is decidedly anti-gay and to distract from that fact is just weak. Well, if you believe gays deserve civil rights, that is. If Ms. Althouse doesn't, then her tone is totally appropriate.

Jacques Cuze said...

That's a concession that you do not care or have a basic grasp on reason and principle. Simon posed a great hypothetical to illustrate the problem, and he's handling the discussion of it perfectly.

Don't be a silly person.

I already said there were certainly times it was reasonable for a President to use a signing statement to clarify his understanding and intentions.

I asked Simon some specific questions that he refused to answer: why in a Republican controlled House and Senate would a Republican President find 750 of such occasions in six years when in the prior 224 years, there less than half of those number all together. And given that these occasions arise, where there might be 4 out of 6 thousand such statements, how come there hasn't been a SINGLE instance of there being just a plain bad bill that deserved a veto?

And dialogue and conversation counselor is dialogue and a conversation. If you want to interrogate me with hypothetical on hypothetical, you are obligated to answer some of my questions if you want to consider this a dialogue and conversation.

Otherwise to paraphrase yourself, Simon would have to pay me to consider looking at his absurdly long hypothetical! I frankly consider that weird!

No concession necessary.

Why has Bush needed so many signing statements, especially when his party controlls all of Congress?

37383938393839383938383 said...

They believe that one can oppose same sex marriage while not supporting constitutional amendments to write gay rights out of the constitution.

Saying that someone is taking steps to write it out presumes that it was already in. Now, I'm not saying it shouldn't be in there, or that one shouldn't put it in there by amendment, but I don't think there is a "Gay Rights" section of the Constitution. There are certainly rights that all Americans have, regardless of whether or not they are gay, but the Constitution doesn't guarantee what some people call "the Homosexual Agenda" and others call "gay rights". I mean, I think Holmes' dissent in Lochner pretty much covers this, no?