If ssm wins through the Supreme Court, conservatives can move on to the more abstract and better principled argument against judicial activism.Boldface added, because I need you to remember that. But I want to answer Bill's question. As a proponent of same-sex marriage, how do I want to win? I want to win in the Supreme Court. But I am not hoping for Democratic Party victories in 2014 and 2016. I don't want to see more left-liberal political power leveraged by the same-sex-marriage issue. I don't want more of that distortion, and conservatives should rejoice if the Court saves them from it. Rejoice privately, of course, and move on to your high-road, anti-judicial-activism game.
If the fight continues in the political process, conservatives are going to spend years getting sidetracked into this issue -- rather than the spending and economics issues -- where they will look worse and worse to more and more people.
It's obvious to me that conservative opponents to ssm will be much better off losing in court that going through this political process.
And I think smart conservatives who are writing today in the National Review or the WSJ or wherever actually know this. They are simply pre-loading their judicial activism argument. They can't come out and say what I'm saying or their judicial activism argument won't launch.
But the reason I would like to see the win in the Supreme Court is because I think that's the right place to draw the line between the decisions that belong to the individual and the decisions that belong to majoritarian politics. I don't think the government has been able to articulate anything close to a good enough reason for treating committed couples differently because of the configuration of parts of their bodies that the government shouldn't be looking at anyway.
Meanwhile, if the Court decides against same-sex marriage, it will catapult the Democrats politically. They'll rage. But will it not be in (private) delight?