October 7, 2014

2 conservatives, 2 different reactions to the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling-without-ruling: Scott Walker and Ted Cruz.

Governor Scott Walker, up for reelection here in Wisconsin next month and a possible presidential candidate for 2016, kept it short, neutral, and decisive:
"For us, it's over in Wisconsin. ... The federal courts have ruled that this decision by this court of appeals decision is the law of the land and we will be upholding it."
Walker hasn't wanted same-sex marriage to be an issue in his reelection campaign. As a Wisconsinite, I follow stories about Scott Walker continually, and last time I blogged about him and same-sex marriage was last June, in a post called "Shhhh! Scott Walker is evolving on gay marriage," when the federal district court struck down the Wisconsin ban. Walker's response was: "It really doesn't matter what I think now.... It's in the constitution." I thought that was the best response then, and I'm not surprised to see him use it again. I thought the requirement to allow same-sex marriage was "for him, a gift." It allowed him to display restraint and freed him from having to state an opinion on the divisive issue and to "move on to the matters that properly belong to government."

And as I said yesterday, the Supreme Court's denial of cert. signifies that the issue is over. You may dispute whether that's really true, as we wait to see if any federal circuit upholds a ban, but it's certainly over in Wisconsin, and it was smart of Scott Walker to say that and move on. Notice that back in June, Walker's opponent Mary Burke had tried to goad him into making same-sex marriage an issue. She said: "I think the people of Wisconsin would like to hear what the governor thinks... And it seems pretty political to me that he seems now to be waffling on whether he supports gay marriage or doesn't and that he's not being clear with voters about that." He didn't take the bait then and there isn't even any bait to offer now. There was nothing to be said then, and there's really nothing to be said now. That's a good, solid, small-government-conservative answer.

Senator Ted Cruz has a wider view. Unlike Walker, he's not grounded in a state where it's clearly over. As a U.S. Senator, he quite properly looks toward the whole country, and he represents Texas, one of the states where the same-sex marriage ban survives. Unlike Walker, he has a background as a legal expert (an exceedingly strong background). Unlike Walker, he's not facing reelection right now, but like Walker, he's a potential presidential candidate for 2016.

Cruz issued a highly opinionated statement yesterday. He accused the Supreme Court of "abdicating its duty" and expressing "astonish[ment]" that the Court would deny cert. "without providing any explanation whatsoever," even though that's the norm for cert. denials and hardly anything outrageous. Sometimes a Justice publishes a dissent from the denial of certiorari, so I take it there was nothing any of the 9 of them wanted to say. From that, as I've said, I infer that they see the issue as over. It's a slowly developing picture of finality, which will only ever get sharpened up by the Supreme Court if some federal circuit fails to see what has been placed clearly enough before its eyes.

Cruz calls the Court's restraint "judicial activism at its worst." I guess sometimes not acting is the most active thing you can possibly do. Cruz goes into full fighting mode, stirring up the crowd with hard-hitting law and traditional-values talk.
Unelected judges should not be imposing their policy preferences to subvert the considered judgments of democratically elected legislatures.... The Supreme Court is, de facto, applying an extremely broad interpretation to the 14th Amendment without saying a word... The Court is making the preposterous assumption that the People of the United States somehow silently redefined marriage in 1868 when they ratified the 14th Amendment. Nothing in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the 14th Amendment or any other constitutional provision authorizes judges to redefine marriage for the Nation.... Marriage is a question for the States.... Traditional marriage is an institution whose integrity and vitality are critical to the health of any society. We should remain faithful to our moral heritage and never hesitate to defend it.
He's got his State Marriage Defense bill and he's going to push a constitutional amendment. He's not giving in or moving on. He's your fervent-to-the-end defender of traditional marriage in its starchily exclusionary form, which I'm sure some of my readers love. Myself, I respect Cruz, and I like him as a member of the Senate, where he's a clear strong voice within a group, but I don't think he's the kind of person who could serve the whole people as President. (As I said recently, here.)

149 comments:

iowan2 said...

Has SCOTUS ever taken an appeal that there was not a conflict in federal courts? Like this homosexual marriage issue?
Just wondering if they are consistent in their reasoning.

Ann Althouse said...

"Has SCOTUS ever taken an appeal that there was not a conflict in federal courts?"

Some cases are taken because they are exceedingly important. Bush v. Gore is the obvious example.

Mark said...

Walker was a big supporter of the Amendment and thus is doing his best to move the issue along so no one remembers that.

Evolving and being good at hiding are two different things.

Ted Cruz has repeatedly limited his rise to no further than his current position, and confirmed that here. I think he is trying to be a conservative ideologue so that he gets appointed to the Federal Bench once he can no longer be elected.

tim maguire said...

On the one hand, democracy must be more than 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. On the other hand, a few appointed judges should not blithely overturn the will of the people.

Despite that fact that I think gay marriage falls under "two wolves and a sheep" (don't like gay marriage? Don't marry a gay.) I'd like the courts to stay silent and let the citizens work it out for themselves. The pendulum is swinging hard in favor of gay marriage. Courts short-circuiting the democratic process will only create another Roe v Wade situation where the battle cannot resolve itself because the courts declared a winner before the fight was over.

Renee said...

I struggle because I see the issue with issues of public policy that creates a marriage penalty, not a penalty being married.

There was a lot of interesting public policy points how taxes hurt young married couples yet to have children or a denial of social benefits if your low income yet married.

Brando said...

Everyone hates "unelected judges" overruling the "will of the people" except when the ruling goes in their own favor. If the Supreme Court had struck down Obamacare in 2012, would Cruz be complaining about the "activist judiciary" shooting down a law passed by Congress and signed by the president? I think not.

As for the merits, face it--gay marriage is the trend, mostly because unlike most other controversial issues (abortion, taxes) there's really no good reason why the government should legitimize heterosexual marriage but not gay marriage. For example, you can't point to a negative effect of gay marriage the way you can for an abortion ban or for legalized abortion.

There is the argument I've heard that once gay marriage is legitimized, the next step is requiring private actors to also legitimize it (for example, making it illegal for a wedding photographer to refuse to serve gay weddings) and while this does become more problematic (because of the clash of two different civil rights) it's really a separate issue--the state legalizing a form of marriage doesn't by itself invoke anti-discrimination laws applicable to private parties. For instance, when the Court issued the Loving decision striking down state bans on interracial marriage, it didn't create anti-discrimination protection for those couples regarding private parties.

Personally, I'd like to see the state get out of the marriage business entirely--the tax code, for example, shouldn't differentiate between married couples and single people. But as long as the state does determine which marriages it will recognize, I see no good reason to leave same sex marriages out.

Gabriel said...

As a supporter of legal same-sex marriage I would point out that "the courts have spoken, let's move on" was never our response when same-sex marriage was everywhere illegal.

It was never our response when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act that "the elected representatives of the people have spoken, let's move on."

It's disingenuous to insist that the game is over only after we have gotten our way.

Bob R said...

Ted Cruze and Rand Paul should get out of the Senate. Run for governor. Get a real job. The Senate actively makes people stupider every minute they are in it. Look what happened to Biden.

I probably agree with Paul on more issues than any other serious candidate, but I have a real problem with someone who's main political experience is the Senate. (At least Paul had a real medical practice.)

Renee said...

Paternity is assumed within marriage, as a matter of public policy.


If all forms sperm and egg donation were illegal, and we didn't falsify birth certificates as a matter of law to make adults happy there would be less conflict.

I waiting for more legal challenges from adults seeking rights to know who they are.

There is a whole industry from the 1%, who think they can order up a baby.

Renee said...

Brando, I do agree with the tax code problem. We are always trying to give an incentive or penalty with our tax codes. Taxes shouldnt be about playing favorites, but simply a way to cover the cost of government and services.

rhhardin said...

The marriage tax penalty is a result of a non-flat income tax rate, not anything about marriage.

You can't do two things at once

1. Families with the same total income should pay the same tax, and

2. There should be no tax favoring of single or married.

They both can happen only with a flat rate income tax.

Fix that and the marriage penalty (or, every couple of generations, the marriage advantage) goes away.

rhhardin said...

It's over in the media hype sense, as in you lose your CEO job if you support California's ban on the ballot.

Not much account is taken of ban supporters who favor civil unions, a rather large proportion of them.

They want to save the word for what it is.

Renee said...

@Gabriel

But if most people think marriage is obsolete, why drag it out in another session of the Supreme Court?

Even though abortion is illegal, the pro-life culture is on the ground helping babies and parents.

That same engagement can take another step in that direction to reunify and stabilize the family long term.

My children are getting older, parents of their friends and classmates are splittingup (married or not), I'm not judging their personal relationships but this is and has created instability. We can't even get parents to coach soccer, because that parent doesn't have custody or the other parent isnt willing to travel back to town for the kids soccer game. My God, please stay in the same zip code at least for your kids.

I'm coming from a point of view that family isn't a government created idea, we could have a strong family culture with no family laws on the books.

Custody issues are a serious public policy issue, how many 'amber alerts' are from noncustodial parent parents conflicts when the child isn't in immediate danger?(Some are)

B said...

I guess sometimes not acting is the most active thing you can possibly do.

Not implausible. If lower courts are using a very activist interpretation and SCOTUS demures, that's judicial activism by proxy.

MayBee said...

As a supporter of legal same-sex marriage I would point out that "the courts have spoken, let's move on" was never our response when same-sex marriage was everywhere illegal.

It was never our response when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act that "the elected representatives of the people have spoken, let's move on.


Good point, Gabriel. True of many things these days.

Henry said...

Mark wrote: Evolving and being good at hiding are two different things.

Often they are the same. Any chameleon could tell you that.

Brando said...

"Brando, I do agree with the tax code problem. We are always trying to give an incentive or penalty with our tax codes. Taxes shouldnt be about playing favorites, but simply a way to cover the cost of government and services."

Exactly. The only legitimate purposes of taxes should be to raise revenue. (I get that this alone wouldn't make the code simple, as determining what counts as "income" is itself complicated) Anything that the code does beyond that is social engineering, and if government sees fit to do that, it should be done in the open through regulation, not backdooring it via tax preferences. It's just another example of idiot politicians trying to get credit for "doing something" about society (promoting homeownership, promoting marriage, promoting charity) any way they can. And ultimately it just distorts the economy and makes it less efficient.

paminwi said...

Mark: Gov Walker has not tried to hide the fact that he supported the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in WI. If you watch his interview about the court decision he says he voted FOR the amendment but that the court has one decided and we have to abide by that decision.

So, in fewer words: you are full of shit.

Gabriel said...

@Renee But if most people think marriage is obsolete, why drag it out in another session of the Supreme Court?

That wasn't our response when most people thought same-sex marriage should be illegal.

Will said...

I disagree any "pendulums are swinging hard" here. I think the silent majority is willing to respect some lifestyle choices, but that is a very far cry from endorsing it.

I will believe it is over when LGBT stop suing vendors who politely decline to provide wedding cakes, invitations, photography, reception venue and church alters.

There are places that will gladly take your business. Why must you insist in rubbing the nose of people who do not endorse it in your choice?

Gabriel said...

@Renee: It wasn't our response when a majority of California voters decided same-sex marriage should be illegal and actually went to the trouble of amending their state constitution.

It is, as I said, disingenuous to say we've got our way, game is over.

Renee said...

But that was six years ago.

The scale tipped, since then.

Family life is very weakened, and even if I had tens of thousands of dollars I wouldn't pay off politicians as a lobby. I would be doing something in the community to help young adults or father reengagement.

On a personal level, what I see as a disagreement of policy and its direction, is not 'hate' and homophobia. It has put stress on relationships. It sucks on that level, but that's the plate I've been served.

Unknown said...

The problem is not even marriage, that toy will soon be flung aside once gifted. The problem is that like slavery, homosexuality is pernicious (or if big words are numbing, faggotry is wrong) both morally and materially, and should not be humored, encouraged, supported or aided as far as is possible without conducting razzias.

Was the debate over slavery dead after Dred Scott? No, but there was blood and fire to reverse it. Will there be blood and fire when the pendulum overcomes clinging hands and swings the other way? Hopefully by then we will be saved from the question, by technology eliminating this disorder, or possibly gay marriage will stop gays from breeding under false pretenses.

But if gay, why not incest or polygamy? Neither is as repugnant.

Then again probably none of the above is as bad as kicking your dog. Which is of course light years below abortion as a wrong.

Lyssa said...

Does anyone out there (including Sen. Cruz) really believe that a federal constitutional amendment is even remotely possible? Sure, if all of this had happened in 2004, such an amendment would have been realistic, but today, given how difficult it is to add an amendment and current public sentiment?

I'm surprised to see Althouse saying that she respects Cruz here - personally, this seems like populist rabble rousing designed to benefit Cruz and Cruz alone, rather than offering any possible real solutions or benefits to the country or party. It makes me lose respect for him.

Bob Ellison said...

I agree with the Professor and Lyssa about Cruz. He doesn't have the temperament required of an effective President.

Maybe he'll mellow in a few years. Maybe he'll evolve.

Kevin said...

"but I don't think he's the kind of person who could serve the whole people as President."

Can anyone offer an example where a President did serve "the whole people"...?

I surely cannot.

And don't just offer up one you happened to agree with his agenda.

PB Reader said...

On to polyamory! What's special about two!?

Renee said...

Being gay is NOT repugnant.

Being gay is an orientation, a way that an individual connects to others differently.

I think you mean behavior, yeah some behaviors are repugnant but equally repugnant gay or straight.

Sodomy OK as long as it is done on a woman?

Kevin said...

@ Mark 10/7/14, 6:20 AM

I seem to remember one Barack H. Obama was also a big supporter of "marriage is one man and one woman"...

Until it became politically expedient for him to "evolve".

Are you going hold him to the same standard you are using for Walker?

I though not.

Renee said...

@Lyssa

And would a constitutional amendment encourage marriage considering where we are at this point?

Nope.

Brando said...

"Maybe he'll mellow in a few years. Maybe he'll evolve."

Why would he evolve? He's getting everything he wants with each stunt he pulls. His goal isn't to become president, or to even accomplish any sort of policy. His goal is to make enough of a name for himself to become another Palinesque media personality and cash in on that.

The GOP and its right-wing base have repeatedly been taken in by self-aggrandizing flim flam artists. I'm sure his defenders will come out of the woodword to explain that Cruz is a man of true principle, that the last government shutdown was a total success for the GOP and would have been even more successful if they'd kept it going indefinitely, and that they need to nominate more Christine O'Donnells to achieve true successmanship.

PB Reader said...

No more marriage! No more stigma of out of wedlock children! No more worry/glory of single motherhood. On with the breeding!

Alexander said...

Heh - "over".

When we're discussing the right of American's to bear arms, or free association, or freedom of speech, or shipping out the illegals... you'll note we always "need a national dialogue" no matter how many times it's clear that the American people want and desire X.

Across the pond, the Irish had to keep having "discussions" on whether to join the EU until they finally voted the way they were supposed to... then it was 'over'.

Same old, same old.

As a fun exercise, how many policy issues can you name where the majority of the population disagrees with the elite... and the issue is considered settled?

Tank said...

Brando said...

"Maybe he'll mellow in a few years. Maybe he'll evolve."

Why would he evolve? He's getting everything he wants with each stunt he pulls. His goal isn't to become president, or to even accomplish any sort of policy. His goal is to make enough of a name for himself to become another Palinesque media personality and cash in on that.

The GOP and its right-wing base have repeatedly been taken in by self-aggrandizing flim flam artists. I'm sure his defenders will come out of the woodword to explain that Cruz is a man of true principle, that the last government shutdown was a total success for the GOP and would have been even more successful if they'd kept it going indefinitely, and that they need to nominate more Christine O'Donnells to achieve true successmanship.


I'm sure you would have said Reagan was a flim flam artist too. It's interesting that you "know" what is in Cruz' heart.

As for O'Donnell, while perhaps not the "best" candidate, I suspect that, if she had been elected, she would vote 95% of the time just as we conservative libertarian types would want. In the Congress you don't have to be the smartest, you just have to vote the way "I" want. I felt the same about Palin; I don't particularly like her or think she's the smartest, yet, she would have done the "right" thing more often than not (way more).

Brando said...

Renee, I think there are two types of opponents of homosexuality. There are those who think it is an immoral act (either due to religious conviction or secular belief), rather than an orientation. They believe it is like a sickness, akin to alchoholism--they disapprove of the act but are sympathetic to those who practice it, and wish to help them change their ways.

Then there are those who just hate gay people. They're either grossed out by the idea of gay people, or threatened by their own sexual feelings, or just plain hate homosexuals for reasons they can't articulate besides loathing them.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

It allowed him to... "move on to the matters that properly belong to government."

If the government is issuing marriage licenses, then to whom they issue the licenses is obviously a matter that properly belongs to the government.

Brando said...

Tank, a couple points:

1) Reagan was never a flim flam artist, precisely because his goals were always to advance certain policies--both as governor and president. To do so, he understood the need for compromise, and when possible to convince others, and he was often successful at doing so. He got results. A flim flam artist, on the other hand, is all about stunts and getting their name out there. They don't really care if they advance anything--just so long as their core of supporters keep writing checks and they get talked about. Cruz hasn't just alienated liberals--if that were the case, he'd be like any other hard core conservative. He's alienated moderates and other conservatives, and fought with everyone he could, all the time. He's not trying to win over converts or achieve anythng--at least I have seen no evidence of this. But he definitely gets talked about, so there's something. Maybe he can sell some books, get a TV show when he leaves the Senate. But he'd need to have some road to Damascus moment to turn things around and become another Reagan.

2) Yeah, O'Donnell would have voted with the GOP close to 100% of the time if she got elected. But the idea that she could ever win in Delaware is insane, and by elevating her over Mike Castle the Republicans of Delaware proved they'd rather have nothing than half a loaf. And while Castle has been pilloried as a "RINO" (because of course the Tea Party gets to decide what a Republican really is, and an experienced governor and congressman isn't the true Republican that a frequent Bill Maher guest is), this is still a man who voted both against the ACA and Obama's stimulus. But by sticking to their high and mighty "principles" and nominating a woman who turned the state from an easy pickup to an obvious loss, they not only made sure that Harry Reid would keep running the Senate (and how wonderful has that been for the GOP) but that Delaware would have a Senator that would vote with Reid almost 100% of the time.

This is what I mean about elevating flash and style over getting anything done. Sure, you can cheer on O'Donnell--all the way to her double digit loss. Now the GOP has one more seat they need to win to get Reid out of there. Wonderful.

With enemies like the Tea Party, the Democrats don't need friends.

Gabriel said...

@Renee:But that was six years ago.

The scale tipped, since then.


Have you ever seen a scale? They are capable of tipping both ways. Why do we get to declare "game over" when it tips our way?

The "scale" you refer to is not a majority of citizens, it is a majority of people--judges--who are completely unrepresentative, by design, in a small number of strategically placed courts.

In the 80s it looked like the courts would enforce gun control. Since then they haven't. The scale tipped back the other way. It can happen here if you do not win hearts and minds, and if you whine to teacher, get your way, and then say "game over, move on" and assume you no longer should have to do any work to convince your fellow citizens to agree with you.

MadisonMan said...

If I were King for a day, I would strike all references to marriage -- all kinds -- from Civil Law and replace the word with Civil Unions. If you want to be Married (which in my view is a Sacrament of a church), then go to a church (or mosque, or synagogue).

The Government should never have entered into the marriage adjudication business, although this is probably water long ago under the bridge.

My prediction: Ted Cruz will evolve. And I agree that he would be a poor President, as he is a Senator now, and the leap from Senator to President historically has poor results.

sojerofgod said...

Gabriel said, "It's disingenuous to insist that the game is over only after we have gotten our way"

I think that is a good assessment. Frankly I have been more disturbed by the way the Federal Judiciary has been handling the cases than the issue itself. Granted I have to go by news reports -who has time to read a 50 page decision that is mostly indecipherable gibberish? But to many of us laymen it sure looks like the rubber stamp is getting a workout. A judgeship is no different than being in any other professional club: Your peers are other judges and those with the strongest personalities will inevitably impose a consensus on the group. So how many of these rulings have an element of conformity, no one wanting to be toast at the next conclave? Who knows. In my little corner of the world many people are angry and frustrated with the entire culture and its oppressive drive to enforce conformity on all people and all their acts, public and private. Like compressing a coiled spring, the culture is putting pressure on something that can get loose and whop them in the face. Likely it will.

Tank said...

Brando

Respectfully:

1. Reagan did not get anything "done" for a long time. He was viewed as just like Cruz, a fanatic who Republican, Inc. had to knock out for more "sensible" candidates.

2. We can't afford more half loaves who continue to vote more big gov't at a slightly slower place. We have to move the dial the other way.

I like Cruz, even when I disagree with him or his tactics. And I think he's right about the law, and the Courts are, as they often do, making it up. That being said, this issue should have been handled in the legislatures (state) and, I think, ultimately would get to the same place it's going.

Renee said...

Brando, but what I stated was Catholic teaching. Because we acknowledge the conjugal act as signifacntly different, then other sexual acts my faith is unfairly being labelled as hate. No just difference of ideals.

Lobbyists/media are interchanging the word homosexuality and sexual acts.

Catholic teaching sees things as male/female, that being gay doesn't make you less of a man. You're still masculine,even if you have same sex attraction.


Alexander said...

My hat off to Gabriel. We're on opposite sides of the issue, but intellectual honesty and ability to recognize the lay of the land are rare traits.

broomhandle said...

So they both made statements that would appeal to (or at least not offend) the broadest group of voters likely to vote for them (Cruz doesn't need Donks, Walker could probably use some of the sane ones) in their respective electorates? I'm absolutely gob-smacked. It's like they're politicians or something. Competing in a national race, Cruz would evolve just enough to appease the Althouse's of this world.

Anglelyne said...

He's your fervent-to-the-end defender of traditional marriage in its starchily exclusionary form...

Since the SSM issue "is over" could we now move on a potentially much larger group still being starchily excluded from legal recognition of their family-forming relationships? A legal structure that recognizes only that form of marriage derived from European/Christian cultures (monogamy) is clearly not something that is going "to serve the whole people", especially as we move into our multicultural future.

...but I don't think he's the kind of person who could serve the whole people as President.

If we've reached the point of basing legal decisions re family law (among other things) on delphic interpretations of the 14th amendment, it's a pretty good sign that the state has out-lasted anything that could reasonably be thought of as "a people". It now requires different things in a president than even much of a pretense of "serving the whole people". (Don't think Cruz is ready for the big leagues by those criteria, either. Not yet, anyway.)

RecChief said...

"Myself, I respect Cruz, and I like him as a member of the Senate, where he's a clear strong voice within a group, but I don't think he's the kind of person who could serve the whole people as President."

I'd have to agree with that. If he keeps getting re-elected, I think he would be a good majority leader.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

MadisonMan,

If I were King for a day, I would strike all references to marriage -- all kinds -- from Civil Law and replace the word with Civil Unions. If you want to be Married (which in my view is a Sacrament of a church), then go to a church (or mosque, or synagogue).

Exactly! That has been my position for, well, ever since I first considered the question, decades ago.

Since it appears to be a political non-starter, I'm in favor of gay marriage if the only alternative is gov't straight marriage w/o gay marriage. But it sucks that those are the only two choices.

buwaya puti said...

Gay people and their marriages are a minor issue on a superficial level. But we seem to be stuck with looking at things superficially, especially when dealing with courts and the law and even normal politics. There are contexts around this matter,and layers beneath it.
The true war zones are cultural, in a broad sense, and the reasons for the war are deep differences in moral philosophy. The gay business is just a banner on a hill on one battlefield.
I don't know just how honest and sincere Cruz is. He is clever and has skills, he hasn't yet proven his wisdom. I'm not convinced that his brand of cleverness is quite what is needed. But based on what he seems interested in speaking of, and reading between the lines, he seems to understand the scope of the war.

RecChief said...

Mark said..."Evolving and being good at hiding are two different things. "


This right here is what I was talking about in a post on another thread. If Walker accepts the ruling of the court, as it looks like he does, what do you care if he has "evolved" or is merely accepting something he doesn't agree with in order to get on with the business of governing? Maybe he thinks it's wrong, but he has accepted it, as his statement "It's the law of the land," shows. Why does he have to do anything more than that to effectively govern? But that isn't good enough for you? If he disagrees with the decision and is hiding it, isn't that a good thing as far as governance in a secular country is concerned? Isn't that best for the greater good? You seem to view it as a moral failing of his that he simply accepts and moves on from a decision that he doesn't like. That looks like a strength to me, at least as far as governing the whole of his constituency.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Alexander,

As a fun exercise, how many policy issues can you name where the majority of the population disagrees with the elite... and the issue is considered settled?

I can think of lots of issues fitting that description -- capital punishment, abortion, affirmative action, and immigration come to mind, for starters -- but, no, none of those is "considered settled." Or will be, until (as you say), the "elite" position definitively wins. Still, we're 40+ years past Roe, and the opposition remains a majority, as I understand it.

Brando said...

Tank:

1) I agree that a lot of people were unfair with Reagan, particularly in the late '70s when he was seen as an "extremist" by the Ford folks. I remember a teacher telling me that when he was younger and Reagan was running in '76, he was legitimately frightened that if the guy won we'd have a nuclear war. (Of course, the teacher was very liberal, but even a lot of moderates held that view). But to me the issue with Cruz has more to do with the "how" than the "what"--I likely agree with much of what he argues for (not the gay marriage issue, but rather government size and intrusiveness, individual rights, gun control) but I see his tactics as not helping do what needs to be done--namely, building a broader coalition and getting some victories. Particularly at a time when the Democrats have demonstrated just how corrupt and incompetent they are, this is the best chance the Right has to move the disillusioned public to their side. Alienating them is going to forego that opportunity.

2) Half loaves to me are just fine when the alternative is no loaf at all--Delaware being the prime example of that. I'd rather have a Castle there, who at least has a chance of voting against the government intrusions (and has, for the two biggest issues of Obama's first term) than Coons, who would laugh any conservative out of his office if he tried to ask him to do that.

The next two years have a good chance of a Supreme Court vacancy--and whether Harry Reid (who will absolutely abolish the fillibuster if he is still the majority leader) or McConnell is running the Senate will make all the difference in who gets the next lifetime appointment. And Obama you will notice has nominated two very young (and reliably leftist) Justices so far.

Alexander said...

I apologize. Realizing I may be accused of shifting goalposts, that *should* have included the criteria "and the policy is consistent with the public's opinion."

In short, a 'settled' issue where the elite bowed to the will of the majority.

I do not think it's fair to rebut you as you were making examples to a question I didn't intend to ask, but I think we're in agreement that immigration would be an example where the public wants one thing and the establishment is determined to push the opposite down its throat - no settlement there! Same for capital punishment, AA, and abortion.

My point was that things are only settled when they are determined the way the elite want them - the "Democracy" idea is a sham for foreign export only.

Brando said...

Renee--at least how I see it (and I don't speak for everyone on the pro-gay marriage side) those who oppose homosexuality from a religious belief (such as the Catholic Church) will generally see it as more an act itself rather than an orientation. I certainly wouldn't consider such opponents hateful, even as I disagree with them--it's just a fundamental difference in opinion as to whether a person is gay or is simply someone who engages in homosexual acts. The Church's teachings aren't about hate, but simply that the act itself is wrong, like any other sin.

The hateful, on other hand, are a different story. There are some people who can't stand homosexuals and are viscerally bothered by them. I don't think the two groups should be lumped together.

RecChief said...

If I were King for a day, I would strike all references to marriage -- all kinds -- from Civil Law and replace the word with Civil Unions. If you want to be Married (which in my view is a Sacrament of a church), then go to a church (or mosque, or synagogue)."


I agree

SeanF said...

MadisonMan: If I were King for a day, I would strike all references to marriage -- all kinds -- from Civil Law and replace the word with Civil Unions. If you want to be Married (which in my view is a Sacrament of a church), then go to a church (or mosque, or synagogue).

I'm curious as to how the people who propose this solution think it would actually solve anything.

If a "wedding" has nothing to with government, would "wedding" photographers and "wedding cake" bakers be allowed to refuse to service gay "weddings", or not? What about insurance companies adjusting rates based on "marital" status?

I'm afraid that the debate over gay marriage, ultimately, has nothing to do with what relationships the government recognizes. It has to do with what relationships the rest of us recognize.

DanTheMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RecChief said...

"Brando said...
at least how I see it (and I don't speak for everyone on the pro-gay marriage side) those who oppose homosexuality from a religious belief (such as the Catholic Church)"

A pity you don't speak for more then. Cause the rest apparently deem everything less than celebration as a reason to call someone a homophobe.

Renee said...

@SeanF

You're correct.

My concern is assumption of parentage, since birth certificates are still connected to marital status.

If for example I'm married, but no longer in a relationship with my husband. Still legally married, I get pregnant with another man.

The law gives a legal path, that my legal husband can sign an affidavit of non-paternity and biological dad can sign an affidavit of paternity.

Have laws consistently applied, but can a woman sign an affidavit of paternity when we know she cant pass a paternity test and knows biologically it isn't hers?

Isn't the goal of the law to determine who the father is?

Do we have a duty to identify the father?


Unmarried fathers have rights too.

https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/putative.cfm

MadisonMan said...

SeanF, in my dictatorship, a wedding could involve either a Civil Union or a Sacramental Marriage.

EMD said...

For being a college dropout, Walker is a pretty deft politician in many ways.

mccullough said...

I prefer Walker's matter of fact tone to Cruz's histrionics. Whatever he talks about, Walker doesn't adopt the exalted preacher tone that so many politicians, like Cruz, do.

Cruz is a Havard law blow hard, like Obama and Elizabeth Warren.

Senators and representatives can be careless. Not governors.

chillblaine said...

Old and busted: "Why should we get married? It's just a piece of paper."

New and hot: "We are entitled to our piece of paper!"

Old and busted: "If anyone has any reason why these two should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace."

New and hot: "If anyone has any reason why these two should not be married, expressing it is a hate crime."

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, did you see this picture?

I like how they placed Clarence Thomas and Ruth Ginsberg out on the extreme wings, and I especially like how Ginsberg is not only leaning away from her colleagues, but leaning way left.

Anglelyne said...

buwaya puti: Gay people and their marriages are a minor issue on a superficial level. But we seem to be stuck with looking at things superficially[...]
The true war zones are cultural, in a broad sense, and the reasons for the war are deep differences in moral philosophy.


Precisely. But superficial people are pretty much by definition incapable of recognizing what those real cultural and philosophical differences are, no? Or rather, perhaps public discourse among people without a shared "moral philosophy" can't be anything but superficial (nor is it possible to keep their jurisprudence from decaying into shameless power-grabbing sophistry.)

Michael K said...

"Courts short-circuiting the democratic process will only create another Roe v Wade situation where the battle cannot resolve itself because the courts declared a winner before the fight was over."

Hugh Hewitt talked about this yesterday and quoted Justice Ginsburg to this effect. She said that Roe v Wade "created" the conservative movement, which I don't believe, and that she preferred that the courts not be the final arbiter.

Hewitt also agreed with one of his guests that one of the Circuits may rule for a state ban and this would then bring the case to the USSC.

I don't really care about this issue as long as hard line activists don't use it (as I expect them to do) against churches. Gay marriage is a fad arising from the AIDS epidemic and will eventually fade away. Its principal purpose is to the add to the reasons Muslims hate us.

It also allows an emotion-ruled majority to feel good about its concern with a protected minority. That force can be powerful enough to elect an incompetent president twice.

Michael K said...

"Sodomy OK as long as it is done on a woman?"

As the woman asked her obstetrician, "Can anal intercourse cause pregnancy?" He answered, "Of course. Where do you think lawyers come from ?"

Michael K said...

"The GOP and its right-wing base have repeatedly been taken in by self-aggrandizing flim flam artists"

Hilarious coming from an Obama voter.

Brando said...

"Hilarious coming from an Obama voter."

Where do you get the idea that I'm an Obama voter? Is it because anyone who calls out some of the more unseemly elements of the "conservative" coalition must therefore be a leftist?

You're either with us or against us, is that your theory?

Brando said...

"A pity you don't speak for more then. Cause the rest apparently deem everything less than celebration as a reason to call someone a homophobe."

Sadly plenty on the pro-gay rights side tend to equate any opposition to any part of their agenda as "hateful." I recall a number of writers on Slate making that argument--it's obnoxious and easily dismissive of the other side. Not everyone who opposes homosexuality (or even just gay marriage) is bigoted--and it's particularly obnoxious that they don't then make the logical connection that pretty much every big-name Democrat until a few years ago would have had to be a "bigot" then.

Funny how many would "boycott" Chick Fil A (with hilariously ineffective results) because their owner expressed his disapproval of gay marriage, yet these same activists had nothing to say about Obama taking the exact same position as recently as 2012.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

but I don't think he's the kind of person who could serve the whole people as President.

Whereas, in what way has one B. H. Obama has been serving the 'whole people' as President? How do his savage attacks on non-Democrats, and his strawmen dressed up as Republicans, qualify as that sort of governance?

His foreign policy treats real threats to the country less harshly than his domestic rhetoric treats Republicans.

BDNYC said...

The Supreme Court is waiting for the Fifth Circuit to articulate a basis to uphold the Texas and Louisiana bans on gay marriage. That way there will be more material to work with, and both sides will have been given an opportunity to make their best case. Then they will decide it, once and for all.

RecChief said...

"You're either with us or against us, is that your theory?"

I hate to point this out, btu the current leader of Progressives, our President, referred to people who disagreed with his policies as "enemies"

Brando said...

RecChief--it's hardly an endorsement of that view to point out that our most divisive president in decades subscribes to it.

MadisonMan said...

I hate to point this out...

Is Obama a Conservative now? I'm not sure at all how this observation that you hate (right) to point out is relevant. Are you saying we should all emulate Obama?

Renee said...

Obama is more like one more of the Koch brothers.

Why not?

SeanF said...

MadisonMan: SeanF, in my dictatorship, a wedding could involve either a Civil Union or a Sacramental Marriage.

That doesn't answer my questions.

n.n said...

Sorry, Walker. It's not over. This is the beginning. Selective exclusion is intolerable. The moral hazards it creates form the foundation of a progressive condition, which will be left for future generations to reconcile.

Oh, and the issue is libertinism, immoral or amoral behavior, beginning with heterosexual dysfunction, deviance, and fetishes; continuing with homosexual behavior, etc.

It's about womb banks (aka "women") and sperm depositors (aka "men"). The former's demand for equality and the latter's demand for liberation from the "burden". It's about the government's lust for taxable activities and revenues. It's also about a ruling minority interest to normalize evolutionary dysfunction for their lineage's benefit.

It's about a right to privacy under the First Amendment recognizing a sincerely held faith-based exemption for committing or contracting for premeditated abortion/murder of wholly innocent human lives (i.e. human sacrifice).

"Folks" of the world, unite!

It's a tightly wound ball of yarns which is losing its obfuscation and becoming frayed.

Michael K said...

"Where do you get the idea that I'm an Obama voter? Is it because anyone who calls out some of the more unseemly elements of the "conservative" coalition must therefore be a leftist?

You're either with us or against us, is that your theory?"

No, your rhetoric is typical of the left and I would be amazed if you had voted for anyone but Obama unless you are bipolar or some similar weirdness.

Come on. You are joking, right ? Just the scare quotes around conservative gives you away.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

"Nothing in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the 14th Amendment or any other constitutional provision authorizes judges to redefine marriage for the Nation.... Marriage is a question for the State."

Politics aside, that seems true.

Insofar as there's "truth" in law.

"Politics aside" -- naive, I know.

RecChief said...

Context, Context:

"Is it because anyone who calls out some of the more unseemly elements of the "conservative" coalition must therefore be a leftist?

You're either with us or against us, is that your theory?"

Your statement looked one sided is all, and I was pointing out that the leader of liberals/progressives/democrat party members holds that same theory. Actually I did hate to to point that out. Brando has offered up a thoughtful opinion throughout this thread. But that statement, again, seemed one sided. Just reacting to what I read.

RecChief said...

"Is Obama a Conservative now?"

Wha? Why u no read?

n.n said...

Cruz is right. However, he should start with the First Amendment "religious" exemption which granted women exclusive right to commit or contract for premeditated abortion/murder (around 2 million Americans annually). A sincerely held "faith" (i.e. spontaneous conception) observed in the privacy of a clinic.

He should continue with the general corruption of heterosexual relationships, and men and women generally. Then address the selective normalization of dysfunctional, deviant, and fetish behaviors, including homosexual behavior (expressive), not orientation (intrinsic or selective).

Michael K said...

" Brando has offered up a thoughtful opinion throughout this thread. But that statement, again, seemed one sided. Just reacting to what I read."

Maybe Brando is just a zealot on the gay marriage thing but he sure sounds like a lefty. I am not a "Social Conservative"and have gotten some nasty pushback here on evolution but I certainly sense an Obamaphile when I see that stuff.

Brando said...

"No, your rhetoric is typical of the left and I would be amazed if you had voted for anyone but Obama unless you are bipolar or some similar weirdness.

Come on. You are joking, right ? Just the scare quotes around conservative gives you away."

Well, whatever the left may say about the internal struggles of the right matters little to me--but I'm neither bipolar nor some Obama supporter. I'm also pretty sure I'm not the only person on the right to be accused of being a leftist simply for criticizing an element of the right.

I've been critical of Cruz, Palin, Bachmann and others on the right, but it hardly means that I have to join Obama's camp. I would hate to see the "conservative" movement become one where any deviation is heresy and all that matters is loyalty to one's "team".

As for my quotes around "conservatives" it's not so much scare quotes as it is the fact that I think the current use of "liberal" and "conservative" aren't really apt when leftists are hardly in favor of greater freedom and openness and rightists are usually not the ones favoring the status quo. But those are the common usages.

Brando said...

RecChief:

"But that statement, again, seemed one sided. Just reacting to what I read."

Fair enough--but the Left has long been a stagnant movement, still caught up in the '60s and quick to punish their own "heretics" (look at how they eat their own--e.g. the Bill Maher vs. Ben Affleck squabble over atheism and modernism vs. Islam and multiculturalism). That I think is nothing for the Right to emulate, certainly not if its goal is to create a working majority and actually get stuff done.

Brando said...

"Maybe Brando is just a zealot on the gay marriage thing but he sure sounds like a lefty. I am not a "Social Conservative"and have gotten some nasty pushback here on evolution but I certainly sense an Obamaphile when I see that stuff."

Your Obamaphile senses are a bit off! I guess on gay marriage I'm extreme, to the extent that I think it should be legal, full stop. But considering the Left and their two favorite recent presidents have been callous and smarmy on that issue I hardly think I'm by extension endorsing them.

mtrobertsattorney said...

With everything evolving, constitutions as well as societal values, doesn't this raise the question of whether the notion of marriage itself is becoming an outmoded concept?

In this day and age, what exactly is the value of marriage anyway?

jr565 said...

Gabriel wrote:
As a supporter of legal same-sex marriage I would point out that "the courts have spoken, let's move on" was never our response when same-sex marriage was everywhere illegal.

It was never our response when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act that "the elected representatives of the people have spoken, let's move on."

It's disingenuous to insist that the game is over only after we have gotten our way.


Yup!

RecChief said...

"I've been critical of Cruz, Palin, Bachmann and others on the right, but it hardly means that I have to join Obama's camp. I would hate to see the "conservative" movement become one where any deviation is heresy and all that matters is loyalty to one's "team". "


Amen to that. I've been critical of people who want to circle the wagons around those who are simply "not liberals/progressives/whatever" myself.

RecChief said...

"Gabriel wrote:
As a supporter of legal same-sex marriage I would point out that "the courts have spoken, let's move on" was never our response when same-sex marriage was everywhere illegal.

It was never our response when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act that "the elected representatives of the people have spoken, let's move on."

It's disingenuous to insist that the game is over only after we have gotten our way."

It strikes mt that it would be over, if bakers and photographers weren't being sued. They'd be punished in the market for turning down business anyway. But merrily filing suit, when you could jsut go across the street (figuratively) inflames the situation.

Michael K said...

"Your Obamaphile senses are a bit off! I guess on gay marriage I'm extreme, to the extent that I think it should be legal, full stop. But considering the Left and their two favorite recent presidents have been callous and smarmy on that issue I hardly think I'm by extension endorsing them."

All politicians are smarmy when old standards are rapidly shifting. Clinton pushed the Religious Freedom law. The culture, what's left of it to quote Theodore Dalrymple , is dissolving before our eyes.

Gay marriage, as I have said here repeatedly, is a fad arising from the AIDS panic. I've watched it at close range in Laguna Beach as gay men tried to figure out a way to stop the wild promiscuity that characterized that community after the breakout after the Stonewall incident. I read And the Band Played On about the politics. We now have a cultural disaster, of why gay marriage is only a small part. with the dissolution of marriage and traditional child rearing practices. The "Child support model" has replaced the family. I can't find the link to a good piece I read about that the other day.

Anyway, I don't really care about gay marriage and I support choice on abortion although I think a woman who has more than one abortion should probably be sterilized (No I don't support such a law).

You still sound like an Obama supporter to me.

The GOP and its right-wing base have repeatedly been taken in by self-aggrandizing flim flam artists. I'm sure his defenders will come out of the woodword to explain that Cruz is a man of true principle,

I do think Cruz is a man of principle and I would not support him for president. I think of him more like Daniel Webster who I would also not have supported for president.

Anonymous said...

This is yet another reason, now, that I hope Walker doesn't run for President. He's a mushy wimp. Like most politicians, he would like to get elected, not stand on principle.

Which is why Ted Cruz has risen up in the list of people I like for 2016. We don't need more Mitt Romney's and Tim Pawlenty's. Mushy wimps who don't know how to fight for conservative principles.

We need more like Ted Cruz. Who will push back against the purposeful cultural shift in this nation meant to send us off a cliff.

Whereas Walker and the rest seem content to slow down are run towards the cliff, Ted Cruz and others actually want to stop us from running in that direction altogether, and have us start moving back in the right direction.

Unknown said...

"I'm afraid that the debate over gay marriage, ultimately, has nothing to do with what relationships the government recognizes. It has to do with what relationships the rest of us recognize."

But the driver/hammer is government, legislature and courts.

Michael K said...

"of which gay marriage is only a small part.
Goddam auto correct.

Todd said...

mtrobertsattorney said...
With everything evolving, constitutions as well as societal values, doesn't this raise the question of whether the notion of marriage itself is becoming an outmoded concept?

In this day and age, what exactly is the value of marriage anyway?
10/7/14, 12:34 PM


Think of it as an all inclusive, durable power of attorney in the case of incapacitation.

Michael K said...

"Which is why Ted Cruz has risen up in the list of people I like for 2016. We don't need more Mitt Romney's and Tim Pawlenty's. Mushy wimps who don't know how to fight for conservative principles."

Now, here is the social conservative wing that I disagree with but we can agree on a lot. Brando, you sound like you don't agree with much of it.

Renee said...

Marriage an extra barrier for any parent who wants to abandon the family.

holdfast said...

"I will believe it is over when LGBT stop suing vendors who politely decline to provide wedding cakes, invitations, photography, reception venue and church alters."

That's the slippery slope argument that the Left dismisses right before one of their pet judges jams it down your throat. Tolerance or even acceptance is insufficient - they want full-throated endorsement, First Amendment be damned.

Brando said...

"Now, here is the social conservative wing that I disagree with but we can agree on a lot. Brando, you sound like you don't agree with much of it."

Depends on the issue. Most of us can agree on a "cultural shift" but disagree on what, if anythng, government should do about it. Generally I stick by the principle that government shouldn't be trying to fix society, but rather avoid making things worse by creating perverse incentives.

It's like when someone says they favor "family values". I mean, who doesn't, as a general statement? But there's a world of difference between changing our welfare laws to not penalize whole families and passing some law taxing single people to encourage them to marry someone else (as I noted earlier, the tax code should not be a vehicle for changing society--but attaching conditions to our social safety nets is a different story).

It's not unlike the Left going on about how they care about the poor and middle class. Well, who doesn't? But what should be done about those groups is where all the difference lies.

Brando said...

"That's the slippery slope argument that the Left dismisses right before one of their pet judges jams it down your throat. Tolerance or even acceptance is insufficient - they want full-throated endorsement, First Amendment be damned."

Couldn't the slippery slope argument be used against anything, though? Isn't it possible to in this case favor gay marriage while still agreeing that private citizens should not be forced to recognize it? I think the fact that polling indicates more support for gay marriage than for such antidiscrimination laws shows that there are a lot of people who hold just that position.

MadisonMan said...

That doesn't answer my questions.

And?

Joe said...

Seems that both sides use the slippery slope argument to an absurd degree. And both sides are complete hypocrites about it.

As for conservatives specifically; do you or don't you want government meddling in every aspect of your life. Make up your fucking minds.

n.n said...

The slippery slope is not normalizing dysfunctional, deviant, and fetish behaviors, including homosexual behavior, per se. The slippery slope is actually selective (i.e. unprincipled) exclusion. Progressivism/incrementalism is an immoral policy/ideology.

Anyway, this is all moot under the First Amendment "religious" exemption, which granted exclusive right to women to commit or contract for abortion/murder of wholly innocent human lives in the privacy of a clinic. Accompanied by the womb banks and sperm depositors, human lives have been degraded to a commodity, and human rights are a construct exploited for leverage against some competing interest.

The secular religion is based on a single tenet: selective or unprincipled. Its is a progressive libertinism, which afflicts all civilized and uncivilized societies.

Paco Wové said...

Joe: could you please rephrase your question in a less stupid form?

Bob Ellison said...

Joe, you sound like a libertarian.

Bob Ellison said...

I'd like to try to identify the voting patterns of each commenter here. There are too many comments on this thread, though.

And the effort would be vain.

RecChief said...

"I'd like to try to identify the voting patterns of each commenter here."


What on earth for?

Also, sometimes you have to vote for the lesser of two harmful actors, as you see them. Or stay home.

Joe said...

Joe: could you please rephrase your question in a less stupid form?

The question was rhetorical. Sorry if that went over your head.

The true conservative position is that the government shouldn't be deciding who can and cannot be married as long as both parties are consenting. It is unfortunate that this is now considered a libertarian position, which makes me wonder what conservatives actually stand for.

Bob Ellison said...

Well, RecChief, let's see. Here would be my guesses for the first six commenters, based on little more than these first six comments.

iowan2 - no idea; probably a picker*

Ann Althouse - clear picker

Mark - clear leftist

tim maguire - libertarian, probably voting almost exclusively GOP

Renee - a picker who probably votes mostly GOP

Brando - a libertarian who hates having to vote GOP but does so

*picker means someone who doesn't have a strong party affiliation and picks votes variously in each election

Renee said...

Bob... Yes.

Michael K said...

"I think the fact that polling indicates more support for gay marriage than for such antidiscrimination laws shows that there are a lot of people who hold just that position."

Except when the "polling" is done in a voting booth. Secret ballots and all that. Public polling answers probably represent a lot of people who know about Brendan Eich.

" It is unfortunate that this is now considered a libertarian position, which makes me wonder what conservatives actually stand for."

That's pretty easy. We stand for less government, including suing people who decline to hold gay weddings or bake cakes or take photos for them.

Or free contraception or a bunch of other stuff. I'm actually pretty libertarian on social issues and think that is what real conservatism is. Yes, I do know about the No True Scotsman fallacy."

n.n said...

Joe:

You're mischaracterizing the players. You are preaching to anarchists, who serve the interests of authoritarian regimes.

American conservatism tolerates far more than it rejects; but, it was designed with a rational character to normalize what has a redeeming value to society or humanity.

You do realize that most of the meddling is actually done by the Left, right? The drift left-ward is invited by dreams of redistributive and retributive change, and selective normalization (not tolerance), which establish authoritarian monopolies and behaviors.

Libertarians largely take comfort in the false myth of spontaneous conception. Some going so far to characterize it as emancipation. The left-wing ideologies maintain this false faith for the same reason: dissociation of risk is the opiate of the masses and elites. This is the basis of progressive corruption.

Homosexual behavior is dysfunctional as a matter of evolutionary fitness. Still, it is a minor psychopathy compared to dysfunctional, deviant, and fetish heterosexual behaviors. Both have a predilection to degrade human life, including characterizing women as "womb banks" and men as "sperm depositors". The latter has indulged in aborting/murdering around 2 million human lives annually as a "religious" exemption observed in the privacy of a clinic.

Do you support selective exclusion? What are the thresholds of normalization, tolerance, and rejection?

Brando said...

Bob--fairly accurate, though from what I see so far I wouldn't feel bad about voting for Rand Paul if he were somehow the nominee.

Paco Wové said...

"Sorry if that went over your head."

That's OK, don't worry about it – Wait a minute... Joe, you little scamp! I'll bet you're not "sorry" at all! And neither am I, because I was able to get you to draw out your incoherent yawp into a statement that other commenters were actually able to respond to! My work here is done.

Alex said...

It's not enough to tolerate, you have to celebrate.

RecChief said...

Bob Ellison said...
Well, RecChief, let's see. Here would be my guesses for the first six commenters, based on little more than these first six comments.

iowan2 - no idea; probably a picker*

Ann Althouse - clear picker

Mark - clear leftist

tim maguire - libertarian, probably voting almost exclusively GOP

Renee - a picker who probably votes mostly GOP

Brando - a libertarian who hates having to vote GOP but does so

*picker means someone who doesn't have a strong party affiliation and picks votes variously in each election
"


Again, my question was, "What for?

as in, what purpose does it serve to categorize commenters in this way?

Michael K said...

I might have to take another serious look at Ted Cruz after reading this column by Spengler . He is one of my go-to guys on foreign policy along with Codevilla.

The Bushies who blundered so badly–occupying Iraq, pushing for the West Bank elections won by Hamas, supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt against the Egyptian military–are still fighting for what is left of their reputations. And their greatest fear is that a Republican leader will come along untainted by their mistakes, and able to admit what we Republicans should have admitted years ago: the Bush administration made some big mistakes.

That leader is Sen. Ted Cruz, who said Sept. 24,

I think we stayed too long, and we got far too involved in nation-building…. We should not be trying to turn Iraq into Switzerland.

Cruz is a foreign policy hard-liner, not an isolationist, but he is a tough-minded realist in a party contaminated by the ideological impulse to export America’s political system to the Middle East. His way of looking at things is close to that of the original Reagan foreign policy team, for example, Prof. Angelo Codevilla, whose new book I reviewed recently. Codevilla argued that “U.S. viceroys spent most of a decade fruitlessly trying to negate the Shias’, Sunnis’, and Kurds’ democratically expressed mutual antagonism.”


Pretty good stuff and impresses me about Cruz. I have believed he was pushing too hard on social issues but maybe there is more there there.

Cruz has repeatedly said he embraces a Reaganite foreign policy. He made headlines in recent weeks for walking out of an event when a group of Arab Christians booed his vocal defense of Israel, and he has used his seat on the Armed Services Committee to travel abroad during his time in office. But those [neo-conservatives] I spoke with were, across the board, unimpressed. They universally characterized his worldview as shallow, opportunistic, and ever shifting to where he perceives the base of the party to be.

I supported the Iraq invasion on the theory that it was the only Arab country that had a chance of a modern system but we went too far into "nation building."

Maybe there is more to Cruz than I thought. Although I would be more supportive if he was a governor. Maybe he will be one day. Not in 2016, though.

Alex said...

But Ted Cruz is a bigot.

Alex said...

I find it amusing that people call me a huge liberal on this blog. I've never voted for a (D) in my life. Sometimes I abstain, but I would never vote for a Commie-pig.

RecChief said...

"Michael K said...
I might have to take another serious look at Ted Cruz after reading this column by Spengler .
"


Saw that too. I may have to go back and read some of my stuff on Reagan's foreign policy jsut to make sure.

I have the same reservations about Cruz with respect to his position as a senator.

holdfast said...

"Couldn't the slippery slope argument be used against anything, though? Isn't it possible to in this case favor gay marriage while still agreeing that private citizens should not be forced to recognize it? I think the fact that polling indicates more support for gay marriage than for such antidiscrimination laws shows that there are a lot of people who hold just that position."


Of course you (or I) can be in favor of SSM without buying into the rest of the mroe aggressive asgenda, but that really doesn't change anything - they don't need polls, all they need is a few judges. The "bake me a wedding cake or else" doctrine has already put one small business out of business here in the US, and there will be plenty others in the coming years.

When Saclia said that Lawrence v. Texas made SSM innevitable, all the "smart" lefties dismissed that as over the top hyperbole - and a few years later they've all "evolved" so that anyone who holds the same position that B.H. Obama held (well, pretended to hold) in 2010 is now a First Class H8R.

Here's a compromise for the left - they can have 50 state SSM and polygammy (you know that's next) when I can have 50 state concealed carry and a complete repeal of the unconstitutional National Firearms Act. Let freedom ring, baby!

Brando said...

"Here's a compromise for the left - they can have 50 state SSM and polygammy (you know that's next) when I can have 50 state concealed carry and a complete repeal of the unconstitutional National Firearms Act. Let freedom ring, baby!"

That'd be win-win as far as I'm concerned. I'd throw in decriminalizing recreational drugs and abolishing hate crime laws as part of the grand bargain.

SeanF said...

MadisonMan: And?

And nothing, apparently.

Every time somebody says, "Get the government out of marriage," in a gay marriage discussion, I ask them what they actually expect that to accomplish.

Every time, I've gotten silence in response.

Every time, including this one.

Michael K said...

"I find it amusing that people call me a huge liberal on this blog."

I have never commented but you sure sound like a lefty. An angry one, too.

"But Ted Cruz is a bigot."

??????

I Callahan said...

Why must you insist in rubbing the nose of people who do not endorse it in your choice?

Because this is no longer about tolerance. It's no longer about acceptance. It's now about embrace.

The militant movement will accept nothing less than you fully agreeing with them, or you will be ordered to NEVER speak about it at all.

Those are the choices left now. So much for freedom to disagree.

Bob Ellison said...

RecChief said, Again, my question was, What for? as in, what purpose does it serve to categorize commenters in this way?

I find the question interesting. This blog attracts commenters left, right, and center, and a goodly number of libertarians.

Most blogs attract commenters from only one side.

Also, trying to figure out someone's political habituation from just a few words or sentences is challenging. Alex said above, "I find it amusing that people call me a huge liberal on this blog."

If you go on democraticunderground.com or redstate.com, you find little discussion. Even supposedly high-minded sites like thenation.com and nationalreview.com tend to attract few dissidents and little serious discussion.

Yet here, on this blog, people discuss and argue all the time. It's fun, and I wonder how it happens.

I Callahan said...

He doesn't have the temperament required of an effective President.

In other words, he's not a milquetoast who just goes with the flow. He doesn't tell you what you want to hear.

It's amazing to see how many people will throw one of the few honest politicians to the wolves. I don't want to hear another damn word about dishonest politicians.

It seems Americans really do get the government they deserve.

RecChief said...

"If you go on democraticunderground.com or redstate.com, you find little discussion. Even supposedly high-minded sites like thenation.com and nationalreview.com tend to attract few dissidents and little serious discussion."


True enough.

I Callahan said...

In this day and age, what exactly is the value of marriage anyway?

You mean, other than the fact that is a bedrock part of any civilized society? And that the deterioration of the importance of marriage goes hand in hand with just about every other social disease that our society has?

Michael K said...

"Most blogs attract commenters from only one side."

I used to read and comment on left wing blogs, especially Washington Monthly when Kevin Drum was running that blog. Then the moderators deleted my comments, sometimes even leaving the angry responses to me in place so you could;t figure out what they were responding to.

Kevin moved to Mother Jones but the moderators there do the same thing.

The left is a closed shop.

National Review comments are overrun by lefty trolls. So I ignore that site as well.

I Callahan said...

And mtrobertsattorney, I have to disagree with you on the "evolving" part. We're devolving, and the human race has done this a number of times during its history. Just look at the Romans for an example.

It's just our turn to devolve and make a mess. Then some time after the suffering, smart humans will pick up the pieces and make things better again. Lather, rinse and repeat.

I Callahan said...

I might have to take another serious look at Ted Cruz after reading this column by Spengler

Out of curiosity, why would you have assumed Cruz felt any other way? I'd guess that even some of the conservatives here have bought the lefty/media line about Cruz.

Why do conservatives, who should know better, keep doing that?

MadisonMan said...

Every time somebody says, "Get the government out of marriage," in a gay marriage discussion, I ask them what they actually expect that to accomplish.

I think it's pretty clear that I want to get the word 'marriage' out of the Government's lexicon. That's what I want to accomplish because Marriage is a religious sacrament, and government doesn't belong in religion. It's a pretty simple concept, really.

You seem to be of the opinion that just calling it a Civil Union doesn't change anything. Okey-doke. Then you won't care about my crusade.

Dustin said...

Madison Man Said:
I think it's pretty clear that I want to get the word 'marriage' out of the Government's lexicon. That's what I want to accomplish because Marriage is a religious sacrament, and government doesn't belong in religion. It's a pretty simple concept, really.

I find that quite persuasive. I have been married more or less happily for 14 years. It hasn't always been easy, but it basically is bliss these days and I consider our marriage to be fundamentally religious. I actually resent the idea that the great state of Texas or the US government has anything to do with it. I was married by my boyhood preacher who counselled me on my way to adulthood. We bared our hearts to him about our goals and how our life could work as one.

I personally think gay marriage encourages stability and success just as my marriage has, but I don't think there's much reason for the government to get involved. Penalizing adultery would help define marriage, but even that is probably excessive.

So why not create some sort of special civil partnership contract? It could resemble the normal property and tax concepts that currently surround marriage, with long waiting periods to create and terminate the agreement. It would not be different for gays and straights.

Then, of course, if a couple wishes to marry in a church, that is between them and their church. No government could compel a church to marry anyone, and no government could compel a church not to marry anyone.

All the people who preach separation of church and state when it comes to courthouses and tablets of commandments should embrace this view as well.

mtrobertsattorney said...

I Callahan raises a question that progressives rule out of order at the outset.

Progressives take as an article of faith their belief that any change in societal mores that increases the scope human freedom is a good thing. And they are suspicious of any discussion that calls into question whether there are limits on the scope of human freedom.

Hyphenated American said...

"I think it's pretty clear that I want to get the word 'marriage' out of the Government's lexicon. That's what I want to accomplish because Marriage is a religious sacrament, and government doesn't belong in religion. It's a pretty simple concept, really."

If there is no marriage, then there is no divorce, and no legally required child or wife support. Agreed?

Michael K said...

"Out of curiosity, why would you have assumed Cruz felt any other way? I'd guess that even some of the conservatives here have bought the lefty/media line about Cruz.

Why do conservatives, who should know better, keep doing that?"

I have not made a study of Cruz as I am not in favor of Senators as presidents. However, he has not, heretofore, made much of his foreign policy interests and views.

I didn't assume anything about his views. He didn't talk about them or they didn't get reported.

Why would you think "conservatives, who should know better, keep doing that?" ?

Anonymous said...

Joe wrote;

"As for conservatives specifically; do you or don't you want government meddling in every aspect of your life. Make up your fucking minds."

I think Joe has Conservatives confused with Libertarians or Anarchists.

Conservatives like small government, but not no government. For example, Conservatives like a strong military.

Not all conservatives, but many, are social conservatives. Which means we like the drug laws, we like the laws on prostitution, and we like the laws on marriage (oooops! Too late).

We are trying to conserve what we have, or had. If we want to change things, usually it's a change that brings back the good ole days, whether that's naïve nostalgia or something else depends on what is being discussed.

I realize that if you get all of your information about conservatives from Jon Stewart, or Saturday Night Live, or perhaps Jimmy Kimmel, you're going to believe that we conservatives are simpletons. Knuckle draggers. Backwoods, in bred, racists.

The truth is, conservatives are complicated. Our views are not simple, they are complex. And when you dumb down your opponents views to, "do you or don't you want government meddling in every aspect of your life" you don't make conservatives look dumb. You look dumb.

Renee said...


"If there is no marriage, then there is no divorce, and no legally required child or wife support. Agreed?"


How does one legally get out of child support?

RecChief said...

"We are trying to conserve what we have, or had. If we want to change things, usually it's a change that brings back the good ole days,"


I don't think that's right. I'm only speaking for myself, but I have always viewed conservatism in this way:

"I don't fear change, it's inevitable. But before any changes are made, I want a clear statement of the problem or situation that needs fixed or changed.Then a solution that takes into account possible outcomes from whatever action. Do that, and then we can talk about whether the change you're proposing brings about the desired result, and what the likely cost (not jsut $$) either, and then we can discuss whether we want to move forward and if we do, how do we implement such a change."

The problem I have with so many of today's "progressives" is that their bumper sticker activism doesn't allow them time to consider such things. Here is one example, take Obamacare. More specifically, how about one piece of it, the employer mandate. When I read that employers would be forced through government mandate to provide health insurance to workers who worked 30 hours or more, my first reaction was that alot of people who worked 32 hours a week would get cut to 28 and any employer who provided health insurance to employees working less than 30 would drop that benefit.

And those progressive acquaintances of mine couldn't see that outcome. They also didn't see that increased cost of insurance would be passed along to consumers through higher prices and employees through lower wages. They insisted that it would come out of corporation "massive profits". For pointing this out, I was labeled as "evil who wants poor kids to die". Yes one of those caring progressives actually included that in an email to me, describing my manifold moral failings.

Now, this afternoon I received an email from one of those acquaintances railing against WalMart. Why? apparently WalMart announced today that it is dropping health insurance for employees who work less than 30 hours. Didn't fucking see it coming.

So no, I don't pine for the "good ole days" whatever those are, but I do wish for a time when disagreements are handled with some semblance of thought related to consequences of actions. And responsibility when things go wrong.

C R Krieger said...

Alexander reminded me of Turkish President Erdoğan, yes, the one Vice President Biden had to apologize to.  He once quipped that Democracy is like a train ride.  When you get to your station you get off.

I do believe the Federal Courts, like the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in the Goodridge v. Department of Public Health case, have ruled on a very narrow issue.  Eventually they will have to deal with polyandry and closer degrees of consanguinity.  Why should those people be denied?

Finally, have any anthropologists ventured to suggest to us how long this acceptance of variations in the definition of marriage will last?  Not that any of us will be around to see the switch, but I wonder if some drastic retrenchment in the United States could cause such a reversal?

In the mean time I am for restricting Government to Civil Unions for all and leaving marriage to religious and secular groups for their own purposes.

Regards  —  Cliff

el polacko said...

i had been leaning toward cruz as a potential prez candidate and then, as all too often happens with 'conservatives', he went completely off the rails with his call for a constitutional amendment which, essentially, destroys one-third of our system of government (the judicial branch) in order to insure that citizens who happen to be gay can never have access to the rights and responbilities of legal marriage. sheesh. nobody can harm the republican brand like a republican.

SeanF said...

MadisonMan: You seem to be of the opinion that just calling it a Civil Union doesn't change anything. Okey-doke. Then you won't care about my crusade.

If you were of that opinion, then you wouldn't care. You do care, so obviously you think "calling it a Civil Union" will change something.

What? What will it change?

google is evil said...

Plessy and Roe rolled into one. We are now ruled by the courts. A sad day for America. John Roberts legacy will be that of Roger Brook Taney

Anonymous said...

"i had been leaning toward cruz as a potential prez candidate and then, as all too often happens with 'conservatives', he went completely off the rails with his call for a constitutional amendment which, essentially, destroys one-third of our system of government (the judicial branch) in order to insure that citizens who happen to be gay can never have access to the rights and responbilities of legal marriage. sheesh. nobody can harm the republican brand like a republican."

This is pure ignorance. His bill does no such thing.

"State Marriage Defense Act of 2014 - Prohibits, in determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of U.S. administrative bureaus and agencies, as applied with respect to individuals domiciled in a state or in any other territory or possession of the United States: (1) the term "marriage" from including any relationship that the state, territory, or possession does not recognize as a marriage; and (2) the term "spouse" from including an individual who is a party to a relationship that is not recognized as a marriage by that state, territory, or possession."

It's a States Rights amendment, not a Traditional Marriage Amendment.

The Amendment doesn't say, "Only a marriage between a man and a woman will be recognized." Or anything of that sort.

It says what it states above, that States get to decide.

How is this "off the rails"?

I can see how Garage might make that claim, but someone who pretends like they intended to vote for Cruz?

I'm not buying it.

RecChief said...

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/07/commission-says-christian-business-owners-should-leave-religion-at-home/

Audacity17 said...

No President can serve the whole people, what's your point?

Carl Pham said...

Wow, great link to the New Yorker story about Cruz. Jeff Toobin is a consummate asshole and the New Yorker is sleazy Stalinist fishwrap and if even they are sufficiently impressed with Cruz's integrity and intellectual firepower to have that shine through this pieces, the guy may be worth a closer look.