June 30, 2003

Why I Think Bush Will Lose ...

Why I Think Bush Will Lose the 2004 Election: Because A) he didn't win the popular vote in 2000, meaning that his mandate has been shaky from the get-go, and B) the Senate Majority Leader of his own partganizer of some war protests, not the author of some Guardian column, but the Senate Majority Leader of his own political party -- thinks the Constitution needs to be rewritten to specifically discriminate against the homos. I hope Dubya is asked about this and every other Bigot Eruption at every press conference between now and November 2004.

Posted by at June 30, 2003 11:03 PM
Comments

Californians already amended their state constitution to ban gay marriage, and the rest of the state is somewhat more traditional still.

Gay marriage is one of those things that everybody says publicly they favor, but in the privacy of the voting booth, true feelings come out.

This will help Bush, not hurt him.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at July 1, 2003 02:12 AM

keep trying guys. maybe something you do or say will stick to bush but this one will not. what was that law that clinton signed.. the defense of marriage act? yeah that's it. while i think a constitutional mandate is going overboard, your favorite president isn't exactly squeaky clean on the issue either. also, current case law backs up preventing same sex marriages. Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15, 45 (1985). and don't forget that the definition of what a legal marriage is in america has been recognized for over 200 years. that a marriage is the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife, and a spouse is a husband or wife of the opposite sex. just because sodomy laws were struck down (thank god) doesn't give gays the legal right to marry. they are separate issues.

unless you can do better than this.. get ready for 4 more years.

Posted by: Captain Scarlet at July 1, 2003 07:28 AM

I think promising to be together forever doesn't make sense (in light of how long people live these days). Nevertheless, if straight people are allowed to not make sense, gay people should be allowed to likewise not make sense -- especially since with that non-sense-making comes a litany of rights and privileges. In addition to allowing gay marriage, I'd like to see the US adopt a system like the PACS, in France -- a registered partner agreement for gay people and straight people in committed partnerships -- granting them important rights like the permission to visit a sick partner in the hospital, and to continue to have rights to rent their apartment after their partner dies.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 1, 2003 08:11 AM

matt,
you don't know who signed the defense of marriage act in 1996?

to try and make bush et al look like bigots will be incredibly difficult with many of the actions by the left. in the end, it won't be worth the energy you expend because people are more concerned about security issues not the right for gays to marry. and for your information, i don't care either way. i have nothing against gays marrying AND i think our laws in that area need updating.

if you want bush out of office, you have to beat him on security issues first.. not ankle biter issues that only appeal to the left.

Posted by: Captain Scarlet at July 1, 2003 10:02 AM

"why should bush have to field questions about bigotry? what would be the reason for you insisting on this tactic if as you say.. 'I am not trying to make Bush look like a bigot, since I don't believe that he is one'?"

Because he is the candidate of a political party whose leaders, in my estimation (though not yours), are engaging in specifically bigoted policies and/or politics. Bush is asking us to vote Republican, and the lead Republican in the Senate is proposing a specifically discriminatory Constitutional Amendment.

"why not take the issue up with the real bigots?"

That's a good idea, too.

"and why are you focused just on bush and not the bigots in the democratic challenger's party?"

1) The premise of your question is incorrect; I'm focused on many many many things in life, as a cursory glance around this website would attest. 2) There *is* one reason why a person might be more likely to focus on Bush than on, say, Al Sharpton -- Because Bush is the president, leader of the free world, helmsman of our ship of tax dollars. Sharpton will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever be president. 3) A cursory glance of my writing over the last five years, all of which is available at this website, will tell you that I have not, to say the least, shied away from criticizing Democrats, Greens, and other people to the left of George Bush. I will certainly do so again, and at a time and place of my own damned choosing.

Posted by: Matt Welch at July 1, 2003 11:39 AM

btw matt, taking my comment out of context to try and prove yoat July 1, 2003 11:39 AM

btw matt, taking my comment out of context to try and prove your point.. well it doesn't. nice try though. if you had addressed my entire point instead of the weakest part (logical fallacy) then i would have given you credit.. instead you've just wasted mine and your time.

Posted by: Captain Scarlet at July 1, 2003 11:41 AM

Jeremy -- At least I didn't say anything about a fine-toothed comb....

Posted by: Matt Welch at July 1, 2003 01:09 PM

A reader who didn't want his name on it, sends along this insightful comment:

FWIW, I find The Bigot Eruption meme a terribly wrong way to discuss the issue. There are many things wrong with a Federal Marriage Amendment effort that can be effectively refuted, reasonably, using conservative, liberal, and libertarian values, without changing the argument into a "That's bigoted", "No, it's Not" parody, and they will have a harder time coming to light, if that's the way the debate is framed.

Was lack of support for the ERA automatically a sexist, misogynist position?

Is lack of support for a Flag Burning Amendment automatically an anti-patriotic, anti-American position?

As a directly impacted supporter of gay marriage, (who comes from an essentially conservative, Republican POV), I'd hate to see the issue sidetracked, and essentially trivialized by such an effort. Some alternative suggestions for reasonable, liberal folks:

Take on Frist directly:

http://hnn.us/articles/1368.html

A commenter over on H&R's post on the subject said the following: "There are plenty of intelligent arguments to be raised against the amendment in question, not the least of which is federalism and states' rights."

http://www.reason.com/hitandrun/001979.shtml#001979

Address the "fear" part of "homophobia":

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-gay-families,0,2723077.story?coll=sns-ap-nationworld-headlines

Target the real bigots, e.g. John "Buggery, Buggery, Buggery" Derbyshire (TM to J. Levy)

http://www.andrewsullivan.com/main_article.php?artnum=20030701

Laugh at them:

http://www.theonion.com/onion3112/stromchange.html

Do you want to leave the reasoned debate entirely to Jonah Goldberg and NRO?

http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg070103.asp

Take on all political wafflers on the subject:

http://www.andrewsullivan.com/index.php?dish_inc=archives/2003_06_15_dish_archive.html#10562172963670667

Posted by: Matt Welch at July 1, 2003 01:25 PM

Well, at least he didn't say nose hair, which is actually much more painful...

Matt, your comment did come off as snarkily anti-Republican, but of course, that doesn't imply that you're going to vote for a Dem next time around.

The inference that you will is a microcosm of what is to me a much broader phenomenon of illogic--when polls are discussed in the media.

The press often trumpets a poll result like "job approval rating" or "right track, wrong track" as showing that a president is in trouble if the approval is low, or the "wrong track" is high.

I do in fact think that the country is on the wrong track (and has been for at least seven decades) and I'm not particularly thrilled with Bush (particularly the "compassionate" read "high-spending" conservatism, and dunderheaded homeland security policies, including the fact that Norm Mineta is still heading up DoT). But that doesn't mean that I think that the donkeys are likely to make things better, since many of the things that I object to about Bush are the things that they'd do even more of.

Anyway, regardless of your desired outcome, I think you're wrong. Unless the economy goes completely into the tank, I think that the Dems are toast in '04, and gay marriage and "bigotry" against gays will be an issue for an insignificant portion of the electorate, on either side.

Though it doesn't matter for electoral purposes, I also think that Bush will get a much larger share of the popular vote next time around. I know many people who voted for Gore who are now glad Bush won. I don't know any Bush voters that wish that Gore had.

Posted by: Rand Simberg at July 1, 2003 01:52 PM

Rand -- You may be right! I just think Culture-War politics are a loser's game in the long term, and perhaps the short, and in the meantime are worthy of a sharp slap to the face. If the national GOP intends to make a habit out of this, they might want to look up the success of their Californian wing.

And, if I can't be snarky about elected officials, then the terrorists really *have* won....

Posted by: Matt Welch at July 1, 2003 01:59 PM

It occurs to me that one might argue for a ban on gay marriage in the interest of national security. Let me explain.

We're supposed to worry about "why they hate us", right? Well, I've looked into this question and I believe theymy of his moral will, the only absolute good in his world. It informs his moral zeal for universal peace, the eradication of war, factional strife, hate crimes. [empaphasis mine - R.L.]

Kant rejects the primacy of the political-philosophic purpose of making love, the raising of children to be good citizens, loyal defenders of their faction’s god ([i.e.]political correctness). That take on marriage and family fails to cover childless marriages. Kant’s need for a universal definition inclusive of such marriages stresses the pleasures of love not its purpose. In other words, it favors personal pleasure rather than the political-moral purpose served by that pleasure. So Kant defines marriage as a legal contract for “the reciprocal use of each other’s sexual organs by two people.”

Since the force of erotic pleasure blinds men to their moral autonomy, rendering them subservient to eros’ heteronomy, Kant views “even marital sexual relations as unsavory and the sexual libertine is likened to a cannibal” (Kant, Philosophical Correspondence, edited by A. Zweig, Chicago, 1986, pp. 24, 235). In this crucial respect, Kant sides with Cephalus and the Republic’s [i.e. Plato's] (573A-C) Socrates: Eros is a terrible tyrant. The Symposium’s Socrates is as foreign to Kant as eros is to agape. Of course, the down side of kantian self-sufficiency, agape’s autonomy, is its depression of desire into feeling’s hell of negativity. Kantian will, in its defense of its autonomy, is determined not to let itself be undermined by this “stress.”

Kant’s emphasis on moral autonomy, his condemnation of erotic heteronomy, opposes the political-philosophic priority of the natural meaning and goal of marriage. For this priority, by making human sexuality and marriage subservient to a goal external to itself denies the will’s basic autonomy. Kant therefore rejects the natural basis for the political subordination of family and marriage. Thus Kant’s all-inclusive definition of marriage actually excludes the most natural human concern everywhere and always ― the drive to live a good life, to be happy, the heart of both politics and philosophy [emphasis - R.L.]. Seen philosophically, therefore, Kant is atheist or, more accurately, pseudo-atheist. His is the victory of agape over eros. That victory marks not only kantian moralists, but, in a way, all unphilosophic political partisans who, as opposed philosophic partisans, are far less immune to agape’s devaluation of politics.

Got that?

Posted by: Robert Light at July 1, 2003 03:39 PM

Matt writes (in response to Cridland):

I think, in all sincerity, that Frist's idea for a Constitutional amendment to prohibit homosexual marriage, can accurately be described as "bigoted." You may disagree, and that's obviously fine. But I won't shy away from calling something by what I believe to be its proper name, just because it sounds mean.

Matt, do you think (I know Sullivan would agree with you) that having marriage for heterosexuals and civil unions for homosexuals is bigotted?

Consider this, from The Corner:

I get quite a bit of email like this. I think it's pretty interesting:


Jonah,

I just finished reading the "G-File" and I must commend you on a great article.

As a white, conservative, gay male, I must agree with you on the issue of "marriage." I was brought up in a home with a mother and father and was taught that marriage was between a man and a woman. To this day, I honor and respect that. However, at the same time I do not feel that I should be punished for living with my partner.

According to the 2000 Census there are 11 million people who are unmarried and living together. This includes both heterosexual and homosexual couples. The last time I checked the news, the world did not stop because these people were not married and living together and the institution of marriage has not crumbled like a house of cards.

Marriage like most institutions learns to adapt and change with the times, or else it crumbles.

I, like you, am in favor of a "civil union" of some sort, which will allow me the same rights as a heterosexual couple has. My partner and I had to fill out numerous papers, so that if (God forbid) anything happened to one of us, the other one had a say in what treatment was pursued. However, by the same token, we have to have those papers with us at all times when ever we travel. When you travel in the U.S., with your wife, do you carry your marriage certificate with you? I would assume that you do not, but if something were to happen to you (or vice-versa), they would not look twice when you would request information.

If you were to take a poll of most homosexuals, and ask them if they would want marriage, or the same rights as a heterosexual, most would say that the equal rights would be more important.

It would be the perfect compromise; the conservatives get to keep the institution of "marriage," while the homosexuals get "equal treatment" [emphasis mine -- R.L.]. Moreover, the U.S. Constitution is not amended because a SCOTUS ruling upsets a few people.

Sincerely,

[Name Withheld]


And who has the monopoly -- the authority -- on what constitutes "morality" (i.e. to dispense with accusations of "bigotry")? It's genuinely compelling to consider how BOTH the left and the right claim to have the God's eye-view of what constitutes the "good in itself" -- else they couldn't dispense with claims of "bigotry"; it's only from such an assumed (spurious?) position that one can dispense with accusations of "bigotry," bigotries being things at odds with one's own "herd," its respective notion political correctness. In the case of the basic libertarian political correctness purveyed by Matt, others, and perhaps, I think, by myself, it represents a truly odd, oxymoronic, blend of totally _a_moral freedom (i.e. happiness is utterly and completely in eyes of the individual beholder; in other words happiness has no objective content)combined with something that would seem utterly at odds with that amoral freedom: the absolute certitude of amoral freedom!!*

Anyway, these long-winded, perhaps convoluted and masturbatory musings are only my attempts (meager as they are) to work through these, what strike me as, perplexing matters, matters of what consitutes right (justice).

Aren't we perhaps to consider that it's a "bigotry" to subject children to having three parents? (I see absolutely no reason how polyandry, polygamy, etc., can possibly be denied if same-sex marriage is adjudicated favorably). Or, I'll go ahead and hazard saying it, that subjecting children to having same-sex parents is absolute bigotry toward the child? That such a practice is inherently opposed to, well, nature? That every child deserves the possibility of having at least a loving family consisting of a father and a mother? That this is, on the whole, the best -- because natural, as taken place over milennia -- way for the moral instruction of mankind to take place, in the nuclear, "traditional" family? That given that the distinction between the sexes is by nature and not conventional (pace my queer theorist professor and advisor from Middlebury College), that a mother and a father have something essential to impart -- grounded as this is in the hard-wired essences of maleness and femaleness -- to a child in the rearinga and emotional nurturing of that child?

To wit, consider this as a small metaphorical anecdote (also taken from the Corner):

John Kirkley, 36, an Episcopal priest in San Francisco, says that after he and his partner adopted a son almost five years ago, straight couples, rather than other gay men, became the foundation of their social network.

"We had a lot more in common with straight parents than si they weren't really comfortable relating to children."

Posted by: Robert Light at July 1, 2003 07:05 PM

Frist's remarks were meant to be devisive and diversionary so as to take the public's eyes off of the illegal, immoral, and politically off the charts insane war in Iraq which is rapidly escalating into a full blow guerrila war with the continuing deaths of American servicemen. Sixty plus dead since Dubya's "Mission Accomplished" photo op on MAY 1!
Shame on the American media for going along with all of the titilating diversionary bullshit and not getting on a story of deception that thirty years ago would have had them all burning the midnight oil.

Bush lied! Troops died! End of story! Impeach the prick!

If he is still in office for the 2004 elections they will not only be just another scam --as in 2000 -- but also a sure signal that the self serving, corrupt, protectionist, Fatzi greedos, are still in control.

Posted by: Warren Celli at July 1, 2003 08:19 PM

Yes, I'm sick of this shit -- right now I'm as hungry as that fucking bear and I want In n' Out baby!! (Animal style, of course).

Posted by: Robert Light at July 2, 2003 12:20 AM

"I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't always agree with them."

George W Bush

Posted by: Bob at July 2, 2003 01:00 PM

Germane. Not "germain."

Posted by: Robert Light at July 3, 2003 03:12 AM

Robert -- Have I *ever* mentioned Leo Strauss, other than to say: DAMMIT ROBERT, STOP TALKING ABOUT LEO STRAUSS??!! Besides, I always preferred the political philosophy of his brother Levi.

Posted by: Matt Welch at July 7, 2003 10:24 PM
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world for so long they weren't really comfortable relating to children."

Posted by: Robert Light at July 1, 2003 07:05 PM

Frist's remarks were meant to be devisive and diversionary so as to take the public's eyes off of the illegal, immoral, and politically off the charts insane war in Iraq which is rapidly escalating into a full blow guerrila war with the continuing deaths of American servicemen. Sixty plus dead since Dubya's "Mission Accomplished" photo op on MAY 1!
Shame on the American media for going along with all of the titilating diversionary bullshit and not getting on a story of deception that thirty years ago would have had them all burning the midnight oil.

Bush lied! Troops died! End of story! Impeach the prick!

If he is still in office for the 2004 elections they will not only be just another scam --as in 2000 -- but also a sure signal that the self serving, corrupt, protectionist, Fatzi greedos, are still in control.

Posted by: Warren Celli at July 1, 2003 08:19 PM

Yes, I'm sick of this shit -- right now I'm as hungry as that fucking bear and I want In n' Out baby!! (Animal style, of course).

Posted by: Robert Light at July 2, 2003 12:20 AM

"I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't always agree with them."

George W Bush

Posted by: Bob at July 2, 2003 01:00 PM

Germane. Not "germain."

Posted by: Robert Light at July 3, 2003 03:12 AM

Robert -- Have I *ever* mentioned Leo Strauss, other than to say: DAMMIT ROBERT, STOP TALKING ABOUT LEO STRAUSS??!! Besides, I always preferred the political philosophy of his brother Levi.

Posted by: Matt Welch at July 7, 2003 10:24 PM
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Posted by: Matt Welch at July 7, 2003 10:24 PM
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