By Rich Lowry
The Hendricks County Flyer
Fri Apr 05, 2013, 03:51 PM EDT
During two days of debate over gay marriage, the Supreme Court considered technical matters of standing, the nature of marriage and constitutional rights, the social science of gay parenting, and much else.
The response of top liberal commentators was, Please, don't bore us with the details. Just get on with it.
What matters is that the cause of gay marriage is righteous - and, oh yeah, gaining in the polls. For the left, the nine justices are bit actors in a real-life episode of "The West Wing," where truth, justice, and progressivism always prevail. The Constitution is an incidental, a prop.
Maureen Dowd, as usual, perfectly reflected the liberal id. "Their questions," she wrote scornfully of the justices, "reflected a unanimous craven impulse: How do we get out of this?" "Getting out of it" is another way to put "leaving the question to the elected branches of government."
Dowd complained that the justices acted like "fuddy-duddies." Yes, if only our robed masters were cooler. Surely, if they had Anna Wintour in for a working lunch at the court's chambers, all this unpleasantness could be worked out quickly. Dowd scorned the court proceedings for their lack of emotion. How bitterly disappointing it must be to her that even Sonia Sotomayor, selected by the president in part for her "empathy," asked questions relating to the law.
In his dispatch, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank struck a similar tone. He wrote, disapprovingly, "The question is whether the court forces gay-marriage activists to win the right state-by-state." If that is really the question, why should it even be a question? Since when is it an imposition to advance your cause democratically, especially when you are absolutely certain you are going to win?
Supporters of gay marriage always cite the shifting polls, as if they are relevant to a deliberation over whether gay marriage is mandated by the Constitution. The Republican supporters of gay marriage are no better than the liberals. On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt, a signatory on a Republican pro-gay marriage brief, confidently predicted that a gay-marriage referendum would pass in California "in a presidential election year." Can't we wait to have the court impose gay marriage until we're certain a referendum would pass in an off-year election too?
His former McCain campaign colleague and fellow signatory Nicolle Wallace appeared on "Fox News Sunday." "More than 60 percent of all Americans, everyone, supports marriage equality," she said. Wallace was apparently referring to an ABC News/Washington Post poll that showed 58 percent support for gay marriage, which technically is not more, but less than 60 percent.
This happens to be the best result in any of the recent polls for gay marriage. Her point would have been considerably attenuated if she had said, "The most recent Pew poll has 49-44 percent favor gay marriage and the Fox poll 49-46 percent support, slim pluralities that mean ... the court ... must ... act ... now."
The most telling moment in the argument over Proposition 8 prohibiting the official recognition of gay marriage in California came when Justice Antonin Scalia asked pro-gay-marriage lawyer Ted Olson when it became unconstitutional not to recognize gay marriage. Olson couldn't answer without appearing ridiculous, either by saying our marriage laws have been unconstitutional since the passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868 or by picking some arbitrary contemporary date.
Olson responded that it became unconstitutional not to officially recognize gay marriages as part of "an evolutionary cycle." As a matter of constitutional law, this answer is completely inadequate. Constitutional rights don't evolve with public opinion. As a reply to the political question of when gay marriage began to get traction, it is apt. In this context, you can indeed just look at the polls.
But they have nothing to do with the Supreme Court and everything to do with the political process, even if its supporters would prefer not to be bothered.
(c) 2013 by King Features Syndicate
When I woke up Saturday morning, I gave a customary online scan of Friday’s sports, mainly for a recap of the Pacers’ home game against Milwaukee.
November 18, 2013
Most people recall where they were upon hearing significant news in their life, whether it was positive or negative. I remember where I was when I heard now-former Butler basketball coach Brad Stevens was going to the Boston Celtics.
November 12, 2013
Having gone to a football school in the heart of basketball country, I was never around soccer in my youth, and thus haven’t been a soccer guy in adulthood.
November 5, 2013
I hate to say it, but I'm afraid we've seen this before.
October 29, 2013
There have been a lot of big games played in Indianapolis, none bigger than the Colts' unforgettable win over New England in the AFC championship seven years ago.
While next Monday's visit from Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos won't eclipse that monumental event, there is no doubt that the city has never and will never experience another night like No. 18's return.
October 17, 2013
There is no denying that Twitter has provided a once-impossible glimpse into the minds of sports figures. It has also infinitely increased the ability of those figures to make absolute fools of themselves.
September 18, 2013
July 20, 2013
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are either over or winding down, but the specters of death and justice have taken a disturbing new tandem twist this year with the issues of U.S. military suicides and sexual assaults within the ranks.
July 17, 2013
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
Nelson Mandela,95, anti-apartheid icon and former South African president, has died.
December 5, 2013
© 2013 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. ·
CNHI Classified Advertising Network ·
CNHI News Service
Associated Press content © 2013. All rights reserved. AP content may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Our site is powered by Zope. Some parts of our site may require
you to download the Flash Player Plugin.
Terms and Conditions
Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN
8109 Kingston St., Suite 500