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With the name Schlafly in the news again. Love this quote:
The theory of relativity is a mathematical system that allows no exceptions. It is heavily promoted by liberals who like its encouragement of relativism and its tendency to mislead people in how they view the world.
Since nuclear weapons were made possible by the theory, then you would think religious conservatives would advocate banning them. I bet William Jennings Bryan would have been game – he was a principled Christian fundamentalist who quite as Secretary of State in protest of the US entry into World War l and attacked secular science as the source of social inequity (social Darwynism) and the mega-death weapons WWI generated.
Funny thing about this Fox News interview with Ted Olson, who argued for Bush in Bush v. Gore in 2000, and so far just as successfully in the Prop 8 case. They are discussing “judicial activism” and Wallace asks Olson about his former comments to the effect that judges shouldn’t create rights which are not enumerated in the Constitution. Olson responds that the Supreme Court has held the right to marry as a fundamental right on numerous occasions since 1888. Wallace then trips up a little here, and I’m certain he understands the significance of it.
Wallace says “Where is the… talk about the right to marriage, where is the right to same sex marriage in the Constitution?” This is a very telling slip on his part, because he knows very well that the right to marriage itself is not specifically enumerated in the Constitution, though he won’t call the 1888 decision “judicial activism.” This is a big deal because the conservative philosophy is to ignore the 9th Amendment (or equate it with the 10th) and minimize the 14th – if it isn’t mentioned, it doesn’t exist. But how popular will legal conservatives be with less educated social conservatives if they say that marriage is not a fundamental right protected by the Constitution? It would take some explaining. Wallace almost blew it.
So Wallace tries to frame it as the creation of a right to “same sex marriage,” distinguishing it from marriage, and asks if it appears in the Constitution. Olson’s response was good: “where is the right to interracial marriage in the Constitution, Chris?” However, he might simply have asked the question Wallace started to ask, namely, “where is the right to marriage in the Constitution, Chris?”
So where are the principled conservatives who will argue that marriage is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution? I know there are a few out there, but then tend towards the libertarian side of the movement and away from social conservatism.
By the way, Olson could have framed it differently. It’s not necessarily the marriage itself that need be deemed a right. Equal treatment under the law is a right already enumerated, in that 14th Amendment so many conservatives don’t like on a number of levels.
There was another remarkable moment in the discussion when Olson proclaimed, “Well most people use the term ‘judicial activism’ to explain the decisions they don’t like.” Wallace agreed. Of course, most people who use the phrase are in the conservative camp, since many liberals actually believe in judicial activism to protect individual rights against the will of the majority. I’m glad it was framed that way in front of millions of Fox viewers. It undercuts the whole narrative.
I’ve touched on the topic in a few posts past, like this one. For your reference, the 9th Amendment:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
This is what Madison said about it.
It has been objected also against a Bill of Rights, that, by enumerating particular exceptions to the grant of power, it would disparage those rights which were not placed in that enumeration; and it might follow by implication, that those rights which were not singled out, were intended to be assigned into the hands of the General Government, and were consequently insecure. This is one of the most plausible arguments I have ever heard against the admission of a bill of rights into this system; but, I conceive, that it may be guarded against. I have attempted it, as gentlemen may see by turning to the last clause of the fourth resolution.
It seems that Madison’s fears have come to life as a central tenet of conservative legal philosophy. At least it’s a tenet when it’s politically convenient.
A blast from the past. Quiche anyone?
Former SNL cast member Victoria Jackson sings “There’s a Communist in the White House.”
She and Dennis Miller must have slipped off the SNL set one night in the late 1980s and shared the same drug. At least Jackson still has a sense of humor, dorky as it is.
Just remarking that Eugene Genovese, ex-communist turned conservative, once remarked that he found right wingers to be so much more polite than left wingers. He’s a stand up guy actually, part of that sidelined conservative intellectualism. I wonder if he’s revised his opinion over the past year.
For whatever it’s worth, the differences are 6 to 11 points between liberals and conservatives.
Curiously, while monogamous men are smarter than philandering men, women who sleep around tend to be just as intelligent as monogamous women.
This article looks at some of the issues a little more closely.
Jerry Brown announces tomorrow – online. Is he the first to do so? Is it a good idea? He seems pretty casual as his chief opponent has spent nearly 40 million already (albeit some of it seemingly wasteful if not counterproductive).
Condi Rice has endorsed Whitman. Again, I think Whitman is out of touch with California. Or I am. I’ve been wrong before. But I just don’t see what she gains from this endorsement.
One of the chief banes of health care reform so far has been Democratic Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln. Progressives have been pushing a strategy to “primary” the conservative Democrats and Blue Dogs, which I really think is a good idea. You win, you send a message to Dem pols. You lose, and you’ve actually helped the Blue Dogger appear centrist for the general. Anyway, the netroots is already on board with Lincoln’s progressive primary opponent. Well, now the big boys are jumping in too.
Last week I mentioned Jim Bunning’s one-man filibuster (for which he complained that he had to miss a basketball game). The Democrats are jumping at the opportunity to make hay. Bunning will be their poster boy for awhile. It has not only unemployed thousands of workers, but it will result in a 21 percent Medicare fee cut for physicians.
Tea Party – meet the Coffee Party.
Maybe the Greens should start a Chai Party!
Serious memo to Coffee Party leadership – a decent enough concept, but too many words! Focus. Clarity. Don’t come across like John Kerry.
Once again McCain rewrites his voting history.
Disturbing ironies all the way around. First you have progressives bragging about Obama’s war push. Apparently he’s “captured more Taliban leaders in the past month than Cheney did in 6 years.” Conservatives at the wild and crazy CPAC conference meanwhile are saying that Obama is killing too many terrorists, and not leaving enough to be tortured for information.
The IRS union doesn’t find amusing the CPAC humor about the right wing terror attack on their office yesterday.
And when asked to comment on whether we should equate WWII with the Iraq War, our favorite hippie responded “Well, in the sense they’re both wars …”
In Florida, Governor Charlie Crist is releasing a Valentines Day attack ad against his “tea party” Republican opponent Marco Rubio, who has done well in the polls.
That’s the name of the ceremony which legend holds began the Haitian slave revolt in 1791 led by Toussaint L’Ouverture. Historical figure Dutty Boukman (named so because he read books) was said to have conducted a Vodou (often spelled “Voodoo”) ceremony in which 300 slaves pledged to fight for an end to slavery. I believe this is the event referenced by Pat Robertson today (watch below).
The details of the ceremony are kind of sketchy, and some historians dispute that it actually ever happened. But legend has its own power, and the “Devil” portion is derived from what ia purported to be part of Boukman’s chant.
- “The god who created the sun which gives us light, who rouses the waves and rules the storm, though hidden in the clouds, he watches us. He sees all that the white man does. The god of the white man inspires him with crime, but our god calls upon us to do good works. Our god who is good to us orders us to revenge our wrongs. He will direct our arms and aid us. Throw away the symbol of the god of the whites who has so often caused us to weep, and listen to the voice of liberty, which speaks in the hearts of us all.”
The Haitian revolt did overthrow the French and triggered revolts throughout the Caribbean. The regimes which arose from some of the successful revolts often faced the problems of the early version of white flight, with capital and educated and skilled people, white and black, leaving. This made it difficult to manage economies, and some of them failed. Slavery advocates in the U.S. would point to those countries as examples of the failure of the concept of black emancipation and the rhetoric bore uncanny similarity to that used against socialist regimes coming to power in the aftermath of destructive civil wars in the 20th century. Historian Eric Foner chronicled the phenomenon in Nothing But Freedom (one of the best books I’ve read about Reconstruction).
So there’s a symmetry to Robertson’s ranting, as well as Limbaugh’s of today where after accusing Obama ahead of time for exploiting the event to curry favor with black voters (we know how difficult it’s been for Obama to woo that demographic), blamed Haiti’s massive poverty on communism (which has never taken root in the country even as a viable movement).
We have tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of people dead in a tragedy which is hundreds of years old in a country rampant with corruption in a regime we helped install just a few years ago, and at least two right wing icons can’t take a day from their provincial crap to address the humanity of the situation. It was the event of the day if not month and yet as I was flipping stations tonight both MSNBC and CNN were on the story all night, while Fox had Palin defending herself against that book, and O’Reilly talking about polls where lots of people said Obama is a failure.
In the post below are a list of links to organizations who will help people in Haiti. I recommend Doctors Without Borders.
The painting above is by Haitian artist Ulrick Jeane-Pierre.
Addendum: Haitian Ambassador Raymond Alcide Joseph responded to Robertson in Rachel Maddow tonight.