Mar 17, 2013

House Speaker's Commitment to the Party of Stupid

Updated - As the civil rights fight for marriage equity continues in the wake of Sen. Rob Portman's (R-Ohio) decision to support the right of individuals to marry, Americans were treated to a perfect example of the Republican Party's incoherency on legal discrimination.

Asked about Portman's change of heart, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), explained on ABC's This Week, "I believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman."

Asked if his position might change, Boehner explained and elaborated (not really):

 "Listen, I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. … It’s what I grew up with. It’s what I believe. It’s what my church teaches me. And I can’t imagine that position would ever change."

Boehner's repeated assertions that he feels this way because he believes this way is not an argument any more than is: 'I feel blacks and whites should not marry; it's what I believe. I don't like them blacks.'

ABC's Martha Raddatz did not reply, 'Mr. Speaker, you are proposing denying this right to marriage to gays and lesbians, but you won't explain yourself. What is your reasoning? Repeating how you feel or what you believe is no argument, is it?'

But Raddatz like every other network pundit interviewing Republicans on this issue refuses to point out in a simple follow-up that the GOP's I-feel nonsense is not reasoning in an adult democracy. It's infantile.

Why? What is Raddatz thinking?

Here is the perfect opportunity to expose Republican Party idiocy on a major civil rights issue presently before the courts set to rule on two possibly landmark cases—United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerly known as Perry v. Brown and Perry v. Schwarzenegger).

A House Speaker should have to at least explain himself, right?

Raddatz is as indictable as Boehner. And Sen. Portman is not much better.

"By Portman’s own account, in other words, he opposed gay marriage until he realized that opposition to gay marriage stands in the way of his own son’s happiness," writes Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine (March 15, 2013). "Wanting your children to be happy is the most natural human impulse. But our responsibility as political beings — and the special responsibility of those who hold political power — is to consider issues from a societal perspective."
As Chait wrote in a needed sane commentary a short three years ago in making what is an obvious point on the I-feel, I-believe mantra:

Gay-marriage opponents have made that [I-feel] formulation their mantra. It’s a really strange way for them to summarize their argument, because it’s not an argument at all. ...

In a liberal society, consenting adults are presumed to be able to do as they like, and it is incumbent upon opponents of any such freedom to demonstrate some wider harm. (Chait. The New Republic, June 19, 2009)

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