Morning News Round-Up
"As far as I can tell, political leaders are falling all over themselves to endorse your side of the case," Chief Justice Roberts told lawyers arguing on behalf of gay marriage.
The Chief Justice has good eyesight, though it is slightly skewed. Seven senators have come out (yes, okay, pun intended) in support of gay marriage in the past two weeks, though the GOP still stands pretty recalcitrant. So, the fact that political leaders are "falling over themselves" shouldn't be taken as legal evidence that laws don't have to be changed. Leaders may be falling, but they're falling almost exclusively on one side of the aisle. If Republicans aren't careful, they might find themselves without any ballast as the ship tips over on them completely.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told USA Today that in being so intransigent in their moral outrage over gay marriage, the GOP shouldn't "act like Old Testament heretics."
My first reaction was, "But, gee, it's worked so well for them in the past."
My second reaction was -- a heretic is someone who holds religious beliefs that conflict with church dogma. So, in his admonishment of the "heretics," he seems to be suggesting that church dogma supports gay marriage. Gee, first time I've heard that in the debate.
My third reaction was -- "Old Testament"?? Hey, me bucko, don't blame this on the Old Testament. You guys dug your own hole here, don't drag the Old Testament down with you. This is a "Church Thing" with the GOP. If you feel you have to blame someone, blame the sequel.
In an interview with radio station KRBD, Rep. Don Young (R-AL) managed to offend even Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) when using an ethnic slur about Mexicans, latter claiming he meant no offense, though he didn't apologize -- at least until later when clearly someone told him, "Y'know, you didn't apologize." (Mind you, the fact that he didn't think it was offensive to use a slur against Mexican-Americans seems to fit in with the standard attitude of conservatives towards Hispanics.)
In response, Mr. Boehner said, "I don’t care why he said it -- there’s no excuse and it warrants an immediate apology." It's an admirable, blunt statement by Mr. Boehner, so, hat's off. But of course, there is an excuse -- it's that this is close to Standard Operating Procedure for the Republican Party these days, starting with efforts to demean minorities in every way imaginable ever since the first Black president was elected. Only a week or so ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) made a major immigration speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and in front of most-especially this group he defended his admiration of Hispanics by referencing a Seinfeld episode and saying, "So it is with trepidation that I express my admiration for the romance of the Latin culture." (Gosh, why would he have any "trepidation" about saying that? It was only a major immigration policy speech. To the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce."
Rule #1 -- When you begin a sentence with "So, it is with trepidation that I express..." -- it's best not to express it. Especially if this is you Big Immigration Policy Speech to Hispanic leaders.
But when this is Standard Operating Procedure for Republicans, it seems okay to say...well, just about anything. Ask the aforementioned Don Young (R-AL).
And all of this comes after the GOP released its Growth & Opportunity Project, which specifically referenced treating minorities with respect. Since all this comes following that admonition, just imagine what the Far Right would be saying about Hispanics and all minorities if they weren't careful to be sensitive."
In his debate with Curtis Bostic for the Republican nomination in South Carolina's 1st congressional district, former Gov. Mark Sanford (you know, the guy who went missing for days and lied about where he went, when he was really cheating on his wife with his Brazilian mistress) slammed Bostic for missing meetings when a councilman. It turns out that Mr. Bostic had a very good, and outraged answer -- he was at home with his wife who had cancer. "My absence is because I was home taking care of her largely, doing what I should've been," Bostic said, "People knew where I was. I did my job just the same."
This is not a mere "oops" moment. This is one of those moments that overlaps with Rand Paul opening a statement with "It is with trepidation that I..." It also falls under the heading of, "People in glass houses should know freaking better than to say something that will shine a Really Big Light on their own idiocy, even if they knew what they were talking about."
In her big speech at CPAC recently, America's Yammering Hypocrite, Sarah Palin, the half-term governor of Alaska, lambasted "the big consultants, the big money men, and the big bad media.” In her recent SarahPAC filings with the Federal Election Committee, it shows that she raised $5.1 million. It also shows that of this amount, $298,500 went to actual candidates. The bulk of the remaining $4.8 million went to -- the big consultants, the big money men, and the big bad media..
In Ms. Palin's case, she shouldn't even concern herself about starting sentences with "It is with trepidation that I..." and just assume that that goes before every word she utters. Or thinks.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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