HELL YEAH! Gay marriage wins! Suck it big time, Scalia!
In truth, the Supreme Court’s finding for gay marriage shouldn’t really come as shocks at all.
On gay marriage, the Supremes merely affirmed what should be obvious to every American: that we all have equal rights as far as the law is concerned. That this wasn’t the case until today, goes to show just how provincial and religious too many Americans (indeed, too many states and state legislators) were, or still are, when it comes to a basic understanding of the Constitution—and frankly, a basic understanding of universal human decency and fairness.
What’s interesting is that the dissent—particularly Justice Scalia’s dissent—amounts to nothing more than the usual smokescreen bullshit we’d see on Fox News or hear from some idiot on conservative talk radio.
Take this gem for example: “The Court is eager—hungry—to tell everyone its view of the legal question at the heart of this case. Standing in the way is an obstacle, a technicality of little interest to anyone but the people of We the People, who created it as a barrier against judges’ intrusion into their lives.”
Oh Scalia, you sly dog you, invoking the people as if you actually give a damn about them. But two points: 1) most people now support gay marriage (61%), and given its steady march upward in approval over time, it’s going to become as moot an issue as interracial marriage—or slavery. Oh sure, there’ll always be the good ole boys that don’t approve of either, but no one gives a damn what they think, and neither should Scalia (unless he is one… “gasp”).
2) What about Citizens’ United and the unlimited political spending it unleashed on our nation? In that case, Scalia, along with the other conservative IDIOTS* on the bench, didn’t give a damn about intruding into the lives of We the People, or burning down the democracy that our Constitution demands. Let’s be clear: no recent Supreme Court decision has been more disruptive or has had more of a negative impact on the average American than Citizens’ United. It has allowed billionaires and multinational corporations to exert almost total control of Congress (exhibit A: the Trans Pacific Partnership), and if that isn’t bad enough, next year, everywhere we look, we’re going to have to listen to rich people and their special interest groups spew hate, lies, and nonsense on every possible medium they can purchase, cheapening and misrepresenting political problems whose solutions matter deeply to ordinary Americans.
That horrific decision, in which it was once again asserted that money equals speech and corporations equal people, cannot even be compared to today’s finding for gay marriage—the only drawback of which is that a few simple minded boobs might have their misguided sensibilities offended. Meanwhile, the expansion of gay marriage will change the lives of millions for the better: economically, socially, and politically.
Scalia then goes on to assault the concept of judicial review while ignoring the fact that he’s made fine use of that principal, time and again, most notably (suprise, suprise) in Citizens’ United. Whining, he says of the decision, “It is an assertion of judicial supremacy over the people’s Representatives in Congress and the Executive. It envisions a Supreme Court standing (or rather enthroned) at the apex of government, empowered to decide all constitutional questions, always and everywhere ‘primary’ in its role.”
For the record, I’m not a huge fan of judicial review—which is the idea, established by Madison v. Marbury, that the Supreme Court has the power to explicitly determine what laws say or mean, and whether or not they’re constitutional. Judicial review essentially gives the Supreme Court unlimited power; how else could they possibly assert that money is speech and corporations are people otherwise, when it’s clear, even to someone of exceedingly low intelligence, that they are not?
But judicial review has existed since 1803, and unless Congress passes a Constitutional Amendment granting the power of determining the law expressly to the President and the executive branch (exceedingly unlikely), or the Supreme Court reverses the precedent established in Marbury, voluntarily giving away much of their power (even more exceedingly unlikely, though Scalia is well on his way), it’s how things work. And, as I’ve noted, something the conservative justices have made good use of while ruling for their corporate overlords time and again.
So what’s the point? Well, that Scalia’s a fool, but no more a fool than anyone on the conservative side of the political spectrum at this time. The point is that Republicans and conservatives have NOTHING. They’re not advancing any unifying theory speaking to the nobility of humankind, nor any political or economic reasoning that holds true to what Americans want, or what We and our Constitution stand for—it’s all rhetoric and grandstanding, always in service of either: A) advancing the power of corporations and the wealthiest Americans, or B) maintaining the white, “Christian” in-group/purity that trumps the best interests of ordinary people who vote for Republicans.
The outcry against gay marriage represents the latter: a dog whistle for the “Christian” right who could honestly care less about the teachings of Jesus, intent instead to merge the fire and brimstone of the Old Testament with the sexual repression and paranoia of the Victorian age. Never mind that their economic interests actually lie with people like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders—they’ll vote for Republicans who will ship their jobs overseas if it’ll protect them from the “gays.”
So when you hear George Will cry that the Supreme Court has overthrown the Constitution, read Scalia’s ridiculous dissent, watch Fox News suggest that if gays can marry, why can’t three people, or listen to conservatives on talk radio rant about how this country is a Christian nation being despoiled by immigrants and “those people”, that’s all it is. It’s just another shrill, desperate attempt to trick the dummies into thinking that Christianity is more about hating gay people than it is about loving all people, or that something has gone terribly wrong with our government when its really functioning as it always has, in ways that conservatives are more than happy to take advantage of when it suits their interests. And ultimately, why is all the umbrage taken? So that Republicans can maintain power in order to advance the interests of the rich and powerful.
And that’s all modern conservatism is: rhetoric and grandstanding. Not a shred of reason, nor an ounce of integrity. And their reaction to gay marriage is a perfect example.
* Because I do respect the institution of the Supreme Court, I feel it necessary to explain why I would use such strong language (IDIOTS) to insult five of our justices. In the Citizens’ United decision, the majority opinion states that unlimited political spending will not give way to corruption or even the appearance of corruption. That’s dumb. So dumb that anyone who actually believes it, even if they’re a Justice of the Supreme Court, can be fairly labeled an idiot in capital letters. Feel free to add “fucking” in front.