Last week the Supreme Court heard a couple of gay marriage cases, and with so many politicians and even some conservatives running to grab the rainbow flag, it seemed as if a corner on the contentious issue had been turned.
How went the rightbloggers? Most continued to–paraphrasing Buckley–stand athwart history, crying “Please be gentle!” But others tried to accommodate their new gay-married overlords in ways that preserved for themselves some sliver of Right Pride.
However the court rules, things do look sunnier for marriage equality than they did even a year ago. Polls now show slightly more support for than opposition to gay marriage. And some top Republicans have been doing the rats/sinking ship routine. Oregon Sen. Rob Portman switched on account of his son; a number of Republicans signed a legal brief on behalf of gay marriage; Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said a pro-gay-marriage GOP presidential candidate was not only possible but “inevitable,” etc.
But don’t worry–most real conservatives are holding the line. Mike Huckabee’s even willing to lead the Bible belters out of the GOP over it. And despite some maudlin well-I-guess-this-is-it capitulations, most rightbloggers are on the line with them — though there is some (pardon the expression) diversity as to tactics.
At rightwing flagship National Review, for every yes vote from the likes of Michael Potemra, there have been at least half a dozen hard nays — most of them, it seemed, written by a frantic Kathryn Jean Lopez. Some authors offered anti-gay-marriage Deep Thoughts; Nicholas Frankovich, for example, told us, “The sexual revolution is now a tall tree with far-flung branches. The fruit over here, abortion, may be a long walk from the fruit over there, same-sex marriage, but the clearly toxic nature of the former affirms for me my wariness of the latter.” Were we Frankovich, we’d be warier of the hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Other Review writers just went with snarls. “Look at it from the leftist point of view,” wrote Michael Walsh. “This is in fact the reductio non absurdum of what they’ve been fighting for since the late Sixties and arguably since the Wilson administration: their wish for kings.” (Queens, we should have thought; don’t they have editors over there?)
As for legacy pledge Jonah Goldberg, he brushed the issue off with a distracting fart and a dash for the exits–“I think the argument over whether or not to call civil unions ‘marriage’ has been all but lost, though there’s a glimmer of hope the decision might eventually be left to the states (which I favor)”–so we’ll put him down as an “abstain,” or some kind of stain anyway.
The popular conservative-organizing site RedState remains nearly unanimous in opposition to gay marriage. Its diary entries on the subject have titles like “Senator Portman, Homosexual Marriage, and the Death of Principle” (subhed: “Moral Cowardice Cloak As Compassion”) and “Pushing back the gay rights goalposts.”
The most implacable foe of all is RedState kingpin Erick Erickson, who wrote in the starkly titled “‘Gay Marriage’ and Religious Freedom Are Not Compatible” that “already we have seen florists, bakers, and photographers suffer because they have refused to go along with the cultural shift toward gay marriage. There will be more.” Consider, for example, the wedding band that won’t play the hokey-pokey for gay people–what about their rights?
Erickson got frothier as the week wore on. “Christians in America have gotten soft,” he hollered in another post. “We’ve turned the nation into an idol to be worshiped. … We’ve turned the American ideal of liberty into an idol we worship. … The world is not on its way to Christ. The world hates Christ …”
Still later, when challenged by another Christian on this matter, Erickson roared, “First, you are not loving your neighbor if you are cool with them going to hell. Do you want to go to hell? No? Well then how are you loving your neighbor as yourself if you’re cool with him going to hell? … same sex sexual relations is a sin, as is lying, greed, gluttony, etc…” So great was Erickson’s Christian love for homosexuals that he wanted to forcibly rescue them from hell; but they didn’t seem grateful and in fact were attacking him for it. Elsewhere Erickson reaffirmed his mission: “With Christ risen, we should love our neighbors,” he wrote, “but we should also be clear that we cannot condone the very things Christ conquered on our behalf.”
Eventually Erickson took this to its natural next phase: “I reject evolution for the sake of evolution and reject that life on this planet, let alone the existence of this universe, is some random act,” he said, and luxuriated in a vision of unbelievers suffering: “They will, at that time, after science has failed them and their self-defined reason has left them, seek out a miracle whether they understand it as such or not.” How’d CNN let a treasure like Erickson get away?
At Crisis, George Neumayr blamed the rise of gay marriage on Democrats and the media, of course, but also on “the weakness if not outright treachery of the Republicans” who were not giving their all to stop it. “Recall that prominent Republicans, such as Dick Cheney and Laura Bush, endorsed gay marriage long before Obama and the Clintons did,” Neumayr said. “Gay marriage is spreading not in spite of the Republicans but because of them.” Well, be fair, guy: They did give you the war in Iraq.
Others told us gays and their friends were the real bigots. At National Review, John Fund heard that Johns Hopkins students were petitioning to remove their commencement speaker, right-wing flavor-of-the-month Dr. Ben Carson, because of his anti-gay statements. Carson seemed to understand–“This is their graduation, their big day,” he said, “and if they think me being there is going to be a problem, I am happy to withdraw”–but Fund was not so understanding. “We’ll see if his apology is accepted,” Fund harrumphed. “If it’s not, it will become clear that an authoritarian anti-free speech mindset has set in with many gay-marriage supporters. … Apparently, for many liberals, free-speech rights can be extended to people who agree with them or their allies.” Next these punks will ask to pick their own valedictorian. Plus, “NBC’s Contessa Brewer compared people who oppose “gay marriage” to racists,” reported Gart Kant at World Net Daily. Who’s the bigot now, libtards?
Plus, reported Kant’s colleague Bradlee Dean, the homosexualists have been using a secret weapon on the American people to make them pro-gay: “The Hegelian Dialectic,” said Dean, “is the tool that the corrupt in government use in an attempt to manipulate the minds of the people to accept their ‘change’ when they normally would reject it. … The Supreme Court, the media, and this administration are exemplifying the Hegelian Dialectic today. After placing radical lesbian Elena Kagan on the bench, they have attempted to take issues such as marriage out of the hands of the people so they can push their unconstitutional and, therefore, illegal agenda.” Fortunately for Liberty, “After 57 million babies have been aborted,” continued Dean, “the American people are finally beginning to awaken to the fact that the Hegelian Dialectic has deceived them,” which explains all those anti-Hegel demonstrators you’ve been seeing down at the mall.
Some of the brethren acknowledged that het marriage hadn’t been doing so hot even before the interference of gay marriage–but didn’t see why that was an argument in favor of equality. In fact, this led National Review‘s David French to hope for even more restrictive laws on marriage. “The same-sex marriage argument never would have gained cultural traction without heterosexuals — in word and deed — redefining marriage away from a child-centered lifelong commitment towards an adult-centered at-will contract for mutual romantic benefit,” he wrote. “Same-sex marriage is the fruit of the poisonous tree of our no-fault divorce culture, and unless we can deal with that culture, gay marriage will indeed be inevitable.”
But, French admitted, “Building a sustainable red social model (post-sexual revolution) won’t be glamorous, and it won’t happen overnight. In fact, many of the red states are far more prone to divorce and illegitimacy than the allegedly more libertine blue states. We’ve got work to do.” Fair warning, folks! Now get out to the trailer parks and tell folks that more difficult and expensive divorces are their only bulwark against homosexual marriage. Charles Murray will help!
Ross Douthat argued that gay marriage was, too, a cause of het marriage failure–and had been, in fact, even before it existed: Since David Frum in a 1997 debate with Andrew Sullivan “warned that gay marriage could advance only at traditional wedlock’s expense, the marriage rate has been falling faster, the out-of-wedlock birthrate has been rising faster, and the substitution of cohabitation for marriage has markedly increased.” As far back as the ’90s, the mere specter of Adam and Steve was lousing it up for Adam and Eve. Oh, and Douthat added, “there is also a certain willed naïveté to the idea that the advance of gay marriage is unrelated to any other marital trend,” which we must say was nervy of him.
Some, having no apparently strong feeling or what we might call principles in the matter, looked for ways to get out of the line of fire. One of the more creative came from Megan McArdle, who’d previously flitted from side to side in the debate (“marriage always and everywhere, in every culture we know about, is between a man and a woman. … We should not go mucking around and changing this extremely important institution, because if we make a bad change, the institution will fall apart”). Last week she went for a compromise non sequitur: Gay marriage was inevitable, she said, but here’s the rightwing silver lining: inevitable too is the end of free love and rainbow parties, because gay marriage means that “in some sense, the sexual revolution is over … and the forces of bourgeois repression have won.” She went on: “That’s right, I said it: this is a landmark victory for the forces of staid, bourgeois sexual morality. Once gays can marry, they’ll be expected to marry. And to buy sensible, boring cars that are good for car seats.” Once you’ve gone Hyundai, you’ll ne’er be a fun gay!
Speaking of rightbloggers who identify as libertarians, most of them seemed pretty happy with the pro-gay turn, and some dared to dream that it would transform the conservative movement generally. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, for example, heralded the SCOTUS case with a editorial expressing “confidence in conservatives’ growing support for the freedom to marry” (presumbaly once Erick Erickson is bound and gagged). At Reason Ed Krayewski asked us to understand “What Internet Sales Tax and Gay Marriage Have in Common.” They’ve been doing this sort of thing for years now–as with this 2012 CEI essay, “Amendments try to take away the rights of corporations and gay people”–and now sense a new opportunity to craft a beautiful hybrid of gay marriage and rapacious capitalism.
At PJ Media, though, the delightfully named Robert Wargas worried that “a libertarian cause is being led by an anti-libertarian crowd”–that is, “the primary driving force behind gay-marriage legalization is not people who believe in individual rights,” which was spoiling it for him. “What should be a movement based on individual liberty,” he wrote, “is actually a Frankfurt School-tinged movement of identity politics.” Funny how that always seems to be how it works–the goals of good men like Rand Paul preemptively sabotaged by statist civil rights workers!
Therefore, though Wargas said he had “‘come out,’ as it were, on the screens of this venerable website several times in my support for same-sex marriage,” he was now saying that “in actuality, I support neither side in this debate. … An analogous, if exaggerated, situation would be if I lived under a fascist military junta and were scheduled for execution the following week, the only way to stop this being to support the planned communist coup of the underground demagogue. I would know what was coming: I would trade one set of executioners for another.” So no matter what happens, Wargas’s plausible deniability is preserved, which is after all the main thing.
At TownHall, Brian and Gerrett Fahy told homosexuals that losing the Supreme Court cases would be in their best interest: “The lesson is clear,” they said: “unless the Court holds that marriage is fundamentally a state issue, subject to the democratic voice of the people within the states, the Court will repeat the error of Roe v. Wade. By dictating a result lacking any constitutional basis, which the country was not ready for, and which deprived the people of their right of self-government, the Court instigated forty years of needless rancor. Surely those on both sides of the gay marriage issue can agree that such a result is undesired here.”
Well, we suppose one the top gay guys might be convinced by this, and run up to the Supreme Court to say, “we take it back.” Where there’s life, there’s hope–albeit an increasingly thin one. It seems likely that in years to come, rightbloggers’ will make an adjustment with gay marriage, as their forebears did with the civil rights movement. That is, overtly anti-marriage-equality blurts will come strictly from mouth-breathers — like Donald Douglas; we doubt he’ll retool for the New Age — while the brighter bulbs will come up with dog whistles and club codes to let the faithful know where they really stand, but can’t say it out loud because everyone’s so politically correct.
Which ought to work fine until the Democrats nominate an out gay Presidential candidate.