As we mentioned last week, Scandal Spring has waned, and rightbloggers have been obliged to devote at least some of their time to current events.
And, boy, did last week give them a lot to talk about. Voting Rights Act, DOMA, and Prop 8 decisions from the Supreme Court, the Zimmerman trial, and Wendy Davis’ filibuster in the Texas legislature gave the brethren ample opportunity to tell America what they thought of blacks, gays, and women.
Let’s stretch out Pride Week another day and start with the gay stuff.
Though the Supreme Court’s Proposition 8 decision was a mixed bag, and the DOMA decision only removes one (admittedly large) federal obstacle to marriage equality, many rightbloggers responded as if the Republic had been washed away by a sea of gay.
Ben Shapiro took a jurisprudential tack, calling his essay “The State v. God.” Shapiro admitted that “public opinion polls now suggest that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage,” and predicted “same-sex marriage will be the law of the land within the next several years.” But that was just the start of the nation’s troubles.
For example, said Shapiro, “public schools across the country will be forced to teach homosexual marriage alongside traditional marriage,” perhaps referring to home economics classes where boys will be forced to don an apron. Also, “religious business owners will be leveraged to pay for benefits for same-sex spouses,” which will offer the Becket Fund yet another lawsuit opportunity just as soon as Hobby Lobby hires a gay person.
Shapiro tied this lamentable turn to a “leftist view” that’s sweeping the country; just as “religious organizations must pay for abortion and contraception” under the Obamacare mandate, so too, “religious florists must provide flowers for gay weddings.” Somewhere Reince Priebus is tabulating the gay-hating florist vote and planning a new Republican coalition.
How did this happen? “The left proclaimed that conservatives seek a theocracy,” said Shapiro, and “that rhetoric had an impact. It sent religious Americans into retreat.” And into the gap left by the retreating fundies slithered The Left, who “saw the power of government as a replacement for God entirely,” which is why we now celebrate an annual Feast of Reason instead of Christmas. “The Ten Commandments the left so despises were reversed to apply to the state,” cried Shapiro. “The state is our god, to whom we address our petitions…” He ended spent, keening, and drama-queening about a “benevolent government golden calf of our own making,” offered in profane sacrifice by the new Edward G. Robinson in The Ten Commandments, Barack Obama! We can’t say we haven’t been warned.
Taking the academic approach was famed semiotician Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom who, upon hearing someone lament “discrimination” against gays, stuck on his mortarboard and rejoined, “first of all, discrimination is not ‘just plain wrong.’ Were there no discrimination — for instance, between qualified engineers and LGBT applicants who demand the ‘civil right’ to build bridges, even without the proper training — overpasses would collapse and people would die.” Thus was this gay press-agentry blown away by the mighty backdraft of Goldstein’s shirt-retucking.
At Commentary, Jonathan S. Toobin blamed the decisions on an “American popular culture that has normalized gays and gay marriage in films and TV to the point that they are now regarded as unexceptionable. As my colleague John Podhoretz noted on Twitter this morning after the ruling, the credit for the decision on DOMA belongs as much to the producers of the Will and Grace television show as it does to any legal scholar.” Between this and The Starter Wife, Debra Messing has much to answer for.
“Few seem to have any problem prohibiting two or three women from marrying the same man,” he said, “and in treating such ‘Big Love’ marriages as being beyond the pale of the law’s protection. Under the logic of the DOMA decision, that ought not to be true.” Regrettably, Toobin didn’t get deeper into unusual family relationships on old TV shows; we’d love to hear his take on My Mother, The Car.
Rod Dreher wrote that in his DOMA dissent Justice Antonin Scalia “has chillingly illuminated the future for marriage traditionalists: the only reason to oppose same-sex marriage is hate… the logic of the Court’s language here ought to put fear into the hearts of anyone who does not share the belief that homosexuality is morally neutral, or morally good. The Supreme Court says we are haters, full stop.” Where’d they get that idea? Dreher, who has previously written things like “what are the rest of us supposed to think about gay male culture, and the degree to which it self-defines according to behavior that most people rightly find repulsive?”, blamed “the liberal mind,” which demands “thoughtcrime cannot be allowed to exist.”
It wasn’t all straight rightbloggers huffing over gays — a few gay ones offered opinions, too. “Strangely, I don’t feel like the world changed and I certainly don’t feel more or less of an American after the ruling,” said Bruce Carroll of Gay Patriot. “As a gay conservative, I’ve always been conflicted about the issue of gay marriage. I guess it is because my political and moral philosophies are not dictated by the desire to be loved by the president or the federal government.”
We thought gay marriage was about gays marrying each other rather than marrying Obama or the U.S. government, but this guy’s gay, maybe he knows better. Anyway, Carroll judged, “The gay political class is celebrating Big Government waving its haughty approval like King George III waving his hand over his colonies.” He called for his fellow homosexuals to now fight against abortion and Islam, if they believed in human rights so much, then decided they wouldn’t because “the gay political movement is bound and gagged to the progressive left.” Boy, he must have been a riot at Pride, or maybe he attended an alternative event called Shame.
The pages of National Review might as well have been hung with black crepe; editor Kathryn J. Lopez, particularly, seemed deeply disturbed, at one point blubbering, “One might find oneself nostalgic today both for the days a Democratic president signed the Defense of Marriage Act and the days before Twitter as the president of the United States tweets: ‘Today’s DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEquality. #LoveIsLove.'”
“Gays have become a constitutionally-protected class due higher protections than even racial minorities,” gasped Bush era war criminal John Yoo, sounding dejected that now he may never get to torture any himself. “The Roe v. Wade of our generation,” said Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage, which is like Paula Deen calling something the Appomattox of her generation.
But even this was not the end; soon, the gays came for Bert and Ernie in a cute New Yorker cover, and oh, the lamentations:
“No, not even Muppets are spared in our culture war,” quavered David Karsanyi at Human Events. “Next on Sesame Street: ‘C Is for Cornhole,'” hyuked Robert Stacy McCain. “Innocence. Lost,” fainted Kathryn J. Lopez. “Bert & Ernie are iconic figures for children… And The New Yorker crudely murders it all with the crude, smutty snickering… What a great strategy for Leftcultists to bully children into the cult,” seethed Darleen Click at Protein Wisdom. Wait’ll she sees Dora the Explorer’s Pride Week Activity Pack!
But rightbloggers had something to celebrate at the court, too: The Supremes invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, and almost immediately such enlightened jurisdictions as Texas and Mississippi ran to enact laws requiring, we imagine, prospective black voters to spell chrysanthemum.
A few rightbloggers split hairs. When some liberal complained that “without Section 4’s formula, Section 5 is neutered, and without Section 5 that black voter in Shelby County will have to litigate for her rights herself after the discriminatory law has come into effect,” Newsbusters’ Ken Shepherd a-ha’d, “that is patently not true… Under section 2, any ‘aggrieved party’ with standing to sue OR the U.S. attorney general can file a challenge to suspect state or local laws in federal court.” See? That black voter doesn’t have to do it herself — she can easily walk right up to the U.S. Justice Department and get Eric Holder to do it for her. Similarly, while admitting “challengers have an uphill climb,” Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post said, “those laws can still be challenged in court under multiple legal theories.” Multiple legal theories! What are these people bitching about?
But by and large the brethren didn’t bother to disguise their glee. “Liberal heads everywhere must be exploding,” cheered The Lonely Conservative. “…right now I’m lovin’ it. Bwaaahahahahahah!” said The Right Scoop. “And Eric Holder (at least currently) doesn’t have a thing to say about it,” luxuriated Patterico’s Pontifications. “A victory for civil rights,” cried the Wall Street Journal‘s John Fund. “Do conservatives have a lot more to be happy about today than yesterday? Yes,” said John Yoo, sharpening his bamboo splinters. “Today, the Supreme Court struck down the most onerous element of the Voting Rights Act of 1965…” It’s a rightblogger holiday!
At National Review Dimitrios Halikias and Andrew Johnson laughed at the “funniest overreactions” by silly liberals over the ruling, including that of a visibly upset “Civil Rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis.” Loo-ser!
Andrew C. McCarthy called the ruling “cause for celebration.” America, unlike those “parts of the world the Left somehow prefers to America,” had overcome racial discrimination thanks to the Voting Rights Act — which, McCarthy let us know, was “always of dubious constitutionality” and “a distortion of the constitutional principles of federalism and equal sovereignty among the states.” Good thing Andrew C. McCarthy hadn’t been around to stop the Act back in the day, or there’d be no post-racist age for him to celebrate.
J. Christian Adams was for some reason worried that Republicans might, get this, try to pass laws to make up for the loss of Section 5: “Will the GOP defend itself against the already-commenced false racial attacks following the decision, or will they cave?” he fretted. Somewhere Willie Horton is laughing his ass off. Adams’ concern arose from the overwhelmingly-passed 2006 reauthorization of the Act, which he characterized as “a shady deal between Republicans and the racialist left.” Similarly, Some Guy at RedState called that reauthorization “without a doubt… a purely political gesture. No politician can afford to come off as bigoted in this day and age.” Well, give it time, buddy.
“You cannot punish Southern leaders in 2013 for the sins of their grandfathers… The Roberts court just took a giant stride to restoring the Union… what the critics of the court decision are saying is that, no matter the progress made over half a century, they do not trust the South to deal fairly and decently with its black citizens, without a club over its head… In this belief there are elements of paranoia, condescension and bigotry,” said — not even kidding — Pat fucking Buchanan.
There was one black person they all agreed had been done a grave injustice: Clarence Thomas. Some people had called Thomas an Uncle Tom, which is among the few forms of hate speech rightbloggers actually acknowledge. Michelle Malkin called one guy on Twitter “a coward, a bigot, a liar and a textbook example of plantation progressivism,” and declared the guy’s tweet proved “rabid liberal elitists expect and demand that we swallow their left-wing political orthodoxy whole and never question.”
We’ll say this: If we had any doubt Rand Paul wouldn’t be visiting any more black colleges after Howard University, we sure don’t anymore.
An interesting racial sidelight came with the George Zimmerman trial for his deadly shooting of unarmed black kid Trayvon Martin. Rightbloggers seemed to follow the trial closely, and many agreed that witness Rachel Jeantel was sure black and not well-spoken. “Jeantel can’t read cursive, oh brother. Another low information voter. Need I tell you who she voted for last November or why?” hyuk-hyuked PUMA By Design. “…Progressives will make excuses such as blaming Jeantel’s environment while overlooking the dumbing down of America, Progressive ideology and its role in churning out future government dependents.”
When some people defended the sullen witness’s alleged incomprehensibility to white people, J. Christian Adams declared her defenders “the new segregationists… It’s a shame too many modern ‘civil rights’ advocates are channeling the ghost of John C. Calhoun.”
Breitbart.com’s John Hayward said, “race is the only reason we’re having this trial at all.” We see his point: we’re sure if a white guy shot another white guy who just happened to be unarmed, the cops would have let him go.
When they found out Trayvon Martin had called Zimmerman a “creepy-ass cracker,” their race pride was inflamed. “We are all creepy ass crackers now… and proud of it,” said neo-neocon. “So who is the racist?” demanded Scared Monkeys. When Jeantel said she wasn’t sure “cracker” was a racial slur, The Right Scoop offered, “I’m sure she’d probably admit that ‘coon’ is a racial slur.” Those people are so sensitive.
Ann Althouse informed us, on the authority of Urban Dictionary, that “the term ‘ass cracker’ could easily mean a man who rapes a man, especially one who goes after a teenaged boy,” and speculated a Trayvon Martin internal monologue explaining the altercation: “These creeps in the neighborhood need to know that I’m not their prey. It’s not enough to run inside daddy’s house. My manhood must be established here and now or I can’t walk free around here anymore.” We hope the defense attorneys are reading her blog. This trial could get interesting quick!
Conspiracy nut Alex Jones gabbled about race riots if Zimmerman were acquitted — but he wasn’t the only one who smelled a set-up: Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit had several posts on the trial, including one in which he claimed, “Obama and the Democrats would actually prefer an acquittal here. That’s because the whole point of the ginned-up Zimmerman affair was to inflame racial sentiment to boost black turnout in 2012. With any luck, they can turn an acquittal into another racial rallying cry, which will help in 2014. It’s not about Zimmerman; he’s just one of those eggs you have to break to make an Obama omelet.” Reynolds, we must inform non-connoisseurs, is the most popular rightblogger of all and a frequent editorialist in USA Today.
The ladies got a little rightblogger treatment, too, when State Senator Wendy Davis conducted a filibuster that temporarily halted an abortion ban in the Texas legislature.
Where others saw the Republicans botching their reaction to the filibuster, then quitting as their effort to conceal the actual outcome was revealed by the attention of the crowd and the media, rightbloggers saw “mob rule,” which National Review‘s Charmaine Yoest said “took over with the protestors in the galleries overwhelming the number of police there to keep order” (that is, the cops had trouble clearing the galleries, though Yoest made it sounds as if the ladies leapt to the floor and tore David Dewhurst limb from limb).
They might have stopped there, but while a few had the wit to at least pretend that they were concerned for the women they were trying to disenfranchise (“the mob pretty much admitted that they’re not concerned with issues like patient safety”), many pressed on to say, of course Texas was doing the right thing because abortion is murder, and the women who have it are murderesses.
At National Review, Will Allen approvingly quoted liberal columnist Jonathan Chait: “[Perry is] saying we should force women to give birth even when they don’t want to, because babies born in bad circumstances can be happy anyway. That isn’t an acceptable burden to place on women, in my opinion, but it surely is if you think abortion is murder.” See, we can agree — both Chait and Allen believe Allen thinks women who have abortions are committing murder. Let the dialogue begin!
When Perry belittled Davis by saying “She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself” and that it was “unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example,” Allen’s colleague David French explained that Perry was complimenting Davis — “It’s not just ‘unfortunate,’ it’s tragic,” explained French, “that she has taken the remarkable gifts that she’s been given and the remarkable achievements she’s earned and turned them toward the cause of death.” See, this one’s a mass murderer, and one who can’t take a compliment, either.
Jonah Goldberg, taking the long view, wondered what abortion had to do with “women’s health.” “When your grandmother gets some bad news, do you tell her: ‘Well, at least you have your abortion rights’?” Haw haw, Goldberg’s funnin’ — grannies can’t have babies, at least not the white-haired ones with tiny glasses and cookies Goldberg was apparently thinking about; many real 38-year-olds can, but they’re probably not in Goldberg’s target audience and don’t have cookies for him.
Anyway, silly liberals said draconian laws against abortion were bad for so-called “women’s health,” but this one story Goldberg read had “nothing about a spike in cervical or breast cancer rates. Nothing about occupational safety for female workers and no mention of female life expectancy either.” There’s nothing about these subjects in anything Goldberg ever wrote, but it’s not like he doesn’t care about these things; he’s just focused on grandma’s cookies.
Also, baby-killer Obama is not even a mom and doesn’t have any cookies for Jonah Goldberg, and that’s hypocritically “odd from the eponymous father of Obamacare, which will mandate that women (and men) pay for insurance coverage they don’t need.” Even worse, said Goldberg, “under Obamacare, women who smoke or are overweight can be charged 30 percent to 50 percent more for their health insurance.” Women pay to smoke, and Goldberg has to give National Review interns money to get him cookies! “And yet conservatives are the ones who’re called sexists,” said Goldberg through a mouthful of Mint Milanos.
A weird week for conservatives, certainly, but some top Republicans are working to get things back on track; last week Rep. Darrell Issa subpoenaed four State Department officials for a new round of Benghazi hearings. That ought to get things back on track — unless something else important happens, and message discipline breaks down again.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 30, 2013