Supplemental: Otherization, Alito and us!

SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 2015

Keeping the glory locked in:
Otherization seems to be a basic human instinct.

It certainly runs all through American politics! Consider what Candidate Clinton said about yesterday’s Supreme Court decision, Jeremy Peters reporting:
PETERS (6/27/15): Absent a surprise change of heart by one of the Republicans, the Democrats will look to use same-sex marriage to their advantage. Democrats see the issue as one that allows them to hold up their nominee as empathetic and compassionate, while portraying the Republican as retrogressive and out of touch. Hillary Rodham Clinton hinted at the party’s line of attack on Friday when she said, “As love and joy flood our streets today, it is hard to imagine how anyone could deny the full protection of our laws to any of our fellow Americans—but there are those who would.”
We thought the highlighted statement was odd. For Clinton’s full statement, click here.

It isn’t exactly clear what Clinton meant by that highlighted statement. But is it really “hard to imagine” how anyone could oppose the Court’s decision? Is it “hard to imagine” how someone could oppose the right to same-sex marriage?

We don’t know why those things would be hard for Clinton to imagine! She opposed same-sex marriage herself until two years ago!

Now, she seems to find it “hard to imagine” how anyone else could hold the view she apparently held for the first 65 years of her life! After a vote of the analysts, we’ve decided to call that an act of “otherization.”

We wouldn’t criticize Candidate Clinton for her past views or positions. Same-sex marriage has been a major wedge issue in the past several decades, and Clinton was a major figure in national electoral politics. We refer you back to what James Clyburn said to Chris Hayes about this week’s political change, by Nikki Haley and others, concerning the Confederate flag:
HAYES (6/22/15): You know, there are obviously folks who are celebrating this [change of stance] and welcome it. There are others who are sort of saying, “Well, this was done in the face of a kind of crescendo of public outrage and the initial instinct to both Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Lindsey Graham were, if not to outright defend the flag, kind of hem and haw on it.”

How do you understand this decision? As one of conviction, or kind of following the momentum of where things were headed anyway?

CLYBURN: Well, you know, I understand politics, and I know the difference in the Republican voters’ psyche about the flag and Democratic voters’ psyche. I would say generally two-thirds Democratic voters have got problems with the flag flying on the State House grounds, about two-thirds of Republican voters want it to fly on the State House grounds.
From there, Clyburn went off in a different direction. For the most part, he declined to criticize Haley’s motives. Earlier in the interview, he had seemed to praise her for her new stance.

Why did Clyburn react as he did? When he said, “Well, I understand politics,” we took him to be saying that the flag had been a major wedge for Republican pols in South Carolina, and that, as a politician, he understands the way such matters inevitably work.

In our view, the same considerations apply to Candidate Clinton and same-sex marriage. But good grief! Just two years after she came out in support of marriage equality, she seems to say that she “can’t imagine” how anyone else could possibly hold that view!

We’d have to call that “otherization” on a major scale. In Clinton’s statement, we’re being encouraged to think the worst of those in the other tribe.

We liberals often decry such conduct by those on the right, but we’re sometimes happy to engage in such conduct ourselves. Regarding yesterday’s decision, consider this rather strange excerpt from Justice Alito’s dissent, as presented in the hard-copy Washington Post:

“Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. Today’s decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain the Court’s abuse of its authority have failed...I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”

As part of a constitutional ruling, that strikes us as a strange set of considerations. But will dissenters be labeled as bigots? Of course they will! People will be otherized for holding the same positions Candidate Clinton (and President Obama) recently held.

In our view, otherization tends to lock the glory in. Human nature being what it is, we liberals often criticize otherization when it’s being performed by The Others. But we sometimes seem to enjoy the ancient practice when we do it ourselves.

115 comments:

  1. Andrew Sullivan describes the slow journey from his TNR article proposing gay marriage (1996) to the court decision. He describes the lack of support from gay rights organizations, the distancing and embarrassment. The ACLU was the prime mover and straight attorneys.

    When gays themselves avoided the issue it seems unfair to remind everyone that Clinton (and Obama) did not support it either. I don't think Clinton's political behavior is any more "otherization" than anyone else's. There is a difference of opinion among those who do and those who don't join a bandwagon when it becomes safe to do so.

    We do choose who to empathize with. Why empathize with those unable to change when they are now in the minority of voters? Why blame politicians for trying to represent the views of the constituents they choose to court? This strikes me as a very silly complaint.

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    1. If it's all about the constituents then just say so. I'm put off by the moral gymnastics of "evolving" and whatever else election-cycle epiphanies. Just give me some truth.

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    2. anon 2:34, you may want "truth", but politics is about many other things besides truth. Politicians need to be elected.

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    3. Clinton and Obama don't support gay marriage. They think it's as ridiculous as they thought it was a decade ago. They think the same thing anyone who has given it any thought thinks, gay or straight, but is reluctant to admit for fear of siding with the squares, man. Gays used it as a proxy for acceptance, pass this and we will feel "accepted," but no one ever made a decent argument in favor of its equal footing with heterosexual marriage.

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  2. There is a vast - and obvious - difference between representing the views of your supporters and pointing out the errors of your opponents versus calling your opponents not just wrong but bigots to be vilified and, as Somerby says, "otherizing" them as not worthy of a decent respect for their views.

    That's the difference.

    For decades the political right used the culture wars to engage in such otherizing. Now the proverbial worm has turned and the left has the advantage. "Don't do what they did" is what Somerby is saying.

    Especially if this is coming from people who just a short time ago held those same views. A little humility would be welcome.

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    1. And yet the example he uses is so mild you have to strain to see what he is talking about. Clinton never uses that word bigot or anything like it. It seems labored and unfair.

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    2. Clinton's campaign theme is that Republicans are the party of the past. Her comment furthers that theme. Campaigning inevitably otherizes opponents in order to give voters a more clear cut choice. A campaign is not a kumbaya moment.

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    3. But he didn't just refer to Clinton's silly response. He quoted from Alito's dissent and warned that "otherizing", i.e,. calling them bigots, is not the path to go.

      Really, for Clinton to say she cannot imagine, I just can't!!, how someone could oppose this when just three years ago she did - for all of her adult life - is a little smarmy.

      But I will agree that it's not in the "otherizing" category and the example by Somerby is not a good one.


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  3. But is it really “hard to imagine” how anyone could oppose the Court’s decision? Is it “hard to imagine” how someone could oppose the right to same-sex marriage?

    These two things are not the same. I, and many other conservatives, support the right of same-sex marriage, but oppose the Court's decision on the grounds that it was legally incorrect.

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    1. Spoken as a legal scholar I suppose?

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    2. I found Scalia's dissent persuasive, although it's over-the-top snarky. Three snark highlights (or low-lights, if you like):

      The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic.

      "The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality." (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie.

      The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.


      http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/26/read-the-highlights-from-antonin-scalias-face-melting-dissent-on-gay-marriage/

      His full dissent is at http://www.scribd.com/doc/269769999/Scalia-Dissent

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    3. Snark isn't argument, much less the legal reasoning Scalia lauds. By citing him, you haven't presented any argument either. You are just here trolling and propagandizing, as usual.

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    4. You are correct, Anon. I didn't quote Scalia's argument because I couldn't copy it conveniently. I recommend reading his entire dissent at the link I provided http://www.scribd.com/doc/269769999/Scalia-Dissent

      Scalia implies that the majority misused the due process clause as an excuse to get the decision they wanted. He castigates their legal reasoning.

      Scalia argues that due process clause is vague. He says the proper interpretation is what was intended and understood at the time it was written. He then argues, persuasively IMHO, that when that clause was written, nobody thought that it applied to marriage rules.

      He also argues that the SC is poorly designed to make policy judgments of this sort. Not only are they unelected, but they are unrepresentative of the American populace.

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    5. "Ask the nearest hippie."? And where would he suggest we find the nearest hippie? 1969?

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  4. Scalia supports the rights of states to engage in the dictatorship of the majority, a violation of the spirit of the Constitution.
    The majority opinion is that people's right to marry whom they choose cannot be voted away. At least, not in the USA.

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    1. gravymeister -- two disagreements.

      1. IMHO the spirit of the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, is to limit the power of the federal government. The Tenth Amendment is quite clear on this point. So, for a federal court to decide on marriage rules seems to me to be against the spirit of the Constitution. Of course, that original spirit has been pretty much discarded.

      2. People's right to marry who they want has been "voted away". Thanks to state laws, we cannot marry more than one spouse. We cannot marry people below a certain age. We cannot marry our siblings or our parents, or, in some state, our cousins.

      BTW this is where Scalia's argument seems strong. Scalia has a principled basis for his rulings, namely the understood meaning of the Constitution when it was written. But, what principle motivates the SC majority? How do they know that the Constitution demands gay marriage, but doesn't demand that close relatives and young people and bigamists be able to marry?

      It just comes down to the fact that they want gays to be able to marry and they don't want 11-year olds to be able to marry. In short, IMHO they used the due process clause to, in effect, enact a law that they think is a good law.

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    2. DinC,
      First, the Founding Fathers WERE concerned with the dictatorship of the majority, and offered two imperfect solutions in the Constitution, the bicameral legislature and the separation of powers. We see everyday how bad laws aren’t passed, and enacted bad laws are voided by an independent court system.
      These points were argued in the Federalist papers and private letters.

      Your examples on marriage restrictions are based not on the wishes of the majority, but to protect people from the predations of con men and pedophiles, and, questionable science notwithstanding, to protect the unborn from inheriting recessive genes from inbreeding.
      If you have evidence to demonstrate the harm caused by same sex marriage, other than offending someone’s sense of morality, present it.

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    3. gravymeister, I agree with you. Gay marriage is a sensible policy. Where we disagree is that Courts shouldn't have the power to undo laws just because they're bad. I think they should only undo laws because they're unconstitutional. Plenty of bad laws are perfectly Constitutional.

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    4. A retired stand-up comedian circa February 1993:

      Those 10 million to 20 million gays and lesbians in our society are, among other things, taxpayers. To steal a phrase from Ross Perot, they are the owners of the nation's army and of its Congress. They pay the salaries of Colin Powell and Sam Nunn. If we start thinking of gays and lesbians as actual people -- not as stereotypes of the comedy club and gym -- perhaps we will recall how strongly the presumption must run, in a democratic culture, against excluding citizens from the very institutions they work to pay for.

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    5. D in C, these legal issues, especialy when they reach the Supreme Court, almost always lend themselves to arguments taking different positions. Constitutions and laws almost always are to some extent general, and the question is how to apply them to specific situations. I'm not particularly fond of Scalia. His 'original intent' position seems to me fallacious. He has abandoned his principle often, e.g the decision in the second amendment, Bush v Gore, etc

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    6. Slappy, some institutions simply rationally do not include everyone. If an institution is founded to promote the nuclear family, homosexuals are excluded as the parents in that unit simply because they cannot be the parents. A biological impossibility. They benefit from the structure as children whose parents raise them, and they can choose to reproduce with someone of the opposite sex in order to qualify as parents in the biological nuclear family. They lose no rights to be a part of that unit around which marriage is instituted.

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    7. Slappy, some institutions simply rationally do not include everyone. If an institution is founded to promote the nuclear family, homosexuals are excluded as the parents in that unit simply because they cannot be the parents. A biological impossibility. They benefit from the structure as children whose parents raise them, and they can choose to reproduce with someone of the opposite sex in order to qualify as parents in the biological nuclear family. They lose no rights to be a part of that unit around which marriage is instituted.

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    8. "If you have evidence to demonstrate the harm caused by same sex marriage, other than offending someone’s sense of morality, present it."

      There is endless evidence of the destruction to society and individuals resulting from the destruction of the nuclear family, and gay marriage as an underminer of the nuclear family because of the requirement of shifting the social purpose of marriage from fortifying it to recognizing two fellows are "in love," is therefore harmful.

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    9. You write as if adoption didn't exist and entirely ignore the concept of extended family, as if relationships were only mom and pop. What a sad, limited view. I think this arises from the recent cultural invention of the nuclear family, which has taught people to consider that kind of isolation normal.

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    10. Gravy, there has never been a "right to marry whom they choose" in existence. Marriage by definition of purpose is heterosexual, assumes sex with reproduction potential between the two married persons as opposed to merely a platonic association, and always has been thus.

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    11. 3:34, extended families are recognized to an extent in law but the parental rights have always superseded grandparents' rights, etc. The nuclear family is not a recent cultural invention, it is not even an invention but a natural occurrence civilizations organized around, recognizing its importance to people and its functional importance. Adoption is a consideration and should couples adopt a child, the benefits can be made available.

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    12. AC/MA -- yes, it's problematic to apply original intent (or, more precisely, the words of the the Constitution as understood when these words were written.) But, IMHO there's no principled alternative. In practice, the alternative seems to be to decide what ruling a Justice thinks would be best for society, and then twist the Constitution and statutes to justify that ruling.

      Question for AC/MA and others: What consistent, principled alternative principle do you see, other than original intent or actual wording?

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    13. Settled case law and precedent, examination of evidence including new scientific findings explained by expert witnesses, weighing of competing arguments of interested parties about how the decision may affect them, wisdom about how to accomplish workable compromises -- all the considerations judges are expected to use.

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    14. D in C, you aren't a lawyer. i would hesitate before I would express an opinion about an actuarial method. Scalia is an outlier with his original intent doctrine. It's an argument, but there is no way around it that judges, especially Supreme Court Justices, have to make value judgments, it's not a mechanical determination of what the intent was back in 1792. Someone like Theodore Olson certainly disagrees with Scalia and the other right wing judges on th gay marriage issue. Look at the Heller case - when the 2d amendment was adopted, they used muskets and flintlocks. There is no way to know what the original intent would have been about semi-automatic weapons or whether weapons could be regulated given current societal conditions (though admittedly, Heller didn't involve the question of whether semi-automatic weapons could be banned)

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    15. Fair enough. Certainly, when there's a change in technology, the SC must use their judgment to extrapolate the words of the Constitution. However, same-sex marriage involves no change in technology. There's been a huge change in culture on this issue. But, is it the SC's job to validate a change in culture?

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    16. David, there has been a change in the science not just society (or more likely, society has changed because of the science). Disparate treatment is more unfair when people have no choice about being gay. We know a lot more about the biology of sex and gender now.

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    17. How and when people become gay has nothing to do with whether recognizing gay marriage is a social good.

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    18. I'm not the one making a social good argument. Being unable to choose whether you are gay or not means the govt cannot make laws denying you full participation, the same rights and privileges, based on being gay. That's why this is a civil rights issue.

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    19. "But, is it the SC's job to validate a change in culture?"

      Is it the AG of Texas's authority to flaunt the SC ruling?

      And so it begins.


      ***************************
      County clerks in Texas who object to gay marriage can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite last week's landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring states to allow same-sex marriage, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Sunday.

      The nation's top court said on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to wed, handing a victory to the American gay rights movement.

      Paxton said in a statement that hundreds of public officials in Texas were seeking guidance on how to implement what he called a lawless and flawed decision by an "activist" court.

      The state's attorney general said that while the Supreme Court justices had "fabricated" a new constitutional right, they did not diminish, overrule, or call into question the First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion.
      ***********************http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/texas-attorney-general-says-county-clerks-can-refuse-gay-couples/ar-AAcgo8o

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    20. AnonymousJune 28, 2015 at 10:32 PM -- You have a good point. Current scientific belief is that people have not choice about being gay, although I don't know that this has actually been fully researched. Nobody has been able to find a genetic basis for being gay, nor has any other cause been found AFAIK. Nor do I know whether even absent today's science, people in the past believed that being gay wasn't a choice. However, your point is well-taken.

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    21. There are many other ways to demonstrate that something is innate than to find a specific gene for it.

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    22. 12:45, gays were never denied the right to marry heterosexuals. There was no denial of equal rights.

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  5. "It isn’t exactly clear what Clinton meant by that highlighted statement. But is it really “hard to imagine” how anyone could oppose the Court’s decision? Is it “hard to imagine” how someone could oppose the right to same-sex marriage?

    We don’t know why those things would be hard for Clinton to imagine! She opposed same-sex marriage herself until two years ago!"

    Bob Somerby


    Do you know why Bob says it is not clear what Clinton meant?

    Because Bob "Makes Shit Up" Somerby is about to make it seem like Clinton said something she didn't say.

    Clinton's statement says nothing about same sex marriage. Clinton says "it is hard to imagine how anyone could deny the full protection of our laws to any of our fellow Americans." When Clinton was "not supporting" same sex marriage she always stated her support for
    domestic civil union laws and "same-sex unions should be recognized and that same-sex unions should be entitled to all the rights and privileges that every other American gets." She also said ""same-sex unions should be recognized and that same-sex unions should be entitled to all the rights and privileges that every other American gets."

    Is Somerby arguing her past position was "to deny the full protection of our laws to any of our fellow Americans." That seems to be the case when he immediately segues to "the right to same sex marriage."

    Boy, it is a good thing Bob Somerby wasn't sitting in Terry Gross's chair at NPR with Hillary around when he made today's comment and seemed to put words in her mouth.

    For a fun time, Howler readers, see the two Howler posts from July 11, 2014.

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    1. Clinton cannot be said to be holding the same general perspective. Civil unions were a token gesture, an unacceptable compromise to people advocating full equality.

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    2. It cannot be said what a general perspective is and whether one's hold on it is firm or vaguely ephemeral.

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    3. Many people benefited from that compromise.

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  6. in Bob-world white people are so fragile, they can't bear to be confronted with the privileges that White Supremacy and homophobia have conferred upon them. We're living in a world where their bigotry will not be tolerated. The rising American majority is not going to refrain from calling "bull" on the bigoted white, het, cis, culture that's struggling to maintain in toehold in this country.

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    1. What a bunch of name-calling crap!

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    2. White supremacy and homophobia are tired, irrelevant words past their sell-by date. The backlash against this period of stupidity can't come soon enough.

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    3. I assume the 8:13 meant "worlds", not "words".

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  7. Same sex marriage is the triumph of monumentally ignorant adolescent hysteria over reason. There is no reason the state should encourage marriage between people who cannot reproduce. It's ludicrous. Marriage isn't state recognition of the love of two people, it is state recognition that the nuclear family should be the condition under which children are born and raised, for the benefit of all society, and therefore incentivizing it is a good idea in order to underscore and encourage its function.

    Arguments opposing same sex marriage require an IQ of around 95 to comprehend, and a temperance of uncontrolled emotion. Most liberals fail one or both of those requirements, so we end up with unfathomably irrational commentary from the left on the subject, that has worked its way into SCOTUS opinion.

    "Love wins." Good Lord.

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    1. Most sex not resulting in reproduction is heterosexual. It seems irrational to blame the gays for this.

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    2. non 7:21 that arguments opposing same sex marriage require an IQ of around 95 to comprehend helps t explain how you apparently can comprehend them. Good lord, if only we could be like Russia and the muslim world, instead of pretty much all the other advanced countries, and see the wisdom of your position.

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    3. "Other countries do it" is not an argument. Do we really not grasp this?

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    4. Lewis, all sex resulting in reproduction will be heterosexual, and a social structure dealing with the fact that heterosexuals reproduce is essential to civilization.

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    5. Just as a social structure dealing with eating and pooping is essential. But a social structure is not a legal structure.

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    6. The legal structure of marriage is created with the intent of strengthening a particular social structure. A structure two gays in love have no bearing on, or at least not a bearing anyone has suggested yet that makes any sense. No one has argued convincingly why the state should have any interest whatsoever in declaring two gay people in love (or any two people) which is what the silly majority opinion essentially argued was a reason to recognize gay marriage and bestow equal benefits upon gay relationships.

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    7. If other countries (the other 'advanced countries') do it is not an
      an argument, or it least one that you care for, I grant you have an argument, albeit a dumb one

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    8. No, the legal basis is guaranteeing to all citizens the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Laws restricting that pursuit that apply to gay but not hetero couples are unconstitutional. Unequal treatment without any basis is illegal.

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    9. On what basis may the government prohibit the pursuit of happiness on the part of brothers and sisters "in love" if sterile? Why does government prohibit green card "marriages" where there is no "real" love likely to include sex, the means by which children are produced?

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    10. See the movie Lone Star and ask again. Green card marriages are prohibited because they game the immigration process and thus are fraud. Incest is banned because you don't make laws based on cases that constitute exceptions (most such couples are not sterile). In both of your examples there is a compelling govt interest that doesn't exist for gay marriage.

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    11. Circular reasoning on fraud of green card marriages. A compelling state interest exists in redefining marriage to do away with its purpose.

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    12. That should read "in not redefining marriage."

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  8. Since marriage accords privileges to those who are married, the opportunity to marry should be available to all. It has nothing to do with procreation or love.

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    1. The reason it accords privileges matters. No one argues that siblings or platonic buddies should be able to seek marriage benefits from the state, because there exists a presumption of sexual attraction and relations that are the basis of incentivizing marriage. Why incentivize? Because marriage is concerned with the potential outcome from sex between heterosexuals, offspring, and the societal interest in those couples raising their children.

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    2. No one, gay or straight, has been denied the opportunity to marry the opposite sex and receive privileges accorded to married persons for the reason that reproduction may take place.

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    3. "Because marriage is concerned with the potential outcome from sex between heterosexuals, offspring, and the societal interest in those couples raising their children."

      Then what explains the state sanctioning the 4 barren marriages of Rush "jabba the hutt" Limbaugh? I mean really, the guy is barely human, you know?

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    4. I thought marriage was created to allow people to have sex without going to hell.

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    5. mm, your argument does not prove the original argument unsound, it only proves that there may be grounds for restricting marital benefits to those who have had children. However, restricting them to heterosexuals who only might have children is also reasonable as the state has an interest in promoting marriage as an assumed step before children are produced. Similar benefits to gays who adopt could also be argued.

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    6. Well, your suggestions of what "may be" grounds for restricting marital benefits is irrelevant, because none of your suggestions will ever happen. We don't have a Ministry of Procreation in this country and we never will. The very fact that that fat lying pig Rush Limbaugh changes wives more often than I change cars and then has the nerve to lecture this country on the SC ruling shows just how fucked up this country is.

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  9. NEWS FLASH: Obama and Clinton were bigots!

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  10. My friends on the left will cool it or pay for getting insufferable. IMHO lighting up the White House like a partisan bumper sticker was a big mistake, but nobody seems to be complaining yet. Seems to me the Republican could use this effectively if they played in smart. Generally speaking, however, that is something less than something to worry about.

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  11. "We wouldn’t criticize Candidate Clinton for her past views or positions."

    No. Bob saves his venom for journalists who said bad things about Al Gore. Or said things he thinks seemed to be bad about Gore. Or who said nothing while others said bad things about Gore. Or said bad things about other people which remind him of bad things said about Gore.

    Those people cannot be forgiven. Some are just called young. Others are compared to literary villains. Some are called clowns. Others merely life forms or pre-human droogs.

    I prefer to think of Atticus Mandela King, Jr.

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    1. Considering Gore would have done something about global warming, a lot was at stake. He is right to complain.

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    2. Bob recognizes guild membership, like being a professor, is the ultimate other.

      I applaud you for wanting him to have the full protection of what seems to be a basic human instinct.

      Every good northern liberal will know how to scold him for this. For ourselves, we are glad to see him tell these War on Gore stories over and over again.

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    3. Al Gore continues to lead.

      http://pagesix.com/2015/06/26/al-gore-wont-back-hillary-clinton/

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    4. @ 1:17

      Al Gore private citizen's contribution to "man made global warming" is already more than the climate could stand. The effect an Al Gore as POTUS and hypocrite in chief would have had on climate is too hideous to imagine.

      "Fact Check: Is Al Gore's mansion a lot less green than George Bush's ranch house?"

      "But as all the fact checking services agree — FactCheck.org, Snopes.com, TruthOrFiction.com and Ted Emery of About.com — the Gore house back in the day was still an energy gobbler.

      In contrast, Bush’s home on his Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas, was described by the Tribune in a 2001 article:

      “The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude"


      http://jacksonville.com/reason/fact-check/2013-06-02/story/fact-check-al-gores-mansion-lot-less-green-george-bushs-ranch

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    5. He ducked the question, which was who he thought would win, not who he supported. It was an offhand question at Cannes, not an interview and it means nothing at all.

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    6. Does Bush buy carbon offsets for his ranch? Bet he doesn't.

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    7. @ 3:21

      *carbon neutral by buying offsets*
      AKA: A way for the guilty to pay for absolution rather than changing their behavior.

      A) Either Gore really doesn't believe in MMGW, which makes him a snake oil salesman

      OR

      B) He actually does believe in it, but doesn't care about the consequences, which makes him an ignominious reprobate

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    8. Your conclusions are wrong because your premise about carbon offsets is wrong.

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  12. Bob, any more criticism of Clinton and we're going to end up with President Walker!

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    1. Libs like Bob who kept trying to rationalize misstatements made repeatedly by Candidate Gore are responsible for liberals leaders making comments that subjected themselves and the cause to ridicule. Coddling Gore instead of giving him firm but constructive criticism helped elect Bush and kill untold thousands of Iraqis.

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    2. By correcting Clinton early on in her candidacy Bob may prevent us from having a President Walker. That is his point.

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  13. Those outside agitators who tried to take down our ancestral flag of South Carolina may have totally undermined all the efforts of forgiveness by those wonderful children and grandchildren of the shooting victims.

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    1. oops! wrong spot. The comment at 9:50 was intended for the nitwit who thinks Bob "corrected" Hillary.

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  14. The biblical patriarchs had multiple wives. I don't know of anything in the Bible that condemns that practice.

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    1. The Bible is irrelevant to the question. Secular countries have marriage law that never considered gay marriage, because it would be mostly irrational to do so.

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    2. Do you really think Hillary Clinton is among the 500 or so people reading this blog?

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  15. Letting the glory out:

    "It's a question of God and what God wants for us," said Cynthia Jackson, who was getting her hair done at a small salon in Tupelo. "He says marriage is for procreation, and that is something only a man and woman can do. If gays want to live together as couples, nobody is stopping them, but don't let them steal marriage away from the rest of us."

    Don't let the thieves otherize Cynthia Jackson.

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    1. Gay marriage is absurd, but not for this reason.

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    2. Marriage is absurd.

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  16. Bob didn't quote Clarence Thomas.

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    1. Nor Scalia, who referenced hippies. Or perhaps he said hippies could serve as a reference. I may have my otherizations mixed up.

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    2. Scalia said any hippie could tell you marriage has never been about "freedom" and expanding rights, it has been about restriction.

      Marriage vows are about restrictions against freedom for the good of the two parties. Marriage law is about restrictions against freedom for the good of society.

      Obvious to any stoned hippie but evidently not to a progressive who thought it was about government interest in everyone knowing two people are in love. When did IQ's drop this low?

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    3. Marriage is about sharing and passing on property.

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    4. Law recognizes that humans prefer to pass on their property to members of their families. Marriage is about family, and family occurs as a result of heterosexual sex.

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    5. And adoption and marriage, otherwise men would be having sex with their sisters or mothers. Defining marriage to exclude some people and then pretending their exclusion is justified by nature is an act of social bigotry. It is the reasoning that said women shouldn't vote because their brains were smaller than men's. Marriage is an arbitrary social contract that can be defined in many ways, to include or exclude. In some cultures a woman's brother raises her kids, not the biological father. In some cultures a woman cannot marry until she has demonstrated her fertility by having a child. People acquire property and social status by marrying into it. In Western culture it is one if the few routes to upward mobility. So I think you have this backwards. Marriage creates family, not vice versa. And there are lots of kinds of families.

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    6. I am beginning to think conservatives don't know much anthropology.

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    7. Defining marriage to recognize and strengthen the nuclear family excludes no one. Homosexuals may marry the opposite sex and produce children.

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    8. In no culture has marriage ever not been about heterosexual reproduction. It is utterly unnecessary where heterosexual reproduction cannot take place.

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    9. This is so not true. In England of the past few centuries, marriage was about acquiring adjoining fields, gaining a wife's dowry to pay one's debts, upgrading social status by marrtlying into gentry or peerage, gaining a new wife to care for orphaned children of a previous wife, acquiring a formal hostess and housekeeper, and other non-sex related functions. It was a time if separate bedrooms and arranged marriages (largely of convenience).

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    10. Bob and his commenters don't care about black justice. Or black Justices.

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    11. All within the understanding that marriage was about heterosexual reproduction. No laws existed permitting two men or three men to marry to achieve those ends.

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  17. Bernie Sanders is no liberal on gun control. And Mike Huckabee is following Martin Luther King, Jr.'s path.

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    1. Was MLK on the path of morbidly obese diabetics who engage in consumer fraud and celebrate white racism?

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  18. If liberals could put aside Otherism and eagerness to feel righteous, if they were half as concerned with founding their positions in a logical argument instead of in how it can help them feel good about themselves regardless of the destruction it might cause, not a one of them would support this ridiculous decision that made Scalia remark he'd have to put a bag over his head if he adopted the reasoning behind it.

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    1. You have charted quite a course of "ifs" for liberals. What would they be like if they did all those things but maintained the same Otherism which permeates your comment?

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    2. All within the understanding that marriage was about heterosexual reproduction. No laws existed permitting two men or three men to marry to achieve those ends.

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  19. My opinion on the Confederate flag is that it makes a good asswipe. That has always been my view of the Confederate flag, since I had any view on the Confederate flag. I also believe Lincoln should have killed a few thousand prominent, landholding crackers after the war and given their land to Union veterans and formerly enslaved persons. Since my opinions have not changed, Somerby's "otherizing" criticism does not apply.

    Say it with me, Bob, "Confederate apologists are human shit."

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    1. Lincoln died before he had a chance to do anything "after the war".

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  20. Thank you, Bill. It's on days such as these that the very sweetness of friendship acts like a natural and refreshing condiment subduing the other flavors and feelings I was experiencing.
    wow your site is amazing, keep share with us. very nice interior, i love all. thanks for share :)
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  21. Now that Blogger Somerby has proven that Justice Alito is a better person than Candidate Clinton I look forward to a new week of his sterling insights. Hope you do too.

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  22. Bob's vile war on Clinton has begun.

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  23. I've never known liberals to be as dumb as they have been on the same sex marriage question. They have tried to shoe horn feelings into law before at the expense of reason and the social good, but they have never willfully dumbed themselves down to the extent they have on this issue. On other matters they've offered legitimate enough counterarguments, even if not better ones. Then again the liberal side of the spectrum at one time was tempered by intellects with solid education in the liberal arts. Now its philosophical systems are driven by the world view of middle school girls and easily summed up in 140 characters or less.

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    1. # 3:22 is a total phobe.

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