Thursday, March 28, 2013

How Will History Judge the Roberts Court?

Andrew Cohen:
Fifty years from now, when same-sex marriage is recognized in every American jurisdiction, our relatively enlightened descendants will cull through the transcripts and audio feeds of this week's oral arguments at the United States Supreme Court in Perry and Windsor and shake their heads in wonder and dismay. Look at how little time the learned justices spent exploring the intent and effect of the discriminatory laws, our grandchildren will say, and look at how much time they spent instead searching among the weeds for ways to avoid a definitive ruling about the constitutional rights of millions of people.
Tuesday's argument in the Proposition 8 case out of California was void of any reference to, let alone meaningful discussion of, the virulently anti-gay sentiment that helped ensure passage of the 2008 ballot measure banning same-sex marriages in the state -- both marriages already in place and marriages to come. And Wednesday's argument over the federal Defense of Marriage Act only touched on this discrimination in passing, as if the justices were concerned that America would somehow be offended it it were reminded of the bigotry and prejudice that accompanied passage of the measure in 1996.
The whole post is worth reading.  I'd like to expand Cohen's point.  History will not be kind to the conservative movement.  It isn't that many of the positions they hold would be nice in a perfect world.  It is that they won't face up to the fact that it isn't a perfect world, and that their ideas are extremely damaging in the world we have.  50 years from now, people will look back on this time and wonder how such a fairly small and uninformed bunch of assholes could do so much damage to such a tremendous country.  Gay marriage is just one of a number of issues where conservatives are positioning themselves as selfish, cruel, unthinking dickheads who would cut off their nose to spite their face.  Unfortunately, we share that face with them.

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