MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

The Bigotry Card

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The Senate is debating the FMA again, amidst other posturing that means very little. Harry Reid is apparently upset that the Senate is wasting time on this when it could be doing that other thing – whatever it is. He seems to imply that the Senate is only capable of taking up one task at a time, which some of us think would be a very good thing if true. By all means, debate the FMA is that’s all it takes to keep the Senate out of trouble. Alas, that’s not the case and just another example of Harry Reid’s unprincipled posturing.

Note that I’ve called Harry Reid unprincipled. I think its warranted as the NOAD defines the word to mean: a person not acting or behaving in accordance with moral principles. Reid is a Mormon, and thus has rejected his moral beliefs for political expediency.

This brings me to our ostensibly Catholic senior senator from Massachusetts. Another unprincipled fellow who will do almost anything for political advantage, and sometimes personal ambition (Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment). Note once again, I’m casting aspersions on the man’s character. Does this make you more or less willing to listen to my argument? Less, I hope. I do try to avoid this sort of thing (not always possible, I admit), but today I’m deliberately employing it to prove the point of its lack of effectiveness.

Yesterday, Ted Kennedy wrote an op-ed in the Boston Herald opposing the FMA. There is nothing intrinsically wrong in this – many do, including some conservatives like Charles Krauthammer. There is indeed room to debate the issue, and even to debate whether the Constitution is the right forum to decide the issue. But not if you’re Ted Kennedy, for this is how he frames his argument:

This so-called Federal Marriage Amendment should really be called the Republican Right Wing 2006 Electoral Strategy Amendment because it is more about rallying an extreme base to vote than about solving a problem. Proponents use fear tactics and claim that marriage is under attack by activist judges. That’s simply not true. The country is divided over gay marriage; within the laws of each state, there is ongoing debate in which Congress should not intervene. A vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry – pure and simple. A vote for it is a vote against civil unions, against domestic partnerships, and against efforts by states to treat gays and lesbians fairly under the law.

It’s a vote to impose discrimination on all 50 states, denying them their right to interpret their own state constitutions and to pass their own state laws. [emphasis mine]

Senator Kennedy’s argument – that the FMA will undermine the principles of Federalism – is a good one, and not surprisingly, one with which I agree. Kennedy is no real fan of the principle (just ask him how he feels about applying it to Roe vs. Wade), but his hypocritical adoption of it here while rejecting it there is not the real way in which he undermines his argument. It is the spoken use of the word ‘bigotry.’

Thus, if you oppose gay marriage you are a bigot. Any one of you reading this who opposed gay marriage now knows that Ted Kennedy considers you a bigot.

So why listen to him any further? Why would you debate an issue with someone whose stated position on it is that anyone who disagrees with him is a bigot – in other words, an unprincipled, immoral person.

I recently had this card played when discussing the subject of Indian reservations. I believe they are a horrible anachronism that should be eliminated as soon as possible. They foster poverty, despair, crime, and alcoholism. They oppress people in the name of their own sovereignty – a sham. My Leftist interlocutor found this view to be racist, and said so. Where I saw people being treated horribly by the government, she saw an ethnic minority needing to be patronized. Yet, the moment she played the race card, she lost the debate. What was the point of discussing the issue further with someone who had decided she was talking with a racist? Whatever ideas we might have exchanged, whatever potential to compromise and reach a better position was lost. (I will admit to a certain mischievous pleasure in getting a Leftist to defend a reservation system set up by white men in the 19th century to keep the Indians from claiming any of the useful land.) This tactic of the Left, to demean and dehumanize their opponents is a losing strategy. Ted Kennedy is called the “Lion of the Senate” by a fawning media. Except when he roars, no one is really scared. He’s basically irrelevant, and not least because he throws around accusations of bigotry intended to marginalize his opponents. Instead, he’s the one on the sidelines.

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Written by martinipundit

June 6, 2006 at 10:17 am

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