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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

G.O.P. SCOTUS Fallout

It will be interesting to see how the recent Supreme Court decisions regarding Obamacare and same-sex marriage will impact the upcoming race for the Republican nomination. In terms of the broader public, both universal health care and same-sex marriage are receding in importance, so the Republican party would be smart to nominate someone like Jeb Bush or Mario Rubio who, although personally opposing same-sex marriage, are less likely to make it a centerpiece of their campaign. Bush, for example, remarked that “good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side” and Rubio said that although he disagreed with the decision, he recognized that the country had to “abide by the law.”

These sentiments contrast markedly from those of Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, and others. For instance, Cruz, reflecting on the dual Supreme Court decisions, remarked that "today is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history" (evidently the massacre at a South Carolina church a week before wasn't quite as bad -- of course, this is a guy who made fun of Joe Biden shortly after Biden's son died) and said that he was going to propose "an amendment to the United States Constitution that would subject the justices of the Supreme Court to periodic judicial-retention elections." At least Cruz realized this was the only constitutional means of being able to recall Supreme Court justices, unlike Sarah Palin who called for their impeachment, something that is uncontrovertibly unconstitutional.

How this will all shake out is hard to tell at this point. It's a long time between now and the race for the nomination. My guess is that the Republican party will nominate Bush, Rubio, or someone like them. This is certainly the hope of the somewhat conservative columnist from the Washington Times, Joseph Curl, who took the more conservative candidates to task:
In the end, each and every one of these Republicans will be deemed to have been on the wrong side of history. Of course they’re wrong. Marriage in a church — in the eyes of God — is a completely different matter. Religions will decide who they will marry (and nearly all, at this point, anyway, do not wed same-sex couples). The ruling means only that gays can get a “marriage” license from the government, receive the same Social Security benefits as heterosexuals, file taxes jointly, visit a loved one in the hospital during “family only” hours, and have parental rights over children they adopt (so, the ruling wasn’t anti-family, either). 
But that’s not the worst part for Republicans hoping to win the White House. They lost in 2012 (in part) because President Obama came out in favor of gay marriage (which he said he opposed in 2008). Still, that didn’t decide the election — gays make up less than 2 percent of the U.S. population. But what Mr. Obama was going for was the youth vote — many people 18-25 view themselves as more tolerant and progressive, and the president’s change of mind brought them to the polls in droves. 
The worst part for Republicans is that same-sex marriage is the very definition of conservatism, at least in this single way: Conservatives decry government intrusion into the lives of Americans, and what could be more intrusive than the government setting boundaries on — love? 
And once again, Republicans look Neanderthal: They can’t answer questions on whether evolution is real, they argue against vaccinations, they call for government to intervene in the personal lives of Americans. 
This, people, is how you lose another presidential election.

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