Still waiting for a coherent argument

STILL WAITING FOR A COHERENT ARGUMENT…. Last week’s federal court ruling striking down California’s Prop 8 generated plenty of enraged responses from far-right activists groups, particularly in the religious right. But in general, Republican politicians haven’t responded with much of anything — as much as the midterm strategy is built around turning white voters against The Other, the GOP just doesn’t seem anxious to exploit the court ruling on marriage equality.

Maggie Haberman reported over the weekend that this is part of a deliberate strategy — Republicans don’t see this issue as a winning wedge in 2010, so they’re biting their tongues.

What about those of us waiting to see a coherent conservative criticism of the ruling? The NYT‘s Ross Douthat picks up the slack and offers what he considers his best case for opposing marriage equality.

[L]ifelong heterosexual monogamy at its best can offer something distinctive and remarkable — a microcosm of civilization, and an organic connection between human generations — that makes it worthy of distinctive recognition and support. […]

[I]f we just accept this shift, we’re giving up on one of the great ideas of Western civilization: the celebration of lifelong heterosexual monogamy as a unique and indispensable estate. That ideal is still worth honoring, and still worth striving to preserve.

I see. So, two consenting adults who are in love and want to legally commit to one another should be allowed to marry, but only if Ross Douthat considers them a “microcosm of civilization” and “an organic connection between human generations”?

I keep thinking that, given enough time, opponents of marriage equality will come up with a reasonable argument or two. That just hasn’t happened yet.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.