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.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation