Two landmark rulings have just been issued in the last two days. One protects the Affordable Care Act, and the other provides equality for same sex marriage. While the reaction to these rulings from the formally announced field of GOP presidential candidates (which is larger than most NBA basketball teams) should not be surprising, the actual language they used was nothing short of schizophrenic. One of the most consistent themes among all the candidates was the statement “unelected judges”. This is the party that is allegedly ardent defenders of the constitution and their key argument is that supreme court justices are not elected? Have they actually read the constitution? Do they understand the reason why these are lifetime appointments? It is specifically to avoid caving into pressure from these very candidates calling them out in the media!
To put this in perspective, these same candidates applauded the Hobby Lobby ruling last year saying, “it is a reaffirmation of religious freedom” and “these justices upheld the constitution.” Which is it? Are they unelected judges, or are they stewards of the constitution? Apparently the answer to that question depends on the ruling. In the interest of fairness, I checked the Democratic leadership reaction to the Hobby Lobby ruling as well. While there was definitely some whining, the theme of their message was around crafting new legislation, not bitching that the justices were “legislating from the bench” as George W Bush loved to say.
I get that there will always be disagreement on some of these more polarizing issues. What I can’t understand is how no one take these guys to task for blatantly undermining the structure and role of our government while simultaneously claiming they love America more than those “damn Liberals”. This is the same party that wrote an open letter to a foreign government stating that our own president had no real authority to negotiate with them. The same party that voted 54 times to repeal Obamacare knowing with near certainty that it was purely symbolic. The party that is supposed to symbolize small government and the reduction of wasteful spending. As of today, this party of “efficiency” has 29 candidates for president that have either announced formally or stated that they have an exploratory committee.
Putting their complete lack of execution and organizational capability aside, what exactly is their objective? If the court ruled against the Affordable Care Act provision, 6 million Americans (mostly in Red states) would have lost their coverage. The GOP leadership was willing to harm its own constituents just to prove Obama wrong (for their second failed attempt). And now, just one year after Hobby Lobby won a huge case for religious freedom, they are stating that their religious freedom is at stake because same sex marriage is legal. Santorum referred to “5 unaccountable justices”, Jindal said, “it will pave the way for an all out assault on religious freedom”, and Walker is asking the people to support the first constitutional amendment since the repealed prohibition amendment to take away the rights of Americans.
“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” is often attributed to Jefferson (though it cannot be confirmed). I think we can all agree in that sentiment, and it has served us well in working through some of our most challenging issues throughout US history. But here’s the difference. That dissent was about issues. The current GOP platform has more to do with winning at all costs and usurping our constitution at every step. In less than six months this party has overtly undermined two of the three branches of government. This isn’t patriotism, it is hypocrisy and rebellion. Is it too much to ask for some fucking integrity?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the GOP is either the best marketing organization in the country, or its supporters have lost all critical thinking ability. If they sincerely believe as Santorum does, that he would die fighting for traditional marriage, then move to Saudi Arabia. Not only do they share your view, they are willing to execute anyone who disagrees. Of course they have also demonstrated that they are willing to execute people for sorcery, apostasy and blasphemy. Come to think of it, the GOP platform might be almost directly aligned to Saudi Arabia’s policies. Hmm…by