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What The Right Wing Is Saying About Iowa’s Gay Marriage Decision

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Huckabee, Steele, Limbaugh, Romney, Others Share Their Thoughts

 

There was a mix of palpable joy and sorrow throughout the country Friday. The news came at 9:30 that morning, that the Iowa Supreme Court had determined that a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, then, sadly, one hour later, a gunman, had entered a public building in a small New York town and, we would ultimately learn, shot dead thirteen people.

About 4:00 PM, via Twitter, I saw a comment from  Mike Huckabee amidst CNN and MSNBC’s non-stop coverage of the massacre in Binghamton. Here it is:

huckabee

Yes, that’s right: “must fight to preserve family and amend the Constitution of the United States to define marriage as one man and one woman. #tcot, #iowa” At 4:00 PM, EDT, just as the nation was learning the full magnitude of the terrible shooting in that sleepy little town in upstate New York, (that I have visited many times,) Mike Huckabee, former Republican governor and presidential candidate and practicing minister, now a radio and TV personality, was more concerned about the Supreme Court of Iowa’s decision about gay marriage than about the families and neighbors of those poor thirteen people, some of whom were murdered while studying to take their citizenship test. Way to go, Mike! Glad you’re practicing your faith.

So, I thought I’d take a look around to see what other Conservatives were saying about the Iowa gay marriage decision. Ready or not, here we go:

Michael Steele, the “leader” of the Republican Party:

“The Iowa Supreme Court’s decision today to reverse an 11 year old state law outlawing same-sex marriage is sadly another example of judicial activism currently threatening family values in America.  While I respect an individual’s right to live his or her life as they see fit, decisions like this are better left in the hands of legislators and governors.

I firmly believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman.  A state’s autonomous nature allows it to change its laws as the citizenry sees fit, but it should be done by the people, not through judicial decree.”

Rush Limbaugh: the other “leader” of the Republican party.

“For how many years were they talking about gay marriage?  How many years were they talking about demonizing the SUV?  That started in 1995.  Here it is 14 years later, and they’re on the verge of doing it. Liberals don’t stop. It’s like the Soviets.  They didn’t have four-year plans based on the service of term of their leader.  They had forever plans, and if you had to take a year off, maybe a step back before you took two steps forward, then fine.  But they had the objective, it was there, and whenever it got done was fine, as long as you’re always working for it.  Same thing with Hugo Chavez.  Hugo Chavez is taking over the banks now.  Hugo Chavez is nationalizing the oil industry.  Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, we’re getting, you know, an early sign of what Chavez did by watching things happen here.  But they don’t stop.

This is why an electoral majority needs to happen in order to defeat these people, and even after they’re defeated, they try to go around it in other ways, getting judges, like unanimous decision in Iowa today, with the Supreme Court, unanimous, that a ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.  Now, I guarantee you, if we could go dig up James Madison and say, “Mr. Madison, did you intend for the Constitution to say people of the same sex could get married?”  And I guarantee you he would have the reaction, “What are you talking about?  Are you sure you’re asking me about the Constitution?”  But then the four judges, whatever the number, they’re unanimous in the Iowa Supreme Court, have just said what they think the Constitution says.”

Mitt Romney, the man who wants to be the leader of the Republican party:

“The ruling in Iowa today is another example of an activist court and unelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people as expressed through Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act. This once again highlights the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.” (Of course, Mitt’s a bit older now, so he hasn’t gotten around to prosteletyzing about this version of Iowa gay marriage. The quote is from 2007.)

Ed Whelan, National Review Online:

‘The lawless judicial attack on traditional marriage and on representative government continues…The judicial knaves who proudly regard themselves as trailblazers in carrying out this latest assault on the powers of citizens are Iowa chief justice…”

Western Iowa Representative Steve King, warned Iowa could turn into “the gay marriage Mecca”, stated:

“This is an unconstitutional ruling and another example of activist judges molding the Constitution to achieve their personal political ends. Iowa law says that marriage is between one man and one woman. If judges believe the Iowa legislature should grant same sex marriage, they should resign from their positions and run for office, not legislate from the bench.

Now it is the Iowa legislature’s responsibility to pass the Marriage Amendment to the Iowa Constitution, clarifying that marriage is between one man and one woman, to give the power that the Supreme Court has arrogated to itself back to the people of Iowa. Along with a constitutional amendment, the legislature must also enact marriage license residency requirements so that Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca due to the Supreme Court’s latest experiment in social engineering.”

Rod Dreher, BeliefNet:

“This morning, I had breakfast with some guys, including a lawyer. We weren’t aware of this decision, but we talked about this issue. The lawyer said that as soon as homosexuality receives constitutionally protected status equivalent to race, then “it will be very hard to be a public Christian.” By which he meant to voice support, no matter how muted, for traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality and marriage. To do so would be to set yourself up for hostile work environment challenges, including dismissal from your job, and generally all the legal sanctions that now apply to people who openly express racist views.”

But I saved the best for last. Andrew Sullivan, conservative author, editor, blogger…

“Once you have accepted sexual orientation as a fixed and profound part of someone’s identity, and once civil marriage is not restricted to those with children, it is simply very, very hard to find a secular argument for denying critical civil rights under constitutions that guarantee formal equality. You can reach for Biblical injunctions, or try the logic of unintended consequences, or in the end invoke pure prejudice in a Burkean fashion. But even Burke understood that societies change and grow, social beliefs shift, our understanding of humanity deepens, and an intelligent conservatism adjusts.

That’s why, I think, so many conservative jurists have been forced by logic to adopt this position – from the early decisions in Hawaii and Alaska, through the numerous Republican-appointed judges who find it hard to reflect pure prejudice in rational legal judgment. Yes, fear can overwhelm logic and justice. But remove fear – and the case is overwhelming.”

If it’s true, “As Iowa goes, so goes the nation”, let’s hope we can also say, “As Andrew Sullivan goes, so go conservatives.” We can always hope.

(photo: kyeung808)

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Boldly Ignorant’ Ted Cruz Slammed by Retired NYPD Detective for His Suggestions to Protect Kids

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Appearing on MSNBC’s “The Katie Phang Show,” a retired NYPD detective expressed disgust with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) over his attempts to dismiss the idea of new gun laws to protect children in schools and instead is insisting America needs to turn schools into fortresses.

In interviews and appearing at the NRA convention this weekend in Houston, Cruz has vociferously disregarded the easy availability of high-powered weapons and instead focused on a door that was left open at the elementary school where the shooting occurred.

After host Phang shared a clip of the Texas Republican making his case, she asked former law enforcement detective Marq Claxton his thoughts on what Cruz was proposing.

Calling the controversial senator “boldly ignorant,” he proceeded to rip Cruz’s proposal apart.

“Marq, I was a prosecutor for half my career, I never prosecuted somebody for leaving a door open. How absurd is this proposal by Ted Cruz that the solution is to make sure that we don’t have too many doors at our schools?” host Phang asked.

“Ted Cruz’s statements were boldly ignorant and dismissive of the clear obvious danger that is faced by so many people in society because of the prevalence of violence and gun violence in particular,” he replied. “It really shows just how so many political electeds lack the fortitude to move forward and do the right thing: save lives.”

“Instead of sloganeering, Mr. Cruz and his other elected colleagues really should be working on legislation that provides, or minimizes the risk of damage, and could quite possibly and probably save lives,” he continued. “That is some additional gun restrictions, some background checks, there are other things that are out there that will undoubtedly be effective and save lives, and prevent these gun violence deaths.”

Watch the segment below or at this link.

 

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‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting

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Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”

“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Critics aren’t buying his claims.

Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.

“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.

“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.

“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.

Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”

Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.

“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up  $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.

Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:

And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”

“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then.  He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”

“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”

 

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‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns

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The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”

Watch:

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