Friday links! Baffling responses edition


Supporters of gay marriage deploy a well-intended sign that even quotation marks cannot save.

The verdicts are in, and once again half of the country absolutely cannot compass the reasoned values of the other half. You would think that, in the socially liberal America of 2013, gay marriage would be a simple issue. It’s not as if gay people wanted to marry straight people. This question of what liberties the US government will afford is the rare controversy in which the rights of one side overlap not at all on the rights of the other. They don’t even have to eat at the same lunch counter. Yet bigots across the country are scandalized that the Supreme Court has denied them the right to curtail the rights of others. Today is Friday, and some people cannot leave well enough alone. Won’t you condemn them smugly with me?

We’ve already heard Michele Bachmann’s assessment: that no government can overturn God’s law as she personally construes it. That is grimly to be expected. More surprising is Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion, in which he argues that the Supreme Court has no right to overturn laws made by Congress. Scalia is an originalist. How originalist? He appears to reject Marbury v. Madison. He is also socially conservative. How conservative? He feels Justice Kennedy has unfairly accused DOMA—and by extension him—of demeaning gay marriage:

But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution.

Now that is some doublespeak, right there. To say that singling out gay marriage for denial of federal rights is demeaning to gay people is to demean straight marriage, you guys. Stop being racist against Antonin Scalia.

You can complain about such injustices, or you can do something. The consistently hilarious Family Research Council has responded to the court’s decision with a call to prayer whose slogan is “on our knees for America.” I’m not kidding. The logo also looks kind of like a person performing oral sex. This is what happens when you construct an organization entirely from people who deny that they’re thinking about sex. Also, how’s that research coming?

Meanwhile, in another kind of obliviousness, Rick Perry has accused Wendy Davis of failing to learn from her own example. Davis is the Texas representative who successfully filibustered a restrictive new abortion law, in a story that Combat! blog completely failed to discuss. She was also born into poverty and become a teenage mother before graduating from Harvard law school. See? According to Governor Perry, she of all people should appreciate that every unborn child deserves the chance at life that it does not know it could eventually get. Isn’t it ironic that Rick Perry understands this issue so much better than a former teen mom?

Meanwhile, in stories we’ve all forgotten about, it turns out that the IRS also screened tax-exemption applications for words like “progressive” and “occupy.” It kind of looks like their persecution of conservative groups seeking 501(c)4 status was actually a general persecution of political groups masquerading as educational charities, but don’t worry: they’ve stopped using all such search terms. Mendacity will now be allowed to continue on both ends of the political spectrum. According to new IRS chief Danny Werfel, audits have found no evidence that employees targeted specific organizations intentionally. That’s not good enough for Darrell Issa, though. The California Republican responded that “As investigations by Congress and the Justice Department are still ongoing, Mr. Werfel’s assertion that he has found no evidence that anyone at IRS intentionally did anything wrong can only be called premature.” It’s too soon to say what has happened so far, you guys.

Are you exasperated yet? Sounds like someone needs to go for a ride in a shopping cart:


Now I feel better. Everyone feels better now.

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