Democracy is incompatible with liberty. But democracy is nevertheless considered a “good thing.” To call a political party “Democratic” imparts to that party an unwarranted veneer of beneficence. I refuse to lend this blog to that bit of moral confusion. Thus, on these pages, the “Democratic Party” is and always will be the “Democrat Party. End of mini-rant.
“Liberalism,” “progressivism,” and their variants are incompatible with liberty and progress. That is why I always enclose those terms in quotation marks.
If you see opposition to same-sex marriage as anti-libertarian, I suggest that you re-think your position, beginning with this.
James Taranto, of WSJ‘s Opinion Journal, opines:
If the Ninth Circuit upholds Walker’s decision [for same-sex marriage, in Perry v. Schwarzenegger], the Supreme Court would almost certainly agree to hear an appeal….
…When the Supreme Court takes up Perry v. Schwarzenegger … the justices will rule 5-4, in a decision written by Justice Kennedy, that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
This accepts the conventional assumption that the court’s “liberal” and “conservative” wings will split predictably, 4-4. Yet while Kennedy cannot be pigeonholed in terms of “ideology,” on this specific topic, he has been consistent in taking a very broad view of the rights of homosexuals. He not only voted with the majority but wrote the majority opinions in two crucial cases: Romer v. Evans (1996) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003).
Romer struck down an amendment to the Colorado Constitution that nullified state or local ordinances barring discrimination on the basis of “homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships.” This provision, adopted by ballot initiative, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, Justice Kennedy wrote for the court….
In Lawrence, the court overturned a 1986 ruling and held that state laws criminalizing consensual homosexual sodomy violated the constitutional right of privacy….
Proposition 8 was adopted in “liberal” California by a margin of 52-48. This is the same California that has preferred the Democrat candidate over his Republican opponent in the last five presidential elections, culminating in an Obama-slide of 61 percent vs. 39 percent for McCain and assorted wing-nuts.
Clearly, same-sex marriage is not beloved by all Democrats, or even an overwhelming majority of them. Voters in 31 States have blocked same-sex marriage in their States by rejecting proposals to allow it or (in most cases) approving constitutional amendments banning it. Only five States and the District of Columbia recognizes same-sex marriage. Needless to say, the deeds were done in those six jurisdictions by legislative or judicial fiat, and not by consulting voters about one of the rare issues that merits “democratic” consultation because it impinges directly on deep-rooted social norms.
If/when Judge Vaughn Walker’s judicial abomination is upheld by Justice Kennedy, voters will know where the blame lies: with the left wing of the Democrat Party and the gay-rights lobby, which is one of the Democrat Party’s favored constituencies. The resulting backlash among not-so-leftish Democrats would spell electoral disaster for the Democrat Party. Party leaders would then have two options:
- Overtly move the party back from the extreme edge of American political opinion, in the hope that enough voters are taken in by such a cynical ploy to avert long-term disaster for the party.
- Remain on the left edge of American political opinion, in the hope and belief that voters will (before too long) slide toward that edge.
My money is on the second option, because the leaders of the Democrat Party are deeply committed, in thought and word, to the “progressive” agenda: the cultivation of radical ideas and constituencies. (Why? Read this exquisite rant by Tom Smith.) And that, in the face of growing discontent about the power and cost of government, is a recipe for political suicide.
One can only hope.