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  #1  
Old 11-21-2008, 08:04 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

Afterthought

Unfortunately, technical problems cut this diavlog short. Luckily, we were able to salvage the first half of the conversation. --BhTV staff
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2008, 12:27 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger baker View Post
terrance is scrambling.

...is this post-election complaining? i mean, dont get the majority? go out and protest! yet didnt opponents to prop 8 tacitly legitimate the referendum by agreeing to go ahead with the voting process? i'm still trying to figure this out...
As a poli sci wonk, I take issue with what I think is your opinion, and with many progressive political "reforms" in the US, including referendums. Terrance Heath, responding to Conn Carroll's sudden, rubbery conversion to progressivism for short-term tactical gain, defends minority rights if not eloquently, at least earnestly.

Firstly, constitutional republicanism doesn't favor one branch of government over another. The executive, legislature, and courts all have the means to enact policy and negate policy by another branch. What California's SC needs to resolve it seems, is if in California, referendums enjoy constitutional status above all branches on a state level. Furthermore, courts nationally should offer some guidance about the weight each branch carries, so that minorities can expect protection. Anything less is just mere democracy trending downward towards mob rule.

Secondly, Carroll's quoting of Bernstein's argument is hypocritical. When a conservative SC rules favorably on a partisan issue, it's a victory for either precedent or some interpretative principle, or both. The same triumphalism greets executive orders and legislation, never mind the propriety. It's usually the courts who have garnered maximum conservative animus since antebellum Civil War days. Yet, if California's SC upholds Proposition 8, I predict Conn will send crow and send the justices flowers.

This is an opportunity for Californians to rethink referendums as a constitutional tactic. Not only should anti-Prop 8 forces lobby for marriage equality, but they should petition the court to tackle the issue of the constitutionality of referendums in general.

I should add this eloquent quote by Kathleen Doty at IntLawGrrls:
Quote:
This morning, I can take no comfort in this system. A government that allows a bare majority of my neighbors to determine the extent of my rights as a citizen without limitation is not one that I stand behind. I want a constitutional process that establishes a floor that we can vote to expand upon, rather than a ceiling that we can vote to lower. While yesterday my personhood was fully recognized by the state, today, I am some fraction of a citizen.
But I cannot give up hope.
Through my tears, I see that a nation that can elect Barack Obama to the presidency can indeed make change. A legal challenge to Prop 8 is already underway, and it is my hope that reform of California’s (and many other states’) ballot initiative process will be forthcoming.
Go, gurl!

Last edited by Baltimoron; 11-22-2008 at 12:49 AM..
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2008, 12:50 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

One huge problem we have with "mob rule" here in California is that the SC can be held hostage by the mob.

Not only do we have the opportunity to trash civil rights via referendum, as was done as Election Day; we also have recourse to recall (non-reconfirmation) of Supreme Court justices.

This was already accomplished by the right wing in the era of Chief Justice Rose Bird, who was sacked by the voters for her liberal views on criminal justice. She went down with two other justices.

The anti-gay fundamentalists are threatening the same tactic now if the court overturns Proposition Hate.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2008, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
One huge problem we have with "mob rule" here in California is that the SC can be held hostage by the mob.

Not only do we have the opportunity to trash civil rights via referendum, as was done as Election Day; we also have recourse to recall (non-reconfirmation) of Supreme Court justices.

This was already accomplished by the right wing in the era of Chief Justice Rose Bird, who was sacked by the voters for her liberal views on criminal justice. She went down with two other justices.

The anti-gay fundamentalists are threatening the same tactic now if the court overturns Proposition Hate.
Don't partisans ever tire of this "the other side is evil and hateful" rhetoric? I know it feels good, but you're putting up walls to understanding how other people feel, and substituting catchphrases for intelligence. It's making you dumber. That's not a great accomplishment.

Voters--they're good and noble when they agree with you, and a hateful mob when they disagree. It's politics as narcissism.
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:25 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

It's sounds like from what Wonderment is saying, democracy has come to America, and it sucks!

Madison must be disappointed!
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2008, 05:38 AM
Kandigol Kandigol is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

Could Terrance and Conn not have retaped their conversation? The sound is awful, Terrance looks shadowy in this light and obviously is uncomfortable with the phone. And he has got the jitters, for some reason.
Buy him a headset and let them redo it? A second try will probably cure the jitters.
As a conversation, it was interesting, but it would be much more riveting if both men would just relax.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2008, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

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Originally Posted by Kandigol View Post
As a conversation, it was interesting, but it would be much more riveting if both men would just relax.
Imagine if this conversation could have taken place someplace civilized, like Massachusetts--not only on account of gay marriage, but also because we're permitted up to an ounce of relaxation.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2008, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

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Originally Posted by Username View Post
Voters--they're good and noble when they agree with you, and a hateful mob when they disagree. It's politics as narcissism.

Yeah! It's just their opinion! They're just being true to themselves! They're not hurting anyone! We have to respect that!

In the end, we can all be happy that democracy works! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy!
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:23 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

Quote:
It's politics as narcissism.
Remind me when your "crowd" is on the business end of a 51-49 vote and you'all go running to the courts or a ballot initiative for redress, what's wrong with protecting ANY minority's right and with a more formalized republican procedure for doing so. I support pro-Prop 8 groups' right to believe what they will about marriage. I just don't want any mob interfering with my ability to do what I will my money. Florida not only banned gay marriage, but it also let stand a constitutional amendment banning "Asians" from owning property. I'm not gay, but I do have a Korean wife, and maybe I'd like to give her my property when I die (just to piss off a few bigots!), because, hell, it's my decision. Property, money, taxes, education....hmmmm, these issues are too important to society to leave to the dumb, money-drunk mob preyed on by rich bigots.

So, Ray, yeah, people get hurt and they need better protection than a democracy with chilled shrimp like you in it can provide!

Last edited by Baltimoron; 11-22-2008 at 09:26 AM..
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2008, 11:18 AM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

The African American population of Caliornia is 7%. They voted 70% in favor of prop 8. I think they did so was tied up with their religious affiliations and other reasons that I am not familiar with (some say it's homophobia but what do I know?). Seeing their demographics are small in California they were not a deciding factor in the prop 8 results. It didin't help but it was not the deal breaker that some make it out to be.

On a personal note there are a few black mega churches in the area I live and from what I gather their clergy are anti-homosexual.

Before the election the talking heads thought it would be defeated. Arnold Steinberg, a Republican consultant, thought it was toast for a variety of reasons. Well, it wasn't. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here.

John
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2008, 01:15 PM
ginger baker ginger baker is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
As a poli sci wonk, I take issue with what I think is your opinion, and with many progressive political "reforms" in the US, including referendums. Terrance Heath, responding to Conn Carroll's sudden, rubbery conversion to progressivism for short-term tactical gain, defends minority rights if not eloquently, at least earnestly.

Firstly, constitutional republicanism doesn't favor one branch of government over another. The executive, legislature, and courts all have the means to enact policy and negate policy by another branch. What California's SC needs to resolve it seems, is if in California, referendums enjoy constitutional status above all branches on a state level. Furthermore, courts nationally should offer some guidance about the weight each branch carries, so that minorities can expect protection. Anything less is just mere democracy trending downward towards mob rule.

Secondly, Carroll's quoting of Bernstein's argument is hypocritical. When a conservative SC rules favorably on a partisan issue, it's a victory for either precedent or some interpretative principle, or both. The same triumphalism greets executive orders and legislation, never mind the propriety. It's usually the courts who have garnered maximum conservative animus since antebellum Civil War days. Yet, if California's SC upholds Proposition 8, I predict Conn will send crow and send the justices flowers.

This is an opportunity for Californians to rethink referendums as a constitutional tactic. Not only should anti-Prop 8 forces lobby for marriage equality, but they should petition the court to tackle the issue of the constitutionality of referendums in general.

I should add this eloquent quote by Kathleen Doty at IntLawGrrls:


Go, gurl!
well your wonkishness obviously discredits your argument then....

you're blind to the corruptive politcal culture of narcissism... yours and the protesters of prop 8.
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  #12  
Old 11-22-2008, 03:43 PM
vidal_olmos vidal_olmos is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

Nothing like catchy little phrases to dismiss the legitimate grievances of minorities. "Politics of narcissism," indeed.

A puzzle for those who--quick to take offense when others speak of "mob"--find it silly that gays would take offense when the majority votes to deny them rights: what do you think of the 70+ per cent of the population that, in the days of segregation, opposed the legalization of interracial marriage? Was there no bigotry involved?

For what it's worth, here's how I see things. (1) Some of those who opposed the legalization of interracial marriage were gleeful in denying rights to others; (2) some had a callous disregard for the wealth of others; (3) some of them had a non-callous (perhaps unreflective, in some cases) disregard for the wealth of others; and (4) a few intensely reflective and thoughtful individuals were very conflicted about the issue, but ended up weighing more heavily considerations that we now would regard as misguided.

The same classification applies today with regards to opponents of gay marriage. Those who belong to (1) and (2) certainly deserve to be called members of a hateful mob, and hateful mobs exist.

I just want to add one thing: how come, ginger_baker, after correctly challenging the idea that one can meaningfully depict every pro-Prop 8 voter as hateful (incidentally, I don't think anybody has done that in this forum), you are entitled to divine the mental states of an entire group of people, namely "protesters of Prop 8"?

Last edited by vidal_olmos; 11-22-2008 at 03:48 PM..
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2008, 03:52 PM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

I think all of what you said is very close to right, but there is another classification one might want to add: some people may not be against gay marriage (or for it either) but want to send a message to the supreme court of California for (what they take to be) misinterpreting the constitution. I'm not sure this is a particularly good reason, and I'm not doubtful that they really understand the legal issues, but I think that's perhaps a separate motivation from the four you mention (I may put them under (4), but these individuals don't necessarily need to be reflective).
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2008, 05:12 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

Quote:
I just don't want any mob interfering with my ability to do what I will my money. Florida not only banned gay marriage, but it also let stand a constitutional amendment banning "Asians" from owning property.
The California system is a natural fit for the Deep South. If they put the supreme court recall vote into place, states like Alabama can quickly ban miscegenation, re-segregate the water fountains, criminalize same-sex kissing and outlaw evolution.

Sure, the federal courts can make it tough on them, but that's just part of the struggle to change the Constitution and impeach activist SCOTUS judges. Eventually, the whole country -- state by state -- can get to vote on homos, colored people and prayer.
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  #15  
Old 11-22-2008, 05:55 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

So, your argument is it's narcissism because it's narcissism? I would even support your right to protection if you were on the bad end of a simple majority vote, regardless of the issues. As a matter of fact, the arguments pro and con are not as important as the question of procedural fairness.

Please define your terms, because right now you just look like a bigot's stooge.
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Old 11-22-2008, 06:01 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

You raise a good point, and I agree not all voters are motivated in the same way.

I think your point about the last group raises the issue of money and professionalization in the political process. Both sides of the Prop 8 campaign benefited from varying degrees of professional staff help and donations. it seems one side did better. So, I think it should be asked, if such money and professionalization has a place in what is supposed to be the popular form of balloting?
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Old 11-22-2008, 06:08 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

It's a very refined group that can link social to constitutional issues. I would say it's very rare indeed for voters to take such a view solely for those reasons, without some support for the issues. Again, that's why I think there should be a constitutional procedure, as in Marbury v. Madison establishing judicial review, that would operate without reference to substantive issues.

Two-thirds or three-fifths votes in the legislature? Unanimous SC opinions? There aren't many devices that demonstrate and demand consensus in the American republican system. But 50.1% simple majorities is definitely not one of them. At some point, Americans need to familiarize themselves with John Stuart Mill.
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:21 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

I'm still waiting for ginger_baker's definition of narcissism (I can only guess it's a spurious accusation). But, my reaction to referendums, or ballot initiatives, is not just a product of 2008, or Prop 8. The argument against referendums comes from The Economist in 2004, that referendums, in tandem with gerrymandering, undermine representative government.

However, the most important change brought about by Proposition 13 was not its direct effect on spending but its indirect effect on democracy, wrote Peter Schrag, a veteran local commentator, in an essay in California Journal last year. Ballot initiatives had been introduced (alongside the recall) by Progressive reformers at the beginning of the 20th century as a way of balancing the power of vested interests in the legislature. They were meant to be used sparingly: in the 1960s, only nine went to a vote.

Quote:
Proposition 13 prompted an explosion of activity. Since it was passed, some 800 statewide initiatives have been launched and their scope has increased dramatically, with voters laying down rules for state politicians on everything from criminal sentences and affirmative action to how much of the budget must go to schools. There has also been a flurry of local initiatives.
Ballot initiatives have gradually eaten away at representative government

Some of these new laws have been sensible, but the swirl of initiatives has made the democratic process even less intelligible to voters. It is also tiring them out. In November 2000, for instance, an Angeleno voter found himself faced with 40 separate decisions to make on the ballot. Far from fighting special interests, initiatives have become their tools. Launching an initiative can easily cost $15m to gather signatures and run advertisements.

Worst of all, the ballot initiatives have gradually eaten away at representative government. Between two-thirds and three-quarters of the budget is now out of the legislature's and the governor's control. And term limits restricting a politician to six years in the state Assembly and eight in the state Senate mean that many state politicians are short of experience, making them easy prey for Sacramento's permanent population of lobbyists.

This might make you feel sorry for the legislature. Don't be. Many of the biggest problems in California stem from that body. True, some of them have been handed down to it by the state's constitution. A two-thirds majority, rather than a simple majority, is needed to pass a budget, which helps to explain why there is a budget crisis virtually every year. The legislature is also handicapped by being so small: there are only 80 seats in the Assembly and 40 in the state Senate, so state senators have considerably bigger districts than Californian congressmen.

Yet many of the legislature's problems are self-inflicted. Redistricting, rather than being administered by nominally independent bureaucrats, has been carried out in an absurdly partisan way, with the ruling Democrats gathering up their own supporters in the greatest number of safe liberal seats, and isolating Republicans in heavily conservative seats. There are no more than five of the 120 seats in the legislature and perhaps only three of the 53 seats in Congress where the outcome of an election seems uncertain.

This further alienates the electorate from the political process: what is the point of voting if the result is a foregone conclusion? Turnout for elections in California is amongst the lowest in the whole of the United States. Redistricting has also guaranteed a legislature of extremists on both sides. For most incumbents, the really important battle is the primary—which means keeping the activists happy. No Republican can afford to authorise a tax rise or offend the Christian right. Likewise, no Democrat in the state is likely to come out against abortion.

Many other states share some of the elements of California's condition, but none of them suffers such total paralysis of government. Californians have ended up with the worst of all worlds: a government that costs more to run than those in other states yet delivers less in the way of results; and a democracy with thousands of politicians but no one, it seems, who is accountable for anything.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

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Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
Remind me when your "crowd" is on the business end of a 51-49 vote and you'all go running to the courts or a ballot initiative for redress, what's wrong with protecting ANY minority's right and with a more formalized republican procedure for doing so. I support pro-Prop 8 groups' right to believe what they will about marriage. I just don't want any mob interfering with my ability to do what I will my money. Florida not only banned gay marriage, but it also let stand a constitutional amendment banning "Asians" from owning property. I'm not gay, but I do have a Korean wife, and maybe I'd like to give her my property when I die (just to piss off a few bigots!), because, hell, it's my decision. Property, money, taxes, education....hmmmm, these issues are too important to society to leave to the dumb, money-drunk mob preyed on by rich bigots.

So, Ray, yeah, people get hurt and they need better protection than a democracy with chilled shrimp like you in it can provide!
People will always interfere with what you can or "will" do with your money, among othe rthings. You can't fund child porn operations. You can't purchase prescription drugs without a prescription. You can't marry your sister. You can't assemble an arsenal of backpack nukes for the day that civilization crashes.

And, yes, in most states now you can't redefine marriage to mean two people of the same sex go through some parody of wedding ceremony. If that makes you weep, well you'll just have to deal with it. Democracy doesn't mean you always get your way.

Personally, I think the bigger injury is allowing judges to redefine basic units of society, not to mention all other manner of things once left to that scary mob you have nightmares about, because they want to impress their (mostly white) peers with just how goddamn generous they are. NO BIGOT ME!

It's perfectly reasonable to feel either way about gay marriage--there are arguments on both sides. What is NOT reasonable is stamping your feet and raging about (largely imaginary) BIGOTS. (Note: Feeling that gay marriage tarnishes or diminishes that institution is not proof of bigotry, it's just an opinion and we all have them. You may need to cool down before you are ready to accept that point.)

As for rich, money-drunk bigots, how dare you characterize 70% of black voters that way. Perhaps your Korean wife has influenced your racial animosity. After all...
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:03 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Bigots and Tyrants

I've been enjoying my dog-eared Mill during this debate, so you give me a chance to quote him in one of his most inspiring passages (On Liberty).

Quote:
The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him, must be calculated to produce evil to some one else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
if you don't like being called a 'bigot', perhaps 'tyrant' will excite you more.

And, where do you get off calling America a democracy? It hasn't fallen into such a despicable state yet, has it? Where in the Federalist Papers do you find democracy praised? What monument praises such evil? Stop trying to tarnish the Republic by willfully misrepresenting it...Tyrant!

Last edited by Baltimoron; 11-24-2008 at 03:21 AM..
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  #21  
Old 11-24-2008, 03:31 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

Quote:
It's perfectly reasonable to feel either way about gay marriage--there are arguments on both sides.
There are arguments on both sides of slavery and segregation too.

There are, however, no good arguments that justify the denial of equal rights, including marriage, for same-sex couples.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:41 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

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There are, however, no good arguments that justify the denial of equal rights, including marriage, for same-sex couples.
Don't forget miscegenation, which by Username's "logic" would have been, and still is, immoral, and therefore, illegal.

Last edited by Baltimoron; 11-24-2008 at 07:20 PM..
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  #23  
Old 11-24-2008, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

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There are arguments on both sides of slavery and segregation too.

There are, however, no good arguments that justify the denial of equal rights, including marriage, for same-sex couples.
This is the crux of the problem. How would you know whether or not there were good arguments when you refuse to actually listen to anyone who disagrees with you? (You're very good at making dogmatic assertions like the one above, however. Hint: people who do that kind of thing are worthless discussants, often blowhards who just like to hear themselves talk.)

Actually, there are some very good arguments. First, we've learned some hard lessons from the social experimentation that went on in the 60s and 70s (and, no, I'm not talking about miscegenation laws) and led to the total collapse of the black family structure and the transformation of many large American cities. Those lessons seemed to tell us that we knew less than we thought we did about how government policies help shape our society, particularly when it comes to how social policy affects the institution of marriage.

Smart people learned that sometimes the side effects of tearing down traditional structures isn't justified by the warm feeling it gives you to watch it happen. And no, homosexuality (which was until comparatively recently classified as a mental disorder for obvious reason) does not equate to ethnic background, and never will. Simply cramming every policy you like into the "civil rights" bucket (health care is a civil right! home ownership is a civil right! homosexual "marriage" is a civil right!) is intellectually and semantically dishonest. You think marriage should be changed to allow homosexuals to have a ceremony with the imprimatur of the state? Just admit you are creating a new right where none before existed. You'll feel cleaner, trust me.

This may shock you, but not many people believe that homosexuals are identical in behavior or psychology to heterosexuals except for this unaccountable redirection of erotic energy. It's worth asking whether or not homosexual marriage is a meaningful institution, or whether it is as sensible as creating a new right of "buddy marriage" where best friends can become "married" to each other because, goddammit, they want to! Why, what if I wanted to go see my best friend in the hospital after visiting hours AND THOSE FASCIST ORDERLIES PREVENTED ME FROM DOING SO!!! It seems to me that homosexual marriage falls in this category as a nonsensical institution due to the pointed differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals and a full understanding of just what marriage's traditional function actually is (hint: it's there to civilize heterosexual men, just ask my wife).

Whoa! Not sure which snarky catchphrase I'll get in response to this post, but if either of you bright bulbs would like a real discussion, here I am. Not holding my breath.
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  #24  
Old 11-24-2008, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

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Don't forget miscegenation, which by Username's "logic" would have been, and still are, immoral, and therefore, illegal.
I didn't respond directly to your previous post, which had nothing of substance to argue with (beyond some strange and off-topic ranting about representative democracies--how quickly the left forgets the 2000 election!), but a glance at this one suggests you should spend a little more time working out what you are trying to say.
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  #25  
Old 11-24-2008, 04:52 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

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Whoa! Not sure which snarky catchphrase I'll get in response to this post, but if either of you bright bulbs would like a real discussion, here I am. Not holding my breath.
No, I'm not interested in debating the issue with you. I'm just not impressed enough by your arguments to take them that seriously.

Judging by the number of responses to this thread, no one else is either.

Opposition to same-sex marriage, fortunately, has become a generational issue. Younger people tend not to be bigoted; their elders often are. As the older generation dies off, same-sex marriage will be embraced overwhelmingly by society, and people will look back on our times with shame and disbelief.
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  #26  
Old 11-24-2008, 07:47 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

How conveniently selective you are - and just plain silly. I dare you to find one example of a democracy on this planet - and wishing it, or rhetorical flourishes in presidential speeches doesn't make it so. Democracy, gratefully, hasn't existed since the Greeks.

I'm willing to recognize any minority's argument for recognition regardless of substance based on fairness and trying to arrive at a just solution of disagreements. That's good for you, because your arguments against marriage are empirical crap. People get married everyday for the flimsiest of reasons - and get divorced for even less. Your opinion of people's motivations for marriage is hypocritical. Also, as Dan Savage argues, social conservatives more interesting than you, have a problem with how heterosexuals have defined marriage for decades, not with homosexuals. Secular heterosexuals have eliminated the religious element from marriage well before homosexuals decided to go mainstream. From a Korean (and traditional western) perspective, they shouldn't bother. Marriage, by this perspective, is a property negotiation. If homosexual couples cannot guarantee the sanctity of their property, then marriage is worthless. Social conservatives and secularists have undermined marriage far more than homosexuals ever could.

Please, Username, come out of the closet about being a bigot trying to screw anyone you hate, and you'll feel better. You might even find others of your kind who can support you.

Last edited by Baltimoron; 11-25-2008 at 12:20 AM..
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  #27  
Old 11-28-2008, 04:47 PM
samcon samcon is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

A constitution is an agreement of the people to abide by a set of governing principles in order for self-rule. Each state constitution, and the federal constitution, includes methods for amendments. On the federal level, a super majority of Congress and the states is required for amendments. A variety of states only require a mere majority for an amendment. While it is true that most of our constitutions allow for the protection of a minority's rights, it is unfair to argue that a mere majority is "mob rule."

In California, the citizens supporting Prop 8 abided by the constitutional requirements for constitutional referendums, put the matter to a vote of the electorate and prevailed. That's not mob rule - that's democracy in action. To characterize it as anything else is, well, disingenuous and demeaning.

While it is correct that the rights of the minority are protected in our society, it is important to remember that those rights are established by the majority - and in some cases, a super majority. The rights to speech, free exercise, assembly, etc, were well established by a super majority of our states in the enactment of the constitution, and all agreed to protect those rights. The same was true when we as a people enacted by a super majority the right to vote regardless of race or gender, the right of equal protection, etc. Those rights were majority created. Minority created rules that trample on the will of the majority is the very essence of tyranny or dictatorial rule.

What occurred in May in California is that 4 justices created a right never before adopted by even a bare majority in America. For decades on top of decades, the definition of marriage had been left to the will of the legislature, but the California Supreme Court's majority had no respect for the will of its own citizen and decided it knew better than the legislature and the people. It then recklessly issued a politicized decision that imposes its own will over that of the people. That decision was a direct assault on the ideals of self-governance, and a majority of Californians rose up and put the Court back in its place.

If the California Supreme Court again thwarts the will of Californians, they will go the way of Gray Davis and be recalled at the next general election.

P.s. I find it interesting that the minority in this case used the judicial branch to do what it could not do through the ballot box, and once the judicial branch acted, the minority acted as if the newly established right was sacrosanct and could not be altered. Nothing could be further from reality. See, we as a democratic people can alter or amend - for better or for worse - what principles we live by at any time. The Supreme Court of California stepped on that principle and was immediately reprimanded by the people.

If marriage should be redefined in California to include same-sex couples, supporters of the change should make their case to the legislature - not the courts. Otherwise, any decision by the Courts will always be tainted with illegitimacy, and that's no good for anyone.
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  #28  
Old 11-28-2008, 05:12 PM
DoctorMoney DoctorMoney is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

Quote:
Originally Posted by Username View Post

Actually, there are some very good arguments. First, we've learned some hard lessons from the social experimentation that went on in the 60s and 70s (and, no, I'm not talking about miscegenation laws) and led to the total collapse of the black family structure and the transformation of many large American cities.
People who know the history of public housing in Chicago (the most famous case, and I'm sure you're at least partially referring to it) know that it was primarily institutional bigotry that caused the downfall of these specific urban communities -- not 'social experimentation', whatever you mean by that. The only social experiment was seeing what happens to people when a community remains completely unserved by the police, the hospitals, and the larger political community for a couple of decades.

Surprise surprise, things get worse. But there's no parable here of 'good intentions gone wrong'. The real history was one of primarily bad intentions, unfortunately -- and then some late to the party ideologues who used the debacle as an example of how government action is supposedly ineffective.
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  #29  
Old 11-29-2008, 12:42 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Prop 8 Aftermath

Quote:
If marriage should be redefined in California to include same-sex couples, supporters of the change should make their case to the legislature - not the courts.
Marriage is not being "redefined" in California to include same-sex couples, any more than schools had to be redefined in Mississippi to include black people.

What the court has said is that same-sex couples cannot be EXcluded from the rights accorded to different-sex couples.
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