FauxPolitik

Thursday, April 24, 2003

More Santorum: I don't want to beat this to death, but there are a couple of side issues worth exploring here. First, the calls by prominent Democrats for Santorum to step down from his leadership position. This is nutty. They're feeling their oats over the Lott debacle and want to score another victory. Unfortunately, as you point out, Santorum is not out of the mainstream in his party on this issue. I disagree with him; I think he's hurting his party. But it's not a firing offense.

Second, the GOP stalwarts, even those who oppose the Texas laws like Stan Kurtz, are blaming the liberal media for whipping up a frenzy. This is clearly not a case of media bias. Santorum's comments weren't taken out of context or misinterpreted, they were simply an honest formulation of GOP policy. Two things are at work here: One, GOP policy on this issue is entirely our of step with the country. Two, the country is content with code words on hot issues. Santorum skipped the code words.

Third, Santorum attempted to resort to federalism to defend Texas. I'm a little tired of the convenient invocation of federalism (from both parties) when it suits their needs. Santorum even claims to support federalism on abortion ("If New York doesn't want sodomy laws, if the people of New York want abortion, fine. I mean, I wouldn't agree with it, but that's their right. But I don't agree with the Supreme Court coming in."). But in this case, calling for a federalist policy on abortion means necessarily overturning Roe. Which do you think Rick really cares about -- overturning Roe or returning the right to the several states?

Fourth, is it really Santorum's concern,as stated, that a vote to overturn in Lawrence V. Texas will really lead to the legalization of polygamy, bigamy, and incest? No. Santorum may be fully against those things, but I don't believe that to be the issue. The issue is that, by striking down a law against homosexual conduct on explicitly moral grounds, the court removes one more obstacle to gay marriage. Remember that one of the arguments against Texas is that heterosexual extramarital acts (also traditionally defined as sodomy) are treated differently by the law. If the Supremes overturn in Lawrence v. Texas, there will be that much more daylight visible in the door opening to gay marriage under an equal protection/equal treatment argument. This is what the GOP fears, not rampant polygamy.

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