Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | May 16, 2009

Michael Steele, thrashing

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has made political thrashing an art form. Witness his criticism of and then apology to de-facto GOP leader Rush Limbaugh; his pro-choice sounding comments, recast after the fact to become pro-life comments; his inartful analysis of Mitt Romney’s failure as a candidate for the GOP’s presidential nomination followed by a statement that his comments had been misinterpreted; and now this from the Boston Herald:

[Steele] said allowing same-sex couples to get married would cost small business owners money by requiring them to pay for health care and life insurance for people who previously weren’t entitled to the benefits as spouses.

Excuse me? I’ll bet that getting rid of laws that banned interracial marriage had the same effect. Since when do we argue for or against matters of morality based on their cost? Unbelievably cynical. And it’s more evidence of the cost of ideology: Desperately casting about for an argument — any argument, no matter how flimsy or how cynical — to support an unsupportable position.

Religious arguments against marriage equality don’t hold up because we’re a secular nation: Whether or not the government recognizes a marriage and whether a church does are completely separate.

Societal arguments against marriage equality don’t hold up because we have examples of societies around this country and around the globe that recognize same-sex marriage and are doing just fine.

“Natural” arguments don’t hold up — we see examples of homosexual behavior in the wild.

So now Steele, a marriage equality opponent, is trying to support his ideology — his unsupportable position to which he clings in the face of all logic and reason — by arguing that small businesses can’t afford it! This is a matter of civil liberties, civil rights. If others in the right-wing echo chamber start repeating Steele’s nonsense, it will be a sign of their desperation on this issue. To resort to such an argument is pitiful. It’s shameful.

Until marriage equality opponents who advance this argument start also advocating that interracial marriage ought to be banned in order to help small businesses, they’re nothing but intellectually lazy raging hypocrites. Until they start arguing that the negative economic impact of abolishing slavery — which was huge, by the way — was so great that we need to reinstitute it, regardless of reason or right or wong, they’re nothing more than desperate, cynical ideologues.

Mr. Steele, you must think beyond the immediate efficacy of an argument, you must consider the effects of applying an argument in similar circumstances. It’s called critical thinking. It’s hard work. It makes it difficult to be an ideologue, which is a good thing, except perhaps in the Republican Party of 2009. Do this before you open your mouth. Or others will do it for you after, and you’ll get to endure more what-a-fool pundit tirades.

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Responses

  1. Why be against marriage, it’s in our nature, isn’t it?


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