OK, I'll be very candid. I care a great deal about winning the presidency in 2016. There will be Supreme Court slots to fill, no doubt, and I sure as Hades don't want Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders nominating the candidates. And we have to concede the possibility that the Senate may be lost back to the Democrats, given that the number of seats to be defended by the Republicans offers a challenge much like the one that turned the Senate Republican in 2014.
So listen on this one -- it is very possible that the Supreme Court of the United States has actually done something that will help the Republican candidate next year, if only he or she is able to take proper advantage of the SCOTUS ruling.
I'm referring to the ruling that effectively legalized gay marriage in the USA, regardless of state laws barring it and, well, the will of a large percentage of Americans. No, I'm not saying that it is such a contentious issue that anti-gay-marriage voters will rise in a tsunami of public opinion and votes and drive the Democrats out of the White House in force.
Quite the opposite, actually.
No, I think that SCOTUS handed the Republicans a gift in that, essentially, they have taken an issue that was a polarizing one, with the capacity to drive Democrats to the polls and split Republicans, and utterly removed it from the national debate. Yes, in that, according to five unelected Ivy League lawyers, marriage can be between two (or three or more) of pretty much anything, there is nothing more to fight.
Can we -- and our presidential candidate -- take advantage? Well, it beats the heck out of me. But I've written over and over and over that the Republican candidate should focus on defending the USA, balancing the budget, creating jobs in the private sector, protecting our borders and other things that are like, actually, important. So if our desire is to shift the chatter away from contentious moral issues -- at least during our campaigns -- and run on what really matters, then isn't that a good thing?
I know there is a real reluctance on the part of a lot of us to do as the song from "Frozen" tells us, and just, you know, "Let It Go." Many of us find the idea of wilting the traditional definition of marriage to be a contemptible act on SCOTUS's part. [Aside -- I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but whether gay couples have a piece of paper or not is not going to cause me to lose a lot of sleep -- they're still going to be together either way]
But there is only one fix to this, and it is a legislative one. A legislative one, it should be pointed out, that is not going to happen, at least anytime soon. That leaves the gay marriage issue as, for all intents and purposes, "settled law" as they like to say around the White House -- and the Kremlin.
So fine. Let it go. Maybe some day the moral tide will turn, and maybe it will never turn. Let's get real. Are not the things I wrote above that the Republican candidate should focus on -- and which are winning platform planks -- far, far more important?
If a Republican wins the White House, and the Republicans hold both houses of Congress, is the first thing that you want them to do to pass a law banning gay marriage? Seriously? For me, it is so far down the line of what needs to get the attention of the legislature, that it's not even on the event horizon.
We have been handed a great opportunity for which we should, perverse as it may sound, be at least a little bit thankful to SCOTUS. They have removed a distraction from the 2016 debate -- the correct Republican answer to any question on the gay marriage topic is now "Well, that would appear to be a moot point now, eh? Let's talk about $18 trillion that we've borrowed and can't pay back."
I know we're not too happy, most of us. But you know what? There's a silver lining to all this, as the Court decisions and others like them gradually take silly distractions off the table and leave the real, important issues to the serious debate -- debate that Democrats cannot win, at least without a great assist from the ovine, simian press.
Let it go. Let it go. Turn away and slam the door. It just is not that big a deal, by comparison.
Copyright 2015 by Robert Sutton
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