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Symbolic solution in search of an actual problem
Support of 9 Southern Republicans for Respect for Marriage Act shows why Supreme Court isn’t about to ban same-sex marriage
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
Also in this report:
- Texas U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls gets his knickers in a twist over Biden’s bicycle tumble
- Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul fuss like an old married couple
Twice-divorced South Carolina Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace had a pithy reply to explain why she voted in favor of the Democrat-sponsored Respect for Marriage Act:
“If gay couples want to be as happily or miserably married as straight couples, more power to them. Trust me, I’ve tried it more than once.”
Mace was one of nine Southern House Republicans, and 47 Republicans overall, who voted in favor of what was a symbolic maneuver to provide federal protection for both same-sex and interracial marriages – neither of which anyone is threatening.
The bill is being pushed by supporters of legal abortion to advance a fear-mongering argument that the Dobbs decision overturning Roe vs. Wade means that the Supreme Court is also about to torpedo marriage rights.
The vote in the House shows just how specious this argument is.
The Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority can’t, willy nilly, just decide to come after gay or interracial marriages. The justices must be presented with a case that allows them to do so. And that means that a majority of legislators in a state, along with its governor, would have to approve a measure banning same-sex or interracial marriage that could then be challenged in court to give justices the opportunity to make mischief.
The notion that in the 21st century a state would ban interracial marriage is, of course, preposterous. And the fact that 47 Republicans broke ranks to support this symbolic bill is evidence of the weakness of the political appetite to ban same-sex marriage either.
Would state legislators and a governor in a Southern red state really deliberately wade into a boycott-filled political firestorm to pass a bill in hopes that the Supreme Court might bless it, given that a majority of even Republicans now support same-sex marriage?
Fat. Chance. This particular sky is not falling, no matter how much supporters of legal abortion might try to claim that it is.
By the way, the other Southern Republicans who supported the measure besides Mace include the three Cuban-American members from South Florida – Carlos Gimenez, Maria Elvira Salazar and Mario Diaz-Balart – along with three other Florida members — Kat Cammack from Gainesville, Brian Mast from the Treasure Coast, and Michael Waltz from St. Augustine.
Tony Gonzalez from West Texas and Tom Rice from South Carolina also voted yes; Rice lost his re-election primary after supporting Donald Trump’s impeachment.
♦Texas Republican U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls turned a routine transportation hearing into a public spectacle when he questioned Biden transport chief Pete Buttigieg about whether the Cabinet has discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Joe Biden from office.
Biden, said Nehls, “shakes hands with ghosts and imaginary people, and he falls off bicycles,” a reference to the president’s recent tumble from a bike while chatting with a crowd near his vacation home.
This is all part of an ongoing effort by Republicans to insinuate that Biden is an incompetent doddering old fool – a highly curious argument coming from fans of a septuagenarian with a tenuous grip on reality named Donald Trump.
Buttigieg called Nehls comment “insulting” before saying Biden “is as vigorous a colleague or boss as I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”
Which raises interesting questions about Buttigieg’s previous workplaces.
♦Kentucky’s two Republican U.S. senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul — who hold each other in what can best be described as minimum high regard — fussed like an old married couple this week over a failed federal court nomination.
McConnell had, somehow, persuaded the Biden administration to nominate conservative, pro-life candidate Chad Meredith to a U.S. District Court seat in Eastern Kentucky. But Paul put a hold on the nomination – not because he didn’t support the nominee but because, he said, he had been shut out of what he termed a “secret deal” McConnell had cooked up with the White House.
The Biden administration then pulled the nomination, which had also run into a buzzsaw of opposition from Senate liberals; McConnell and the White House blamed Paul.
Asked about his relationship with McConnell after the dust-up, Paul replied “I think I’ve said enough.”
Translation: “Bless his heart.”