Speaker John Boehner yesterday stated that he did not expect House Republicans to take up arms and try to fight the decision of the Supreme Court when they issue their ruling on same-sex marriage later this year. It is believed that that their decision will likely be a close 5-4 vote in favor of extending marriage rights to all couples, not just heterosexual ones.
From the Washington Blade:
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday declined to offer his hopes for litigation seeking marriage rights for same-sex couples before the U.S. Supreme Court, but said he doesn’t expect House Republicans will weigh in on the issue.
“I don’t expect that we’re going to weigh in on this,” Boehner said. “The court will make its decision and that’s why they’re there, to be the highest court in the land.”
Boehner, an opponent of same-sex marriage, made the remarks in response to a question from the Washington Blade at his weekly news conference a month after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the litigation, which includes a lawsuit challenging the state law in Boehner’s own state of Ohio. (Source)
Here’s where Speaker Boehner is completely wrong. For many years, Republicans have maintained power by running on the platform of God, guns and hating gays. They’ve tripped over each other in red states in a competition to see who could be the most anti-gay Christian who hates the liberal media while posing with guns and wearing camouflage. I like to refer to these people as “Duck Dynasty Republicans” versus politicians like Speaker Boehner who are what my very conservative mother would call “Country Club Republicans.” Don’t believe me? Just look at Bobby Jindal who has tried to scrub every bit of his Indian-American heritage away in order to appeal to conservative, white Christian voters here in Louisiana. He’s even gone so far as to hang a constituent’s badly-painted portrait of him in his office which has Bobby Jindal looking whiter than me, decked his family out in camouflage for their Christmas photo, and has pandered as hard as he can to everyone except Westboro Baptist on the fringes of the religious right.
During the last couple of decades, Republicans thrived on the support of Duck Dynasty Republicans such as the ones Bobby Jindal wants so desperately to appeal to. They’re everywhere, especially here in the Bible Belt where you can see them on every local news page hating on President Obama, Muslims and the gay community – all while claiming to be “good Christians.” These are the same folks who vote over and over again for governors like Bobby Jindal who slash education funding while continuing to run huge budget deficits and driving their states further into the ground. Why? Because for all of their shortcomings, at least they’re “pro-life” and oppose godless liberal ideas like Medicaid expansion or allowing same-sex marriage. All Country Club Republicans like Speaker Boehner have to do is pay lip service to these ideas, toss a few pieces of anti-abortion or pro-discrimination legislation out there every once in a while and that usually placates the Duck Dynasty Republicans. Accepting the assumed decision of the Supreme Court flies in the face of everything Republican politicians have stood for during the culture wars.
Speaker Boehner himself may accept the decision of the Supreme Court should they rule in favor of marriage equality, but other Republicans won’t – because they can’t. In a party that hadn’t spent decades catering to the religious right, abdicating on gay marriage wouldn’t be a big deal. In a party that hadn’t spent the last six years blindly opposing everything President Obama proposed or supported, moving on to more pressing issues would be as easy as Paul Ryan accepting another $350 bottle of Pinot Noir from a lobbyist.
Republicans can’t abandon their fight against gay marriage so long as their religious conservative base refuses to accept the fact that the first section of the 14th Amendment grants equal rights and protections under the law. To do otherwise would be political suicide.
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