What do we make of U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that overturned Proposition 8 -- approved by California's voters (twice!) and defining marriage as one man and one woman?
This morning, an odd trio of congressional Republicans, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, Rep. Steve King of Iowa and the indefatigable Rep. Michelle Bachman of Minnesota, introduced a resolution condemning Walker's ruling, which tossed out the votes of 7 million Californians and inserted gay marriage into the heart of our Constitution.
Smith, while conservative, has not been a brickthrower. Minnesota's Bachman is a national leader of the Tea Party movement (which the press likes to claim doesn't care about gay marriage). And King is the conscience of Iowa, a state where the majority clearly does not favor gay marriage, but has been deprived of the opportunity to vote because one gay man, Tim Gill, has funneled beaucoup bucks into Iowa politics and persuaded the Democrats who control the Iowa House of Representatives, the Senate and the governorship to block a marriage amendment by stealth -- i.e., by preventing a vote in the Legislature.
The Smith-King-Bachman resolution reads, in part:
"Whereas every state whose voters have considered the issue prohibits same-sex marriage; Whereas three states have redefined traditional marriage only because the redefinition has been ordered by a court. ... Whereas Judge Walker failed to conduct himself in an impartial manner during the course of the proceedings that resulted in such ruling. ... Whereas if a handful of activists are allowed to void a constitutional amendment protecting marriage, we have eliminated the core of the American democratic system and will deny more children the mom and the dad they deserve. ... Whereas the most important issue in the (Perry v. Schwarzenegger) case is whether our government is of, by, and for the people ... Chief United States District Judge Vaughn R. Walker's decision to strike down California's popularly enacted Proposition 8 is wrong and should be appealed."
Many other Republicans have been conspicuously silent, scared off by the threat of mainstream media torture and the increasingly aggressive use of gay power to block donations to any politician who dares to speak for the majority on marriage. Kudos to these three who are speaking up for the American people and our Constitution.
In a few weeks the Republicans will produce a document that purports to lay bare core GOP principles. Do they care enough about principle to stand against Walker's judicial tyranny, his outrageous attempt to brand decent, good Americans as hateful and irrational bigots because they voted for marriage as one man and one woman? We shall see.
But, I suspect they won't. I remember how the Republican establishment responded in the early days to the abortion issue. I remember how the wives (like Cindy McCain) were outraged that their husbands could be so backward as to oppose abortion rights. Too many pols see the wind now at their backs and will succumb to the temptation to dodge the tough bullet -- to avoid the media hit and the gay rights' dollars. Who will have the courage to speak for the majority here and our constitutional system of government?
I suspect it will not be the GOP establishment. That will be a disappointment but no big surprise.
American politics are in a quasi-revolutionary phase.
The people, symbolized first in the eruptions of Tea Parties, are rebelling against elites who believe they can ignore our voices and our values.
Establishment figures may mute their voices, try to dodge and to split the difference, but California's Tom Campbell, New York's Dede Scozzafava and, most recently, New Hampshire's Bill Binnie (tanking in the polls in his race for the GOP's Senate nod in the midst of National Organization for Marriage and Cornerstone ads highlighting his pro-gay marriage views) are all pro-gay marriage GOP candidates who've run into the limits of what spin and media approval can do for them.
Rush Limbaugh had his finger on the truth. In the nearly half-hour speech he gave after the Proposition 8 ruling ("the American people are boiling over!"), Rush said that Walker "did not just slap down the will of 7 million voters. Those 7 million voters were put on trial -- a kangaroo court where everything was stacked against them. ... Those of you who voted for Prop 8 in California are guilty of hate crimes. You were thinking discrimination. That's what this judge has said! Truly unprecedented."
Yes, it is. We are entering into a new phase in the battle not only for marriage, but for self-government, for the legitimacy of the views and values of the Ameircan people.
This is a fight we cannot dodge, and must and will win.
Buckle down, it's going to be a ride!
(Maggie Gallagher is the founder of the National Organization for Marriage and has been a syndicated columnist for 14 years.)