I was hard on Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill earlier today- and to be fair, her weasel ways when it comes to issues surrounding coal and carbon emissions, the points of contention in my earlier remarks, are upsetting. However, there are good reasons that so many of us keep on voting for her. This is an excellent example that lays out the contrast between McCaskill and “legitimate rape” Todd Akin, her opponent in the last election, in blinding color.
Today Ed Kilgore summarizes Sean Trende’s analyses suggesting that the GOP can forget minority outreach, deep-six the immigration bill with impunity, and win elections from now until 2040 with the white vote alone. However, if the GOP does decide that more rather than less racial polarization is the way to go, they’ll need every white vote that they can get. Sadly, there’s evidence that their policy positions on social issues are turning off younger white voters and white women, two groups with whom they’ll need to do a little better if they’re to realize success with the whites-only strategy.
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Reince Priebus seems to have decided to work on roping those wandering female voters back into the GOP corral. Evidence? Today marked the announcement of the formation of a Women on the Right UNITE project:
This Friday, six Republican committees will come together to launch “Women on the Right UNITE” – a joint project to promote the recruitment of and support for Republican women and women candidates – at a press conference in Washington. The committees include the Republican National Committee, Republican Governors Association, National Republican Senatorial Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, Republican State Leadership Committee, and College Republican National Committee. Each committee will announce substantive plans to promote the role of women within the party and encourage more women to get involved and run for office.
According to the Atlantic Wire, Republicans claim to be concerned that only 8% of the GOP members in the House of Representatives are women – and, of course, they also want to figure out how to present “a more streamlined and packaged message about why Republican policies are beneficial to women.” Don’t laugh. After all, if the GOP and its corporate allies can persuade a significant number of Americans that man-made climate change is a hoax, they just might pull this off.
Among the nine elected women from the House of Representatives who will be talking up women in the GOP as part of the project will be Rep. Ann Wagner (R-2). Wonder why not Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-4)? Could it be that she and some of the remaining ten GOP women in the House might not have mastered the “nicer language” with which the GOP hopes female officials like Wagner will cloak the party’s anti-women policies? Could it be that she cuts a little too close to the fringewing home to be a safe participant in a PR effort to disguise the GOP war on women? I am assuming that the candidate for the “new Michele Bachmann” is not what Priebus wants out front.
It is worth noting, though, that women have actually been out front in the GOP for awhile and it hasn’t done the party much good when it comes creating distance from the war on women rhetoric:
In fact, Republican women have been involved in lots of controversies that helped portray the GOP as anti-woman. Reps. Diane Black and Marsha Roby have sponsored legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. Rep. Michele Bachmann portrayed Texas’s requirement that teens get an HPV vaccination – it prevents cervical cancer – as some kind of weird sex thing: “And to have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat out wrong.” That famous Virginia bill that would have required transvaginal ultrasounds before abortions last year? It was sponsored by a woman, Del. Kathy J. Byron. Byron defended the transvaginal ultrasound requirement, saying, “if we want to talk about invasiveness, there’s nothing more invasive than the procedure that she is about to have.”
While it will be interesting to see if the GOP can obfuscate and confuse women about what they really stand for, Republican women are still Republicans – and that includes Ann Wagner. When push comes to shove, there won’t be a hair’s breadth between the way Wagner and Hartzler perform.
Ding, dong, DOMA’s dead (June 26, 2013)
Last plaintiff without standing (June 26, 2013)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler @RepHartzler
VIDEO: Led press conference on #SCOTUS #DOMA decision today. [….] 11:40 AM – 26 Jun 13
And there was one reply:
RJ Equality Ingram @RJEquality
@RepHartzler Your opposition to equality & love will forever be recorded as a mistake in the congressional record, Congresswoman. 11:43 AM – 26 Jun 13
Representative Vicky Hartzler (r): Good morning, everyone. We’re here today to respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. We believe the court got it wrong on these rulings. The court’s activist ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act ignored the votes of a bipartisan majority of Congress. This is a dangerous precedent which strips power away from Congress with respect to defining national marriage policy. We must work to defend the rights of Americans to make marriage policy. Additionally, the Proposition 8 ruling is a loss for the millions of Americans who have gone to the ballot box to voice their support for marriage between one man and one woman. California’s governor and attorney general who refused to defend the people’s wishes abandoned the people of California is a loss for democratic self government [sic]. With the Supreme Court denying them standing they have left the people voiceless. While California silenced the voices of their citizens the Supreme Court has not created a constitutional right to same sex marriage. Thirty-eight states have affirmed the belief of their citizens that marriage exists between a man and a woman and is a necessary building block of stable society. The debate over marriage will continue with the states leading the way. We must work to defend the rights of Americans to make [garbled] policy. We should work to promote the truth of marriage between a man and a woman. It is wise policy to uphold the reality that every child deserves a mom and a dad and society as a whole benefits when they do….
“…Thirty-eight states have affirmed the belief of their citizens that marriage exists between a man and a woman and is a necessary building block of stable society…”
That horse left the barn a long time ago:
….In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are. If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years. Other adult living arrangements-including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood-have all grown more prevalent in recent decades….
….The United States is by no means the only nation where marriage has been losing “market share” for the past half century. The same trend has taken hold in most other advanced post-industrial societies, and these long-term declines appear to be largely unrelated to the business cycle. The declines have persisted through good economic times and bad….
Damn. We’re all going to hell in a handbasket.
“…We should work to promote the truth of marriage between a man and a woman. It is wise policy to uphold the reality that every child deserves a mom and a dad and society as a whole benefits when they do…”
….We’re looking forward to Representative Hartzler (r) starting the process for constitutional amendments banning divorce and enforcing shotgun weddings….
We’ll be waiting with bated breath.
Roy Blunt missed the vote on the immigration bill that passed the senate on a 69-29 vote. I guess that means nobody can hold that vote against him – unless like Michael Tomasky, you think that as a member of the Senate minority leadership, none of whom voted for the bill, such lack of support was intended to send a message. This supposition is probably correct. Consider that Blunt earlier made it clear that he could not support the bill with the Corker-Hoeven border security amendement:
I voted against proceeding to this amendment because I am concerned it does not adequately put border security first, which must be our top priority. I’m also increasingly concerned the administration objects to measurable results on border security, even though they admit 100 percent awareness is, in fact, possible.
Where did Blunt get the idea that the Obama administration thinks that “100 percent awareness” is possible? I’m not aware that anyone, Obama administration included, really believes that we can ever be sure that we acheive “100 percent awareness.” It’s akin to proving a negative – impossible. Ezra Klein writes:
Attaining total control of a border is hard. As the Council of Foreign Relations’ Edward Alden has written:
The most secure border in modern history was probably the Cold War border between East and West Germany. To keep their people from leaving-logistically much easier than keeping others from entering-the East Germans built more than 700 watchtowers, sprinkled more than a million antipersonnel mines, created a deep no-man’s zone of barbed wire and electric fencing, and deployed nearly 50 guards per square mile with shoot-to-kill orders. Even so about 1,000 people each year somehow managed to find a way across.
We’re not planning anything nearly so secure between the United States and Mexico. Yet many Republicans are demanding total or near-total control over the border before agreeing to anything further on immigration reform.
As Klein observed elsewhere, given the border security demands, it “sure sounds as if no one is ever getting a green card.” And of course that’s the point for politicians like Senator Blunt and his Senate leader, Mitch McConnel. As Counterpunch‘s Geoffrey Boyce observes of the defeated Blunt-Cornyn amendment:
The Senate architects are merely asserting – without any objective analysis or basis for their claim – that DHS can accomplish the border security “triggers” that their immigration proposal would establish. By hinging legalization and a pathway to citizenship on accomplishing these arbitrary objectives, such reforms could be postponed indefinitely.
I just wish that if politicians like Blunt were so hot to stop the much-feared flood of future Latino voters – who should have no reason to ever consider supporting the GOP – they would figure out a way that won’t cost us as much – $38 billion and counting – as trying to keep an enforcement eye on every mile of the long, long Texas/Mexico border. It’s hard to see money wasted when we’re forced to endure the hardships of the GOP sequester.
While conceding the destructive potential of climate change in her reaction to President Obama’s plans to fight climate change, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill echoed the same faux economic worries that she has cited in the past and that her colleague, Republican Senator Roy Blunt, put forward more forcefully yesterday. She’s worried, she claims, about the potential of curbing carbon emissions to increase energy prices:
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, asserted that climate change “is a real and growing threat to the health and livelihoods of Missourians.” But she offered faint praise for some of Obama’s proposal and questioned others.
Proposed carbon rules for existing power plants, McCaskill said, “will need serious review to ensure they don’t harm working families.” She added her preference that the regulations be directed by Congress rather than executive order.
Regulations directed by Congress? Really? Remind me what Congress has done to date to regulate carbon emissions. As I recollect, congressional inaction – or even outright hostility to action – has been the norm in spite of the fact that leading climate scientists have testified in congressional hearings that our current path will lead to disaster. In the face of the congressional politicization of a life-and-death issue, I’m surprised that McCaskill has the chutzpah to try to squelch action with more politics, but, as I am beginning to realize, that’s the way our girl rolls.
I can only repeat what I said apropos of Senator Blunt’s entirely predictable “war on jobs” reaction:
If we could get politicians like Blunt to stop whining about imagined or short-term economic impacts and do something constructive to help us cope with climate change, we’d realize some positive economic benefits as well as an improved quality of life.
Substitute McCaskill for Blunt and add that the road to progress could do without politicians who are more concerned with covering their backsides than doing the right thing, and the assertion would be just as true. Of course, to be fair, McCaskill, who dithered and arguably helped kill the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, sounds a lot more tentative in her response than she did in 2009. Perhaps if she understands that there are Missourians who support vigorous action on climate change, she’ll work harder to educate those among us who, because they have been misled by corrupt politicians and fossil-fuel industry spokespeople, don’t understand the urgency of the climate change challenge. As noted by the Union of Conerned Scientists:
Climate change carries serious consequences both for humans and for ecosystems. This is a crisis that will affect our food, our national security, our water, our ability to live where we choose, and other basic human needs. Whether and how we address global warming is not a question of science, it’s a question of values.
Kinda makes McCaskill’s implied concerns about energy prices rising a few cents seem kind of puny, doesn’t it? Maybe today would be a good time to send our Democratic Senator an educational email on the topic. Contact her here if you’re so inclined.
Ding, dong, DOMA’s dead (June 26, 2013)
Last plaintiff without standing (June 26, 2013)
A statement released today by Representative Ann Wagner (r) in reference to today’s two U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8:
Wagner Statement on Supreme Court’s Ruling on DOMA and Prop 8
Jun 26, 2013
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8:
“I believe in the sanctity of traditional marriage and believe that it should be up to states’ to determine the definition of marriage. The people of Missouri have spoken and over 70% of Missourians’ decided that marriage should be between one man and one woman. I will always support states’ rights and the people of Missouri have made their decision.”
I wonder if she’ll join Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) in sponsoring those constitutional amendments banning divorce and enforcing shotgun weddings. Nah. States’ rights.
Ding, dong, DOMA’s dead (June 26, 2013)
Last plaintiff without standing (June 26, 2013)
A statement released today by Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) in reference to today’s two U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8:
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) has issued the following statement regarding today’s Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8:
“Today the Court got it wrong. The activist ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act ignored the votes of a bipartisan majority of Congress. This alarming precedent disempowers Congress from making national policy with respect to marriage. We must work to defend the rights of Americans to make marriage policy. We should work to promote the truth of marriage between a man and a woman. It is wise public policy upholding the reality that every child needs a mom and a dad, and society benefits when they do.”
“Additionally, the court ignored the voices of millions of Californians who went to the ballot box twice to protect marriage. Their Governor and Attorney General, who refused to defend the people’s wishes, abandoned the people of California. With the Supreme Court denying them standing, they trampled on the people’s rights and left them voiceless. This is a serious loss for democratic self-government and the rights of the people to stand for marriage as the union between one man and one woman. While California has tried to silence the voices of their citizens, the Supreme Court has not created a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. We will continue to work to protect marriage laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman across the country.”
Congresswoman Hartzler serves on the House Agriculture, Budget, and Armed Services Committees.
“…It is wise public policy upholding the reality that every child needs a mom and a dad, and society benefits when they do…”
We’re looking forward to Representative Hartzler (r) starting the process for constitutional amendments banning divorce and enforcing shotgun weddings.
Yeah, keep flogging that icky gay people thing. That’s gonna work really well in 2014 and 2016.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court, 5-4, punted on California’s Proposition 8 which repealed gay marriage in that state:
HOLLINGSWORTH ET AL. v. PERRY ET AL. [pdf]
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
No. 12-144. Argued March 26, 2013-Decided June 26, 2013
….We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here.
Because petitioners have not satisfied their burden to demonstrate standing to appeal the judgment of the District Court, the Ninth Circuit was without jurisdiction to consider the appeal. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit is vacated, and the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
It is so ordered.
This ruling effectively restores gay marriage in California, the Supreme Court ruling that the people who brought the case to overturn the overturning (think about that for a second) do not have standing to bring the case to the court.
The Supreme Court ruled today, 5-4, that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional:
UNITED STATES v. WINDSOR, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF SPYER, ET AL. [pdf]
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT
No. 12-307. Argued March 27, 2013-Decided June 26, 2013
…The class to which DOMA directs its restrictions and restraints are those persons who are joined in same-sex marriages made lawful by the State. DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty. It imposes a disability on the class by refusing to acknowledge a status the State finds to be dignified and proper. DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others. The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others,the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment. This opinion and its holding are confined to those lawful marriages.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is affirmed.
It is so ordered.
It’ll be interesting to see the reaction of all those members of Congress who voted for the legislation. Real profiles in courage, that.
Ari Berman @AriBerman
Scalia & Roberts dissents in #DOMA fault court for judicial activism. Funny how that didn’t stop them from radically gutting #VRA 9:12 AM – 26 Jun 13
Is anyone surprised?