The issue of same sex marriage will work itself out democratically, though not to the liking of either side as a patchwork quilt of marriage law develops that reflects the self-governing choices of various states and regions. Much to the chagrin of the same sex marriage proponents, there is no "tide of history" flowing, and "tide" arguments built on the long discredited theory that young people will always vote the same was as they did when they were young need to recall two words "Reagan Democrats."
My interview with Jonathan Alter from Wednesday's show is worth reading in this regard (transcript here
) for we both agree that the issue will not decide the presidential election, though it may ice a few states that President Obama might have had a small hope of carrying, like Virginia, where former Governor Tim Kaine is not endorsing the president's position. Kaine's Catholic beliefs apparently means he won't be welcomed by would-be LA Mayor Rick Caruso to Caruso's Grove Center Shopping Center as Caruso today banned boxer
Manny Pacquiao from the mall because of the champion's opposition to same-sex marriage, rooted in his Catholic faith. Nor, it appears, would Caruso welcome Cardinal Gomez or any other orthodox Catholic clergy or layman in Los Angeles who believes what Pacquiao believes ---that marriage is for one man and one woman. Going full-on anti-Catholic isn't a great way to help the merchants in the mall, nor an intuitive approach to winning the mayoral contest. Indeed, there is a very good question as to whether Caruso's ban of Catholic Pacquiao is in fact illegal discrimination under California's anti-discrimination laws, not that the Los Angeles Times would notice such a problem given they chose to have someone named Dan Turner write on the story, and with this subtle opinion
providing the assurance that the story would be objective:
Pacquiao stepped on a mine in America's culture war when he gave an interview to the National Conservative Examiner expressing his views on gay marriage, which are about what you'd expect from a guy who gets hit in the head for a living.
Get it? 61% of North Carolina voters who amended that state's Constitution to preserve marriage as between one man and one woman are brain damaged. This is the sort of opinion that has marked the Times' ascent to the new circulation heights and robust advertising revenues even as it avoided massive layoffs and a newsroom with the morale of maximum security prison's solitary confinement wing. The policy of respect for the vast diversity of Los Angeles and especially for its deeply committed communities of faith has kept a monolithic, neo-Stalinist conformity from dominating the paper's every editorial and action. Oh, sorry, that's not what the Times avoided. No matter. Like Caruso's crusade against Catholic customers, the Times' antipathy to Catholic advertisers or Catholic subscribers is noted and will work its way through the Catholic community with predictable effect. The publisher ought simply to announce the paper refuses to be purchased by same-sex marriage opponents. Any other stance would be hypocrisy, like breaking the boycott of South Africa in the days of apartheid. Something tells me that the Times won't be living out its deeply held-convictions with the sort of "courage" of Caruso's refusal to sell or serve Catholics.
The elites that have decided that the issue is decided continue to make mistake after mistake, just as happened with the president's announcement last week, instantly understood by a large majority to have nothing to do with conviction and everything to do with manipulation. That didn't work, and Caruso's posture and the Times' sneers won't work either. Very few things backfire as quickly as the assertion of absolute moral authority and superiority over an issue which is in fact quite rightly debated and about which opinion is deeply and fairly divided.
So watch that space. Or listen to it. The president would clearly love to leave it behind but his allies have no intention of doing so, whatever the cost to the president's re-election. Speaking of troubling allies, be sure to catch Jonathan Alter's comments on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's interview with Edward Klein, the tapes of which were released to Sean Hannity today. What is amazing is that the Washington Post is much more interested in the allegations about Mitt Romney's conduct 50 years ago than in Rev. Wright's testimony about the president's actions four years ago. Alter's rejection of the tapes' relevance is easy for him to assert as he hasn't been busy bringing up events from the early '60s, or the '80s or '90s as key to the decision facing the country. But once those doors are opened --and they have been-- it takes an amazing double standard to ignore what the president's own pastor has to say about events that occurred in the last campaign involving the current president.
Guy P. Benson gets the microphone tomorrow, and Larry O'Connor on Friday. I'll be back on Monday when this will no doubt all be worked out. When leaving LAX, I'll be careful not to drive past much less stop at any of Mr. Caruso's properties, but it would be easier if he simply posted "No Catholics Allowed" signs.