In today's GOP giving political fellatio to the Christian Right is de riguer since the religious Kool-Aid drinking crowd makes up such a large portion of the GOP base. But in announcing his plan to defend DOMA, it seems that John Boehner may be trying to have things both ways: take steps to keep the Kool-Aid drinkers quiet, while perhaps not putting a full blown effort into the effort, since in truth, outside the Christo-fascist set, same-sex marriage is not a high priority item.
The New York Time's review of the Boehner/GOP defense plan seems to be a watered down approach to avoid the possibility that the issue be shown to be more smoke than fire except among professional Christians, self-enriching paid political whores like Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown, and child rapist-protecting members of the Catholic Church hierarchy.
As noted in previous posts on my personal blog, defending DOMA in court is a far different matter than shouting out sound bites to untethered from reality political audiences. Should the GOP move forward in defending DOMA in court, I hope they find out that they have merely set themselves up for ridicule and defeat. Here are some story highlights:
House Republicans quietly moved Friday to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages, saying they would step in to argue for the measure's constitutionality after the Obama administration's decision to stop defending it.
Republican leaders had the option of inserting themselves in the case by introducing a resolution on the House floor and allowing members to speak out on the issue. Instead they released a statement of their intent on a Friday afternoon when the House was out of session.
By choosing that route, Republican leaders illuminated a central problem they face in the 112th Congress: how to reflect the priorities of traditional social conservatives when much of the party's energy is focused on the federal budget and the national debt, the animating passions of the freshman class of lawmakers.
Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana set off a debate within the party last month when he warned fellow Republicans not to get bogged down in the cultural wars of yore and to "agree to get along for a little while" on social issues.
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio took to the political tightrope with an arabesque on Friday, when he announced in a news release that he would convene the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, made up of the three top Republicans and two most senior Democrats in the House, "for the purpose of initiating action by the House to defend this law of the United States."
The advisory group can now decide to ask courts to appoint it as a party in cases involving the marriage act or it can simply file a brief or make an argument as an interested observer.
Support for action by the House to defend the marriage statute came from some conservative groups and lawmakers. But many freshmen in the Republican caucus were silent on the matter.
Mr. Boehner said. "The constitutionality of this law should be determined by the courts, not by the president unilaterally, and this action by the House will ensure the matter is addressed in a manner consistent with our Constitution."
The move drew rebukes from gay rights groups and some Democrats. "I think it's sad that the speaker of the House wants to spend taxpayer funds to discriminate against people," said Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the lead sponsor of a bill to repeal the marriage act. "It is his right to do this. But it is totally wrong."