Thursday, June 15, 2006

David Vitter in the Metro Section

Marriage defense hasn't ended hurricane work
Re: "Vitter takes off on a distracting detour," Other Opinions, June 11.

Stephanie Grace didn't surprise or disappoint me with her column lambasting my defense of traditional marriage as a core social institution. What disappointed me was the intellectual dishonesty of her arguments.

Like most in the liberal press, she largely avoided the important substance of the debate and instead argued that my support of traditional marriage was diverting attention from important matters like hurricane recovery, that it was all a cynical political move by Republicans, and the like.

The liberal press should be honest about what their criticism is really all about. I'm a conservative who opposes radically redefining marriage, the most important social institution in human history. They are liberals who support that radical redefinition. It really has nothing to do with other pressing business.

Diverting attention from work on hurricane recovery? They must not have noticed that, in the same week, I helped finalize an extremely strong hurricane recovery package.

Perhaps the column's silliest and cheapest shot was the suggestion that my views on this show that I'm spending all my time in Washington.

Actually, I'm the senator who lives in Louisiana, is back every week, and holds town hall meetings in every parish in the state.

Because traditional marriage is such a core social institution that predates both government and organized religion, I think this is about more than "two guys in love filing joint tax returns" -- like the way we raise children, meet the most basic of their emotional needs and transmit values to the next generation.

When marriage means anything or everything, it means nothing. It's trivialized and weakened as an institution. When it's all about adult individual rights, the interests of children and society suffer.

But then again, maybe the liberals are right.

Family stability, child-rearing, the transmission of values -- how trivial.

David Vitter
U.S. Senator
As Vitter points out, it was that same week that the Emergency Spending Package was passed--but it wasn't passed until later in the week--after the trivial no-chance-in-hell-of-being-passed Marriage Protection Amendment had been debated for days. This debate pushed the Emergency Spending Package vote to the backburner, while Marriage 'Protection' took center stage on the Senate Floor.

Vitter dedicated his last few paragraphs to executing an argument I still fail to fully understand. He seems to imply that marriage is simply an institution reserved exclusively for child-rearing. If this is so, then why are infertile couples allowed to marry? Why should we allow those individuals who have no plans to have children the ability to wed? Furthermore, would gay marriage be permissible if they were allowed to adopt and raise children? I simply don't comprehend.

But that's not the only part of his argument I don't quite get. Vitter claims that, "When it's all about adult individual rights, the interests of children and society suffer." As I see it, children and society suffer as a result of this discrimination. The message it sends to children and society is that not "all people are created equal" and that not all people are endowed "with certain unalienable rights". This is a direct contradiction of our constitution.

Perhaps it is because of that message that America has seen so many hate crimes against the homosexual community recently.

The values David Vitter seeks to transmit to the next generation are not my own and they are not the values I want my future children to inherit. By imposing his own values on the rest of the county using the power of his political position, Vitter not only infringes on the civil rights of American citizens--but he also tramples over the face of the U.S. Constitution and all our country was founded upon.

When forced to choose between accepting another's moral guidelines as law or guaranteeing the civil rights of all people, I choose civil rights.

I just wish Vitter would choose civil rights, too.


Blogger Mr. Clio said...

I'm also interested in his historical point that marriage predates organized religion.

Huh? What do protohumans shacking up together in a cave have to do with modern fundamentalist Christian notions of marriage?

I have a feeling those protohumans engaged in behavior that would fall outside of the bounds of decent Christian ladies and gentlemen.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Adrastos said...

When did the TP become part of the "liberal press." It's news to me... Thanks for the newsflash, Vitty-Cent.

Also, way to go T. This is a good way to get noticed on the blogger circuit: specialize in a story. Me, I do Dollar Bill. I just wish he'd bribe me; the gredy bastard...

Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Mr. Clio, I was iffy on that point, too. I don't know where that notion came from, but I'd really like to see where Vitter acquired that idea.

Adrastos, I still don't understand the reason behind Vitter's Arguementum ad Hominem attack against liberals and what that has to do with gay marriage.

And I'll definitely take your tip into mind! Thanks.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 1:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Adrastos said...

The attack on liberals has to do with the Republican strategy to make the fall election about gay marriage and other social issues instead of about war,incompetence, inflation and corruption. It's part of the Rovian strategy of "energizing" the base.

In Louisiana, Vitty-cent is part of the strategy to unseat Mary Landrieu by demonizing her moderate views on social issues. We all know that Mary is actually more liberal on these issues than her voting record.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 3:39:00 PM  
Anonymous dangerblond said...

I was talking with a friend tonight who said, "I wonder if Vitter has any clue that he would be a hero to more than half of Republicans if he said, "I am against gay marriage, but the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast is a much more important issue and I have to devote my time to that."

The thing that is so deflating is that this demagoguery works. It will work for Vitter, you watch.

The "historical importance of marriage" is this issue's counterpart to the notion that the roots of American law lie in the Decalogue. It's a cheesy right-wing way of getting around separation of church and state by drafting a dummy argument that is non-sectarian. I just finished my second year of law school and we covered the roots of American law. The 10 commandments never came up, and I go to a Roman Catholic law school. When was the last time anyone you know was arrested for not honoring their mother and father? Sued for forgetting the sabbath and not keeping it holy? Jailed for having other god(s) than Yahwah? Coveting your neighbor's whatever? Most of the 10 commandments are not laws, and marriage in it's current state is a fairly recent innovation. The foundation of society is the building of cities. Why don't we have a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay people from living in cities? Huh? That makes about as much sense as denying them the right to walk down the aisle.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 9:49:00 PM  

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