Posts Tagged ‘Proposition 8’

Monday Medley

What we read while lamenting the destruction of traditional marriage…

  • Further proof that William Faulkner can write about anything, as if we needed it. Remember the words of Moe Szyslak: “William Faulkner can write an exhaust pipe gag that would really make you think.” Our favorite sentence from this Faulkner Sports Illustrated piece from 1955? “But [the ice] looked not expectant but resigned, like the mirror simulating ice in the Christmas store window, not before the miniature fir trees and reindeer and cosy lamplit cottage were arranged upon it, but after they had been dismantled and cleared away.”
  • We are far from the first ones on this, but sometimes, taking two things that independently aren’t funny, like say, Kanye West tweets and New Yorker cartoons, and putting them together equals comic gold.

The Gay Marriage Conundrum

On Monday, Perry v. Schwarzeneggerthe first legal challenge to the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California’s 2008 ballot initiative banning gay marriage—began in San Francisco. No matter what the outcome, the case is expected to make it to the Supreme Court on appeal.

Ironically, many liberals have been the most outspoken critics of the lawsuit, and for a very good reason: There is a very good chance that this lawsuit will not succeed. After all, 45 states have laws prohibiting gay marriage, only one court (the Iowa State Supreme Court) in the entire country has ruled against gay marriage bans, and the Supreme Court is not very fond of staying out in front of public opinion. The most famous example of the Court’s social progressiveness*—Brown v. the Board of Education—had Chief Justice Earl Warren as a champion; forgive me for skepticism, but it’s hard to imagine John Roberts going to bat for this case. Continue reading

Secretly Liberal?

This week’s New York magazine has, amidst an interesting profile of Neil Patrick Harris and some disappointing hesitancy from David Cross about the Arrested Development movie, an odd article about marijuana: It seems to vacillate between “Pot is practically mainstream now” and “Pot is still pretty taboo.” Nevertheless, it offers a revealing analysis of current marijuana laws.

Maybe the most interesting thing about this article, though, is how tired the debate seems to be at this point: Most people who bring up the topic of legalizing marijuana are staunchly in favor of it, and their arguments are fairly reasonable, but there seems to be little to no chance of it actually happening.

What’s most disconcerting for me isn’t that marijuana will probably not be legalized in my lifetime—I’m white, I don’t have to worry about pot laws—but what this says about the political status quo.

The conventional political wisdom in this country is that the general public is slightly right of center, meaning that liberal measures are tougher to pass. As such, legalizing marijuana would cost more political capital than it’s worth. Continue reading