On the day that the Democrats lost a Senate seat once held for forty years by Ted Kennedy, I thought it was worth mentioning that although I tend to lean left on most things, not all conservatives subscribe to the intolerance of the right wing of the Republican Party.
If conservatives like Theodore Olson, the Solicitor General under George Bush and frequently mentioned by Republicans and Democrats as a possible Supreme Court nominee were running the Republican Party, as opposed to the fringe lunatics who are currently steering the ship, the Democrats would be doomed.
His Conservative Case for Gay Marriage in Newsweek is exactly the kind of message that Republicans should be sending. From the piece:
“The explanation mentioned most often (for rejecting gay marriage) is tradition. But simply because something has always been done a certain way does not mean that it must always remain that way. Otherwise we would still have segregated schools and debtors' prisons.”
“Even those whose religious convictions preclude endorsement of what they may perceive as an unacceptable "lifestyle" should recognize that disapproval should not warrant stigmatization and unequal treatment.”
“I understand, but reject, certain religious teachings that denounce homosexuality as morally wrong, illegitimate, or unnatural; and I take strong exception to those who argue that same-sex relationships should be discouraged by society and law. Science has taught us, even if history has not, that gays and lesbians do not choose to be homosexual any more than the rest of us choose to be heterosexual. To a very large extent, these characteristics are immutable, like being left-handed. And, while our Constitution guarantees the freedom to exercise our individual religious convictions, it equally prohibits us from forcing our beliefs on others. I do not believe that our society can ever live up to the promise of equality, and the fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, until we stop invidious discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”
Instead of this reasoned, tolerant, and thoughtful position from a man who is willing to stand apart from the party leadership, the Republicans give us the three-headed monster of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, complete with a seedy Dick Cheney underbelly.
I’m not happy that the Democrats lost yesterday’s election, and I can’t imagine how they managed to do so in a state like Massachusetts, but as long as the Republicans continue to put forth these seemingly cartoon characters as they voice of their party, even the fumbling, bumbling, politically deaf Democrats stand a chance.