Thursday, August 05, 2010

California Stories

Nine-Digit Whitman
I've seen this before just not on this scale. Billionaire Meg Whitman has hired just about every campaign consultant in California. She has outspent her Democratic rival Jerry Brown by 15,000% yet the best she can show for it is a dead heat.

If you give political consultants unlimited money to spend they will spend it. They will spend all of it and more. They will spend it publishing 50 page booklets that absolutely no one, including the consultants, will ever bother reading. They will buy English language ads attacking Hispanics while at the same time buying Spanish language ads with the exact opposite message.

The consultants are so orgasmic over spending this kind of money they don't even realize the supreme irony of someone so extravagantly wasteful as Whitman claiming to be a fiscal conservative.

The Marrying Kind
Speaking of irony, have you ever noticed that the people who claim to be defending marriage are the ones most aggressively against other people getting married.

I find it interesting the number of Republicans who, when faced with the issue of gay marriage, immediately begin to fantasize about marrying their horses.

Marriage is, separately, a civil contract and a religious rite. As a civil contract the state has a legitimate reason to regulate it but only for legitimate cause such as age of consent. The state cannot use illegitimate causes to ban a civil contract such as race (miscegenation), religion (the state cannot make it illegal for a Muslim to marry a Jew), and gender.

As a religious rite, marriage can have many definitions. The Episcopal Church is drafting gay marriage rites. In the United States there are Mormon sects that still sanctify polygamy, marrying dead people (proxy marriage), and child weddings. None of these are legal as civil marriages and the latter is legally statutory rape. Many Southern Christian sects still refuse to sanctify interracial marriages. The more fundamentalist the sect the more likely it is to refuse to allow interfaith marriage.

When Perry v. Schwarzenegger comes to the US Supreme Court, and it will, Justice Antonin Scalia ought to recuse himself because this proves he cannot be objective. Yet we know he won't because that would require a little intellectual honesty.

Dog Days of Summer
The plan by California teabaggers to use dogs to protest building a mosque (Is Temecula close to Ground Zero?) fizzled. Apparently, the belief by the Christians was that Muslims "hate dogs" and if a few mutts slobber on the construction site the mosque will have to be moved. Well, only one dog showed up and he was leashed. Apparently, dogs are more tolerant of other faiths than conservatives. Of course, dog spelled backwards is....

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