Perry Backpedals on Federalism and Marriage Equality


Gov. Rick Perry committed the nearly unforgivable sin among wingnuts by making an almost sane statement on marriage equality when he said last week that he had no problem with New York allowing same-sex marriage because it’s an issue each state should decide. Now he is quickly backing away from the abyss of sanity and fleeing back to Wingnuttia as quickly as he can.

Perry, 61, said social issues should be decided state by state and even remarked that New York’s passage of gay marriage law was that state’s business. Still, he said he would support a constitutional amendment that takes away the power of the states to decide who can get married.

“Yes, sir, I would. I am for the federal marriage amendment,” he said. “And that’s about as sharp a point as I could put on it.”

Which completely contradicts what he said last week, of course. But if it keeps him in the good graces of the bigots, that’s all that really matters to him.

What’s funny about this is how often it has happened among the Republican candidates so far. Mitt Romney almost came out and admitted that human beings have something to do with global climate change a couple months ago and the wingnuts went crazy, so he had to quickly walk it back and say that he doesn’t think the EPA should regulate greenhouse gases at all. If you dare to say something even in the neighborhood of being sane, you could cost yourself the Republican nomination in 2012.

Comments

  1. rwahrens says

    Yep, the inmates are most definitely in charge of this here asylum! I wonder how long until they decide that the sane ones don’t belong and need to be shot?

  2. Chiroptera says

    And you know, the Right will still claim that one of the important things that they stand for is States’ Rights and the rights of local communities to govern themselves.

  3. Dennis N says

    Perry Backpedals on Federalism? More like Perry wouldn’t know what you’re talking about if you said the word “federalism” since it’s not a dog-whistle, like “States’ Rights”.

  4. doolittle says

    @Chiroptera

    Perry made that very claim during his initial backpedaling interview with Tony Perkins, albeit in with a dash of within-the-same-paragraph self-contradiction that seems to be running rampant among GOP candidates and potential candidates.

    The money quote: “Our Constitution was designed to respect states…I have long supported the appointment of judges who respect the Constitution and the passage of a federal marriage amendment. That amendment defines marriage as between one man and one woman and it protects the states from being told otherwise,” he affirmed.

    So Perry’s idea of States’ rights is for federal law to force all states to do something so that they can be protected from federal law coming in and forcing them to do something.

  5. Phillip IV says

    If you dare to say something even in the neighborhood of being sane, you could cost yourself the Republican nomination in 2012.

    That’s really the quandary – the position that Perry originally took isn’t really much different from many of the other, more sensible Republican candidates. If he had thrown around the phrase “States’ Rights” enough, it would have passed without much notice – his mistake was saying “it’s fine with me”, when the wingnuts wanted to hear “I will grudingly comply with the law and restrict myself to petty obstruction”. It’s not just about what he would do as President, it’s how he would feel about doing it.

    Same for Romney – no matter how often he reassures the wingnuts that he wouldn’t support a single progressive measure, it’s just not enough. Not because they think he would go back on that promise, just because they think he’s not really feeling the hate inside.

  6. Aquaria says

    Perry Backpedals on Federalism? More like Perry wouldn’t know what you’re talking about if you said the word “federalism” since it’s not a dog-whistle, like “States’ Rights”.

    I wouldn’t bet on that if I were you.

    Perry is not stupid. He can play stupid to please his audience of the moment, but he isn’t stupid in reality.

    Big difference.

  7. otrame says

    They worship the Constitution the way they worship the bible. They don’t actually read or attempt to understand either of them. They treat them like graven images, representing something to be, quite literally, idolized. That makes it so easy to ignore the parts they don’t want to think about and both documents become whatever they want them to be instead of what they actually are.

  8. says

    There was a neurological study done a while back which found that conservatives are less attuned to cognitive dissonance that liberals are. Perry is a prime example of this, but he certainly isn’t the only conservative who has adopted the mutually exclusive propositions “The states can define marriage for themselves” and “There should be a constitutional amendment defining marriage”. I’ve noticed that this is actually a very common occurrence on the right. I think many of these people seriously just don’t know how to recognize when two positions are logically incompatible.

  9. Aquaria says

    The money quote: “Our Constitution was designed to respect states…I have long supported the appointment of judges who respect the Constitution and the passage of a federal marriage amendment. That amendment defines marriage as between one man and one woman and it protects the states from being told otherwise,” he affirmed.

    Ah, classic Perry waffling and talking out of both sides of his mouth, to be all things to as many voters as possible. It takes some serious chutzpah to rattle that off with a straight face, but he did it.

  10. Darron says

    At least since the mid-20th Century, conservatives haven’t cared about federalism or “States’ Rights” as such. When the direction of the federal government was towards reducing economic and legal inequality and expanding personal liberty and control over one’s own body, conservatives were for “States’ Rights” because they could use it to defend policies they liked that held sway in some states.

    Conservative opposition to things like federal civil rights laws, protection for workers under federal law, federal regulation of business practices, and others was often couched in terms of federalism and respect for “States’ Rights.” Once conservatives seized control of the federal government, they may have occasionally paid empty lip service to federalism, but it doesn’t actually play any substantive role. Conservatives don’t care about “States’ Rights” if any State wants to follow policies conservatives don’t like concerning abortion, family planning, GLBT rights, drug decriminalization or legalization, political campaign finance regulation, and now even business regulation.

    Conservative politicians are always on the forefront of efforts to preempt state and local laws that protect workers and consumers against business interests. Don’t like a state law that mandates that health insurance policies must cover particular kinds of risks? Claim it’s preempted by ERISA. Don’t like the way state products liability law affects drug and medical devices companies? Cite preemption by the Food and Drug Act. Don’t like it that state law says claimants cannot be compelled to arbitrate certain human or civil rights claims or consumer fraud cases? The Federal Arbitration Act comes to the rescue. Don’t want doctors to be able to prescribe medical marijuana and their patients to be able to buy it legally? No problem – the federal Controlled Substances Act still applies to revoke doctors’ DEA licenses to prescribe any controlled substance and to permit prosecution of medical marijuana suppliers and (in theory, at least, if not in practice) patients.

    Most conservatives favor “States’ Rights” when they don’t like current federal policy and they insist on federal preemption when they prefer federal policy over that of the states. It’s just that most of us grew up associating conservatives with “States Rights” because they used federalism to resist being dragged into a more just, modern world during the time of the late 20th Century civil rights movement.

  11. MIchael Heath says

    Gov. Perry in FRC Interview:

    Yes sir, and I have long supported the appointment of judges who respect the constitution and the passage of a federal marriage amendment. That amendment defines marriage between one man and one woman, and it protects the states from being told otherwise.

    I can’t imagine how a person could contrive such an argument. It’s a type of mental gymnastics completely foreign to me.

  12. democommie says

    “I can’t imagine how a person could contrive such an argument. It’s a type of mental gymnastics completely foreign to me.”

    Yes, Michael Heath, I believe you. Then again, you did quit being a member of the GOP, even BEFORE it went competely nucking futz.

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