Schlafly Still Thinks They’re Gonna Win on Marriage


One of the most amusing things to me is watching the Christian right try to convince themselves and others that they’re not losing the fight on same-sex marriage. Phyllis Schlafly does so by citing polling data only of Republicans as if they represent everyone.

If you get your news from the mainstream media, you may believe that the adoption of gay marriage is the wave of the future, that its momentum is so strong that it is unbeatable. But not so fast. That may not be true at all. All this so-called momentum is created by supremacist judges who are trying to impose their left-wing bias even on states where the voters have passed a referendum putting only traditional husband-wife marriage into their state constitution. Unfortunately, we are stuck with some supremacist judges who claim we have a “living” Constitution and pretend that they can rewrite our laws and even our Constitution. This marriage issue will probably go to the U.S. Supreme Court in about a year, and we don’t know how the Court will rule.

Let’s first look at the so-called momentum to abolish marriage as we have known it for centuries and what the public opinion polls tell us. A new poll by Wilson Research Strategies surveyed Republicans and Republican-leading Independents and found that 82% agree that marriage should be defined only as a union between “one man and one woman.” It also found that 75% disagreed that “politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.”

The Republican National Platform adopted in Tampa in 2012 says: “We reaffirm our support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

After Nevada Republicans dropped traditional marriage from their state platform, the Republican Party promptly punished Nevada by rejecting Las Vegas as a site for the 2016 Republican National Convention. It is unfortunate if marriage becomes a political issue between Republicans and Democrats, but it does look as if politics is going that way. We are looking for candidates who will defend marriage and not be swept along in the gay tide.

So this is her argument, in essence: People who are against same-sex marriage are against same-sex marriage, therefore we’re going to win. Of course, polls of all voters, including Republicans, show exactly the opposite, that about 55-60% of Americans now support marriage equality and it continues to climb. And the longer the Republican party continues to pretend that isn’t the case, the more bigoted and old-fashioned they’re going to look to a growing majority of Americans.

Comments

  1. Johnny Vector says

    A new poll by Wilson Research Strategies surveyed Republicans and Republican-leading Independents and found that 82% agree that marriage should be defined only as a union between “one man and one woman.”

    Huh. That sounds high, even for Republicans. Let me just… Hang on. What’s this?

    For more than a decade, WPA Opinion Research (formerly Wilson Research Strategies) has helped elect Senators, Congressmen, and other leaders; helped not-for-profit organizations grow donor support; and helped companies weather crises, enter new markets, and thrive in current ones.

    WPA’s research is grounded in traditional research techniques but adds the latest behavioral science and communications science discoveries to show our clients how to change opinions and behaviors.

    Might as well rename the company O. W. A Giveaway and Associates.

  2. says

    “supremacist judges who claim we have a “living” Constitution and pretend that they can rewrite … even our Constitution…. Republican National Platform … says: “We reaffirm our support for a constitutional amendment defining…”

    Um???

  3. Chiroptera says

    And the longer the Republican party continues to pretend that isn’t the case, the more bigoted and old-fashioned they’re going to look to a growing majority of Americans.

    *sigh*

    And yet they will still win elections. They will continue to hold a large enough minority to completely gum up the works and move the Overton window on other important issues, and may even occassionally be the majority party.

  4. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    @2
    How dare they try to change the constitution! We need to change it so they can’t change it anymore!

  5. says

    “All this so-called momentum is created by supremacist judges who are trying to impose their left-wing bias even on states where the voters have passed a referendum putting only traditional husband-wife marriage into their state constitution.

    Yes, like those left-leaning, “supremacist” (whatever the fuck that means) judges in Virginia who were appointed by Dubya.

    “Let’s first look at the so-called momentum to abolish marriage as we have known it for centuries and what the public opinion polls tell us.”

    Was that only going back centuries a tacit admission that to go back millennia one would have to acknowledge Abraham’s marriage to his sister? And the biblical account that from two people the world was populated through incest and then, when Bible-monster blew a gasket and killed nearly everyone, was repopulated by incest?
    There was so much brother-sister fucking in the Bible I’m surprised the Israelites didn’t invent the banjo and trailer parks.

  6. vmanis1 says

    Ms Schlafly’s argument is that the Constitution is what it is, and judges can’t overturn anything done in its name.[*] While I’m very happy that SCOTUS sustained Obamacare (except, unfortunately, for the Medicaid provisions), it’s worth performing a thought-experiment in which they overturned it. I can just hear now the Schlafly-ites declaiming `Oh noes the activist judges have turned back a law passed by both houses and signed by the president. Bad activist judges!!!’ Yeah, right.

    [*] Ms Schlafly’s apparent position is not the same as Justice [sic] Scalia’s `originalism’, which says `the Constitution means whatever I need it to mean to support my preferred outcome’.

  7. colnago80 says

    I can foresee a scenario where, in fact, Ms. Schlafly might win out.

    1. The SCOTUS declines to review appeals from 2014 and 2015 cases from lower courts.

    2. A Rethuglican is elected president in 2016.

    3. Justice Ginsburg leaves the court after the election.

    4. A right wing fascist ratfucker is appointed by the Rethuglican President to replace her.

    5. The new court in 2017 accepts an appeal from a 2016 case from a lower court.

    6. The new court then votes 5 to 4 to overturn all previous same sex marriage decisions and rules that it is unconstitutional.

    Don’t think this can happen? Given the negative attitude towards Hillary Clinton, sufficient numbers of Democratic voters may say home or vote for a 3rd party candidate to switch enough purple states to the Rethuglican camp. That’s what happened in 2000.

  8. greg1466 says

    It is unfortunate if marriage becomes a political issue between Republicans and Democrats,”

    I agree. So how about Republicans stop making it an issue?

  9. says

    It’s amusing to see “supremacist” used in this way, without any real sense of a claim to anyone’s supremacy. She must know at some level how ridiculous either “gay supremacist” or “leftwing supremacist” would sound, so she just hollows out the term for its rhetorical value (she knows that “supremacist” sounds bad, even though she’s a male supremacist).

    Also amusing to see the reference to the Nevada Republican Party’s action, which obviously suggests a movement away from bigotry on the part of at least some Republicans, which had to be “punished” by the national party (I have no idea whether this played a role in their convention decision or not, but the remarks do nothing to help her case about the momentum not being real). Furthermore, even if those percentages among Republicans were accurate, you can’t use static percentages to make an argument about the existence of change. Atheists and nonreligious people are still minorities, but the percentages are growing. You can only assess change by looking at changing percentages over time.

  10. Mobius says

    Well, ya know, Republicans don’t really believe in polls. If the poll says what they believe, then their beliefs are vindicated. If the poll disagrees with their beliefs, then the poll is skewed. Perfectly clear.

  11. says

    The right wing seems to badly want this to be the new gender-equality or civil-rights movement: the kind of thing where, even after they’ve ostensibly lost, they can nurse a grudge for years with dog-whistles to the defeated and continue to hold up actual equality and shore up their support.

    But it’s really, really not going to work the way they want. Several previous ongoing and historic movements for equality — the abolition of slavery, increasing women’s rights, the civil rights struggle, the ongoing immigration and minimum-wage debates — have been (or will be if successful) authentically traumatic to the social or economic status quo, and have deprived the dominant groups of useful disenfrachised groups. I’d argue (as would most of us, I imagine) this trauma is necessary and good, but it certainly creates ripples and some exploitable resentment.

    OTOH, while gay people have been disenfranchised, they haven’t been disenfranchised in a way that’s actually been useful to anyone, or even very consistently practiced, since gay people are not socially, ethnically, or economically cohesive, and which can be hidden easily in a way that, say, gender and ethnicity cannot. So social equity for gay people (including, but not limited to same-sex marriage) precipitates no crisis, induces no trauma, and fosters no resentment, because nobody’s actually harmed by it.

    The right wing doesn’t seem to get this and is going all-in on an issue which will not only be lost in the near future, but which won’t even be politically useful after their defeat.

  12. D. C. Sessions says

    Ironically, your scenario is exactly the kind of “judicial activism” that Schlafly is decrying here.

    It’s only “judicial activism” if the result doesn’t suit Phyllis.

  13. dugglebogey says

    Non-republican votes are only illegal immigrants or other invalid people so they don’t count.

    Obviously.

    LOL @ “Trying to ‘abolish marriage as we know it’.” Yes, your marriages will all be anulled, and you will be required to find a person of your same gender to marry immediately! NOW! DO IT!

  14. lorn says

    As I read that I wonder if Schlafly might just be talking about the inside baseball of the Republican party. In essence saying that ‘because the vast majority of Republicans are against same-sex marriage the party will remain strongly against same-sex marriage. This means that Schlafly and the legion of blow-hard will remain gainfully employed for the near term.

    I think Schlafly’s message is about party doctrine and strategy. Her prognosis is that because the vast majority of Republicans are bigots the party will maintain its rigid anti same-sex marriage stance and revisit the issue in light of any ruling by the supreme court.

    Which is IMHO, a good thing because this is a losing issue that is costing them votes.

    On a more interesting note:
    Anyone notice the spelling on “A new poll by Wilson Research Strategies surveyed Republicans and Republican-leading Independents and found” … ?

    It made me smile thinking about some woman leading Dick Cheney around on a leash.

  15. felidae says

    Does Phyllis look into her mirror every morning and say “mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all” and believes it when the answer is affirmative?

  16. busterggi says

    Dear Phyllis,

    There is a reason why the mainstream media is not called the theofascist media.

    Sincerely yours,

    Reality

  17. scienceavenger says

    Even her own data doesn’t support her claim, to wit:

    A new poll by Wilson Research Strategies surveyed Republicans and Republican-leading Independents and found that [18% disagreed] that marriage should be defined only as a union between “one man and one woman.” It also found that [25% agreed] that “politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.”

    So basically 18-25% of GOPers are on the gay-marriage side of this. Care to go dig up the figures for the same poll 10 years ago Phyllis and see how the compare? 20? Momentum indeed.

  18. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    I’m still puzzling over the 7% who think that “marriage should be defined only as a union between ‘one man and one woman’, and also that “politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.”

  19. pocketnerd says

    Is it just me, or do a lot of right-wing talking points these days have an unsubtle subtext of “Only ideologically pure Conservatives should have political representation”?

  20. abb3w says

    The current trajectory is for the GOP to change stance on the issue some time shortly after they lose the 2020 presidential election; at that point, more GOP and GOP-leaning voters will support gay marriage than oppose it.

    Past performance is not a guarantee of future results, however.

  21. abb3w says

    @19, scienceavenger — while it doesn’t look like Wilson Research Strategies has been polling for that entire time, there’s data in the GSS from 2004-2012, along with an isolated query back in 1988.

    But it’s pretty funny that she’s trying to portray momentum using only one (partial) observation on location.

  22. marcus says

    fifthdentist @ 6 “There was so much brother-sister fucking in the Bible I’m surprised the Israelites didn’t invent the banjo and trailer parks.’
    Hey goddamnit! I grew up in the south in a trailer park (no banjos,some incest a couple of generations back) and as soon as I stop laughing I’m going to be highly offended!

  23. John Pieret says

    Okay …

    The Red Baron has shot up your plane.

    It’s on fire.

    It’s plunging toward the ground at 200+ mph.

    You have no parachute.

    You shake your fist at the “mainstream media.”

    You win! … just before gravity takes effect!

  24. John Pieret says

    lorn @ 16:

    It made me smile thinking about some woman leading Dick Cheney around on a leash.

    Go see Modus and he’ll let you have one of his backyard internets for that,

  25. says

    There are times when I think the right’s entire contemporary dysfunction can be traced directly back to Phyllis Schlafly. The dishonesty, the stupidity, the bigotry, the paranoia, being completely out of touch with modern culture — she’s the one who dialed it all up to 11. She was out-Glenn Becking Glenn Beck and out-Coultering Coulter before those derivative wannabes were even born. She’s been at this shit for decades. If only some conservative apparatchik back when would have followed his orders to kill her, conservatism just might have spared itself the freak show that resulted from her influence.

  26. lorn says

    Phyllis Schlafly has always been a hate filled shrew, and you are right Ann Coulter is a pale imitation, but Schlafly has always been quite open about her malevolent and malignant tendencies. She is what she is and is fairly honest about it. The one that always raked me the wrong way was Anita Bryant. She was sweetly smiling, candy coated, and exceedingly wholesome on the outside and hate filled and cancerous on the inside.

  27. cedrus says

    @13: I agree with your starting point – but I’m not convinced that granting social equality for gays is harmless, at least from the right’s POV. Right-wing opposition to gay rights isn’t actually about the gays; when they bang on about “threats to our way of life”, IME they mean it, and progressives who think it’s hot air badly underestimate the situation.

    Right-wingers are big on everyone knowing their place. Marriages are “complementary” – the man brings home the money and makes the decisions, while the woman does the scutwork and devotes herself to family and community. Your social standing is determined by how well you perform your God-given role. Failure leads to misery and exile. This is how their world works.

    But there’s no way to pretend a gay marriage follows this script. If two men can raise well-adjusted children and two women can pay their mortgage…what do you need gender roles for? Worse, the gays are openly and knowingly flouting the Bible, and yet nothing bad is happening. They should be miserable, but they aren’t. So the right wing thinks it’s their job to make the gays suffer appropriately, so nobody’s tempted to join in.

    There are a lot of people with a strong, entrenched interest in keeping this system going. (Men enjoy their live-in maid. Women identify with their rank in the “better wife than you” contest.) It won’t go quietly. Look at the ongoing, never-ending, reliably asinine fight over birth control…that’s the right wing trying to make sure the sluts don’t go unpunished, and the sluts aren’t nearly the existential threat the gays are.

    Sanity appears to be winning the gay-marriage round, but this ain’t over. Not even remotely over.

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