Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Defeat Of The Douthat

Shorter Ross Douthat: Now that gays have gained more civil rights it would be churlish of them to expect to use them.

Douthat fancies himself surrendering at the Battle of Appomattox in his Civil War Against Homosexual Aggression. No longer can a man stand up straight and proud, look another man in the face, and say, "We don't serve you kind in here." Nor can a fine example of American womanhood look at a young bride in love choosing her wedding dress with her mother and tell her, "Get out of my shop you degenerate whore. God bless!"
We are not really having an argument about same-sex marriage anymore, and on the evidence of Arizona, we’re not having a negotiation. Instead, all that’s left is the timing of the final victory — and for the defeated to find out what settlement the victors will impose.
Poor, poor Ross. Conservatives are always honorary Southerners, lamenting the lost glories of times past when they were able to subjugate others by law, thus proving their innate superiority. He already knows that settlement the victors will impose; they will expect everyone to obey secular discrimination laws instead of letting fundamentalists force everyone to obey religious "laws."

If everyone would only obey Douthat's religious laws he wouldn't be weird, left behind and out of touch. You know, uncool. He would be a big man, a religious leader; important, influential. Now he's just a soft white man with a broken sword, forced to kneel before a gay General and admit defeat.

And because he's nothing but a weak, powerless moral scold, he begs and whines for the winners to be generous and give up everything they just fought for.
One possibility is that this division will recede into the cultural background, with marriage joining the long list of topics on which Americans disagree without making a political issue out of it. In this scenario, religious conservatives would essentially be left to promote their view of wedlock within their own institutions, as a kind of dissenting subculture emphasizing gender differences and procreation, while the wider culture declares that love and commitment are enough to make a marriage. And where conflicts arise — in a case where, say, a Mormon caterer or a Catholic photographer objected to working at a same-sex wedding — gay rights supporters would heed the advice of gay marriage’s intellectual progenitor, Andrew Sullivan, and let the dissenters opt out “in the name of their freedom — and ours.”
It would take a series of posts to examine the phenomenon that is Andrew Sullivan so let's just say that we see no need to bow to religious laws over secular laws. Douthat admits that religious people persecuted gays in the past but doesn't want people to be too hasty here and actually stop persecuting gays.
So being marginalized, being sued, losing tax-exempt status — this will be uncomfortable, but we should keep perspective and remember our sins, and nobody should call it persecution.
But they will anyway; they still are in the South, 150 years later. And Douthat will make sure that everyone knows he is a persecuted minority, continuously beset by a degenerate liberal culture that is trying to marginalize him from existence.
Meanwhile, pressure would be brought to bear wherever the religious subculture brushed up against state power. Religious-affiliated adoption agencies would be closed if they declined to place children with same-sex couples. (This has happened in Massachusetts and Illinois.) Organizations and businesses that promoted the older definition of marriage would face constant procedural harassment, along the lines suggested by the mayors who battled with Chick-fil-A. And, eventually, religious schools and colleges would receive the same treatment as racist holdouts like Bob Jones University, losing access to public funds and seeing their tax-exempt status revoked.
Then maybe the religious subculture will learn to keep their noses where they belong, in the religious sphere, instead of constantly attempting to replace secular laws with religious laws.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Ross is still getting paid by the NYT, just like plenty of other hacks there and at the WaPo.

It's hard for me to say they're losing anything.

As long as they keep us all focused on the culture wars, our neoliberal Democrats and the goopers will keep taking turns sticking it to Americans who make money with their labor, while serving the privileged few who make money with their money.

Susan of Texas said...

Fighting the elite would cost them. Fighting fundamentalists wouldn't.

Duncan Mitchel said...

"In this scenario, religious conservatives would essentially be left to promote their view of wedlock within their own institutions, as a kind of dissenting subculture emphasizing gender differences and procreation, while the wider culture declares that love and commitment are enough to make a marriage."

Funny thing -- that is exactly what the recognition of civil marriage for same-sex couples will do. Religious institutions will be able to set their own rules and standards, they just won't be able to legislate for the non-religious or even for other religious institutions.

Susan of Texas said...

The religious right wants revenge for losing out in the culture wars. Sine they can't figure out who screwed them over they'll settle for the people they perceive to be most vulnerable to attack.

Anonymous said...

Chunky Reese Witherspoon

Susan of Texas said...

It should be an ice cream flavor. Chocolate and peaches.

Susan of Texas said...

This should be a vulnerable moment for Douthat. I think if we rubbed it in we could make him cry.

More seriously, Democrats, like everyone else, love to win. We should be pressing to separate women's rights from religious control as well because we would win.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the posts on that schweinehund, Andrew Sullivan.

cynic said...

Fighting the elite would cost them. Fighting fundamentalists wouldn't.

Not if they were one and the same.

Susan of Texas said...

Whether or not they ever control Congress, the tea party will always be controlled by someone. When they have been used up, the billionaires will start a new grassroots movement.

I don't have a lot to say about Sullivan. I don't think I've ever seen anyone quite so pleased with himself. It's hard to hold up a mirror to someone who would just admire himself in it.

"As a youth Sullivan was a fervent fan of Margaret Thatcher and later Ronald Reagan. He says of that time, "what really made me a right-winger was seeing the left use the state to impose egalitarianism—on my school",[24] after the Labour government tried to merge his school for bright children with the local comprehensive." Wikipedia

Conservatives are people who told themselves in childhood that they are much better than those grotty (fill-in-the-blank).

Anonymous said...

"It's hard to hold up a mirror to someone who would just admire himself in it."


Kathy said...

Its true "the Left" overreached in some of our policies- but they were experimental and basically intended to help a majority of people.

"The Right's" policies have been used -for thousands of years- by the "elites", and were/are always intended to benefit only the super-rich, and are used ONLY to dominate and exploit the 99%.

That is the right's definition of Social Darwinism, "survival of the strongest".

Anonymous said...

Batocchio said...

Just when you thought Douthat couldn't get any whinier or more despicable...

Susan of Texas said...

I can't get over the fact that people claim they can refuse to do business with gays because the Bible says it's an abomination. The Bible says a lot of stuff is an abomination but most of that is ignored. Why indulge someone's beliefs regarding sex when you won't in food, clothing, or women's rights?

Catholics think condoms are an abomination; they are sacriligious because the the users disobey God by putting their own wants above his. According to popular myth Lucifer was cast out of Heaven for doing the same thing. Yet nobody is trying to outlaw condoms, or write laws saying you can refuse to serve masterbators because God commands it.

What did these people expect to achieve if the law was passes? Gays can still sue, they are just more likely to lose. That's very expensive and time-consuming. The business people claim they only care about religious ceremonies so they will only deprive themselves of a high profit product. They risk being blacklisted by everyone in the wedding industry, whichever is not exactly gay or friend-of-gay free. Not to mention the general business climate, which wants customers, not controversy, boycotts and negative publicity.

The truth is that they are losing on gay marriage and want to strike back, spitefully and cruelly. Just as they wanted to cruelly and spitefully strike against a country that didn't attack us, out of revenge for a blow to their image of their God-given innate superiority and manly invulnerability. So they call it freedom and sit back with a smug smirk as we bend over backwards to accommodate their lie.

Now they've gone to far but they still whine and beg for obedience to their authority. All they are showing is their own weakness. Even their own party won't listen to them anymore. Billionaires are where the money's at right now and they want all regulations killed as they offload all their expenses on the taxpayer.

But that's just the rant of a housewife. I'll let the liberal men in power handle this. They were so successful with abortion.

Susan of Texas said...


What is the future of conservatism? Which ideas should it champion? What policies should it embrace? Since the 2012 election, a number of young, leading-edge journalists, scholars, and authors have been engaged in a rich conversation about these questions. Deeply versed in the nuances of policy, they have offered and debated big-think suggestions and ideas in response to the challenges facing our nation. Please join the Manhattan Institute on March 11, 2014, for a roundtable discussion, moderated by David Brooks of The New York Times.

Josh Barro, National Correspondent, The New York Times
Yuval Levin, Founding Editor, National Affairs
Megan McArdle, Columnist, Bloomberg View
Avik Roy, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; Opinion Editor, Forbes
Reihan Salam, Contributing Editor, National Review
MODERATOR: David Brooks, Columnist, The New York Times

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's like a mini-CPAC

Susan of Texas said...

It's the Tea Party Elite's tea party. Complete with cucumber sandwich (Brooks).

Everyone talks about the tea party rank-and-file but the elite are much more interesting. The rank and file are the followers, who will organize and work hard if they have a leader to tell them what to do. They are the army and their name changes as their usefulness waxes and wanes.

They were the moral majority and then they were the tea partiers and now they will be the libertarians. Libertarians have never had any political power. Only wealthy individuals who call themselves libertarian have had power.

The interesting thing about that list is the mediocrity of the people on it. Billionaires can't buy anyone better than that lot? All you need are authoritarian followers who are counting the days until they strike it rich and join the elite, where they rightfully belong.

Susan of Texas said...

If you don't let someone bully you, you are oppressing the bullies!

Not that they are bullies, they just want freedom to worship the way they see fit. Which includes bullying gays out of public life.

This is why you don't discuss public policy with people who mingle public and religious policy. They do not believe in the separation of church and state and they should not be indulged one iota.

aimai said...

I'm sorry I missed this first time out, Susan. Its quite, quite, perfect. Full of great lines and totally on point.