Saturday, November 22, 2008

Candace Gingrich: A Letter to Her Brother

Candace Gingrich, the half-sister of former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and an activist with the Human Rights Campaign, has published a "Letter to My Brother" at the Huffington Post. After ridiculing her brother for "bashing" gay marriage protesters demonstrating against Proposition 8, she says this:

Welcome to the 21st century, big bro. I can understand why you're so afraid of the energy that has been unleashed after gay and lesbian couples had their rights stripped away from them by a hateful campaign. I can see why you're sounding the alarm against the activists who use all the latest tech tools to build these rallies from the ground up in cities across the country.

This unstoppable progress has at its core a group we at HRC call Generation Equality. They are the most supportive of full LGBT equality than any American generation ever - and when it comes to the politics of division, well, they don't roll that way. 18-24 year olds voted overwhelmingly against Prop 8 and overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. And the numbers of young progressive voters will only continue to grow. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning, about 23 million 18-29 year olds voted on Nov. 4, 2008 - the most young voters ever to cast a ballot in a presidential election. That's an increase of 3 million more voters compared to 2004.

These are the same people who helped elect Barack Obama and sent a decisive message to your party. These young people are the future and their energy will continue to drive our country forward. Even older Americans are turning their backs on the politics of fear and demagoguery that you and your cronies have perfected over the years.

This is a movement of the people that you most fear. It's a movement of progress - and your words on FOX News only show how truly desperate you are to maintain control of a world that is changing before your very eyes.

Then again, we've seen these tactics before. We know how much the right likes to play political and cultural hardball, and then turn around and accuse us of lashing out first. You give a pass to a religious group - one that looks down upon minorities and women - when they use their money and membership roles to roll back the rights of others, and then you label us "fascists" when we fight back. You belittle the relationships of gay and lesbian couples, and yet somehow neglect to explain who anointed you the protector of "traditional" marriage. And, of course, you've also mastered taking the foolish actions of a few people and then indicting an entire population based on those mistakes. I fail to see how any of these patterns coincide with the values of "historic Christianity" you claim to champion.

Again, nothing new here. This is just more of the blatant hypocrisy we're used to hearing.

What really worries me is that you are always willing to use LGBT Americans as political weapons to further your ambitions. That's really so '90s, Newt. In this day and age, it's embarrassing to watch you talk like that. You should be more afraid of the new political climate in America, because, there is no place for you in it.

In other words, stop being a hater, big bro.
I have commented on most of the points raised by Candace previously (but see here and here, for samples), so I'll just say a couple of more things.

One, I genuinely don't think Proposition 8 was a campaign "based on hate" - the "hate" meme is the wedge device deployed by the left to delegitimize real concerns that the gay agenda has moved too far too fast. Such demonization is the stock-in-trade of people like
Andrew Sullivan.

The voters in this state are rightly concerned with the fact that a four-member majority on the California Supreme Court would overturn the will of a 61 percent popular majority that banned gay marriages in Proposition 22 in 2000. Candace conveniently spins the hate of her allies, which is truly undemocratic and counterproductive to whatever compromises might be necessary for political accommodation.

Also interesting is this thesis that the views of young voters are the wave of the future. Candace assumes, first, that the youth vote is a monolithic pro-same-sex marriage cohort. But one of the most counterintuitive results of the November 4th vote in California was the huge majority of black voters who turned out in favor of the initiative, many of whom
were apparently young and active in social justice issues facing the black community.

Further, survey data cast doubt on the meme of a hegemonic pro-gay-marriage youth wave. For example,
a Pew Forum poll from April of this year found less than a majority of people under thirty (49 percent) favoring gay marriage. One of the key points raised by the Pew study is that the majority of Americans opposed to same-sex marriage is "stable" - that is, in the five years since Massachusetts approved gay marriages in that state public views on the issue have remained generally set.

Note, secondly, that the surge of young voters this year may very well be epiphenomenal, an artifact of Barack Obama's historic candidacy and the unpopularity of the current GOP administration. With the college-age cohort the least engaged demographic in American politics, it's safe to say that the gains in youth participation this year could erode as the novelty of Democratic power wears off (for a related scholarly argument to this effect, see W. Lance Bennett, "
Changing Citizenship in the Digital Age").

What is clear is that Candace - who is apparently an active member of the radical LGBT activist community - is comfortable practicing the very politics she's quick to denounce - for example, defending radical gay allies who have indeed "lashed out," often violently, at those who have exercized their First Amendment rights to political participation.

California leads the nation in civil rights protections for gay Americans. For the same-sex marriage movement, the essential question is not equality before the law (gay marriage is not a federally-recognized civil right) but rather an overthrow of traditional culture, resulting in the establishment of a regime of secular humanism in which moral values based in faith, history, and tradition will be banished from the public sphere. The new order will amount to a cultural freedom of anything-goes licentiousness and irresponsiblity for one's actions, a secular polity of "rights" on demand.

This is what the fight over Prop 8 is about.

Hat Tip: Memeorandum.

Welcome TigerHawk readers!


bluespapa said...

Let's see, marriage is "anything-goes licentiousness and irresponsiblity for one's actions" when practiced by the wrong people, like that Sullivan character.

But Prof. Douglas defends California as leading the nation in gay civil rights. That wouldn't undermine faith, history, and tradition, would it? Queers are okay, but marriage leads to licentiousness?

Yes, Professor, sometimes the democratic will of the people is unconstitutional. As a political science professor, what do you teach you students about all the laws you abhor? That they're immoral? That majority should always rule? That rights are only for the few?

I suspect Proposition 8 will be upheld, although the business of not recognizing marriages legally performed and recognized in other states will eventually have to be adjudicated by the SCOTUS. Marriages have always been recognized among states that do not permit instances thereof. I suspect that will invalidate at least that part of the CA constitution.

But who knows? Maybe the bigots will always be in charge of a right as fundamental as this.

Red, White, and Blue Patriot said...

She is his "half"-sister.

Anonymous said...


Bluespapa wins today's prize for cramming as many strawman arguments into one post as possible!

A magnificent and concise effort.

Other contenders, please try again tomorrow.

repsac3 said...

Strawman arguments?

Perhaps you ought to be more clear, West...
What strawman arguments?

Norm said...

I am getting damn tired of being called a racist or a bigot this year.

My wife has a few names for me and none of them are those !

repsac3 said...

Sullivan mentions hate only once in the piece you (de)link, and only in reference to the more fanatical members of the Catholic church on a variety of issues, rather than regarding gay marriage in particular. As frequently happens here, your link doesn't provide evidence of that which you claim it does.
That said, I don't believe those who voted in favor of the proposition were haters for the most part, either, though some of the instigators of the proposition well may be.

Again, majorities cannot vote to overturn constitutional rights. It is the court's JOB to overturn the will of the people, when the will of the people tramples on what the CA State Constitution says.

Check the stats on the youth vote & prop 8, then report back. As to whether they'll keep voting or keep voting that way, it does remain to be seen, though we do generally walk forward as concerns rights in this country, rather than stand still or go backward.

Defending those who've lashed out? Can you quote her doing any such thing, or is that only in your mind? CAuse it looks to me as though she called those actions foolish, & also got Newter's (& your) number by calling both of you out on blaming everyone in a given group for the actions of the few nutballs who misbehave... (Sweeping generalization, anyone?)

And again (& again) Gay marriage (or ANY marriage) is not a civil right under any Constitution of which I am aware. Equal protection under the law, however, is pretty much a theme of most of 'em. It's wonderful that CA has come as far as it has in this regard. But every instance where "civil union" does not afford the same rights & privileges as "married" should say to all that it isn't as far as CA or the USA can or should go...

Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...
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Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...
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