Thursday, October 30, 2014

NOM's deceptive end game

Brian S. Brown - National Organization for Marriage
National Organization for Marriage is betting its future on the 2014 mid-term elections. Brian Brown is fighting to keep his job. It is, at least in their view, a final chance for both relevance and survival. Today, Brian Brown, NOM's president reminds supporters Only Five Short Days... It is a money-beg. It is also highly disingenuous.

Money:
Won’t you please help us turn out the conservative base that values life and marriage by making a generous donation of $35, $50, $100, $500 or even $1,000 or more right away?
Bullshit:
A pro-marriage majority in the Senate will allow us to advance critical pro-marriage legislation. It will be a powerful check on the Obama Administration’s stealth campaign to redefine marriage through executive order and "regulation." And it will be an obstacle to Obama appointing extremist, activist federal judges to the bench who are willing to throw out the votes of millions of Americans because they arrogantly believe their personal views trump the outcome of elections in over thirty states where voters have stood for the truth of marriage.

The first part of this strategy is simple. Wherever NOM has inserted itself into races they are going to take the credit if their candidate wins. They have, for example, spent a considerable sum (for them) on mailers in North Carolina opposing incumbent Senator Kay Hagan. If Senator Hagan loses there is no way to tell to what extent NOM is responsible. In fact they could very well energize her supporters. Nevertheless, as I said, NOM is going to take all the credit. If so, could NOM have a second life as a political machine?

The second part of the strategy is to claim that GOP victories will have some effect on marriage equality (or marriage discrimination if you prefer). If the GOP gains control of the Senate (and I think that they will), history and tradition tell us that it will have little or no effect on judicial confirmations. Sadly, the Republicans have been quite adept at blocking Obama's nominations as the minority party. However, even if it did we are well beyond the point where it is going to make any difference. The jurists with any potential to affect marriage are already in place. And, by the way, as Mr. Brown knows perfectly well, conservative Republican judges have ruled in favor of equality. NOM's appeal is demonstrably dishonest.

As for "pro-marriage legislation," please. For the two years after new Senators are seated, President Obama would have to sign off on anything. While I think that the GOP will take control of the Senate they will be far from a super-majority. At the same time 2016 is in view and Republicans are still eager to attract younger, socially liberal voters (except for Ted Cruz who seems to have taken up Bachmann's bat-shit wing of the party). NOM's grandiosity is just cynical nonsense.

Over the last few months, National Organization for Marriage has been shaking their fists at equality minded jurists including the US Supreme Court. They can "condemn" judges all they want. It doesn't, and won't, make the slightest difference in how this all plays out. NOM's little tantrums allow Mr. Brown to vent and might appeal to his peanut gallery. Yet they are of no real value.

Come to think of it, NOM is of no real value. They have run out of even bad arguments to thwart the inevitable.

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