Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Of Extremes ... We Have No End

Okay, okay, okay! Since we brought up John Roberts and opened the door just a crack (below) ... by supposing that he might be a (gasp) moderate on the Supreme Court ... we might as well DISCUSS, as Linda Richman used to request on "Saturday Night Live."

The extreme moral self-righteousness of the Rev. Dobson and the other mullahs of the Right gets our goat, mainly because we grew up with those people. They ran EVERYTHING in our part of rural West Texas, just as they're trying to run everything in this broad country. They passed judgment on everyone. Passing judgment is what they're all about. I've seen them purge churches of people who seemed too "moderate" for their hard-line doctrines. Purges are their speciality.

Dobson and the other cheerleaders for El Presidente's born-again agenda for America want no less than to purge the United States of its sin, starting with the sin of abortion and moving on to the sin of homosexuality and then taking on the really complicated sin of depending on the government for help.

Will Roberts aid them with their purge? I look at that beefeater's face of his and think I see a purge-meister. Wonkette has been suggesting for days that's he's actually g.a.y. himself, for whatever that proves. Don't we know by now that closeted gays on the Right are every bit as willing to drop the blade as any Mr. MachoMan?

About all of this, Richard Cohen's column in today's WashPost gives me thoughtful pause. Cohen conjures on the news that came out in the L.A. Times last week ... that Roberts volunteered his time on behalf of gay rights: "As a partner in the prestigious Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson, Roberts helped prepare lawyers who were challenging a Colorado law that specifically exempted gays from state anti-discrimination measures. In other words, a landlord or employer in Colorado could not have discriminated against blacks or Muslims or Asians or Jews or whites or greens or penguins, but could against gays. This odious exception to the law was eventually struck down by the Supreme Court, 6 to 3, in 1996. Roberts played a role."

Roberts was NOT compelled to volunteer his time to this cause. From that slim evidence, Cohen maintains he is therefore NOT a bigot. Furthermore, according to Cohen, Roberts appears to know that not being a bigot might be a problem to those pushing him into a seat on the Supreme Court, for he withheld this information about his gay pro bono work from the 83 pages he submitted to the Senate outlining his finances, his OTHER pro bono work, and other matters of interest. "He knows the political peril of tolerance," writes Cohen.

The reaction of the White House & its mullah allies to this revelation of gay cosiness is what most arrests our attention: "Dana Perino, a White House spokeswoman, pointed out that Roberts had spent less than 10 hours working on the gay rights case. She made it sound like a one-night stand, a youthful indiscretion for which no adult should be held accountable."

Other leaders of other right-wing groups have rushed to explain that Roberts was NOT being tolerant. Heavens no! (Though Rev. Dobson was on Fox News last night admitting he was "concerned" that a man comfortable with helping gay people might be sneaked onto the High Court.)

E.J. Dionne Jr. is also in today's WashPost with the opinion that such extreme moral conservatism is ultimately going to do in the Republican Party. Fine, but will any of us survive the fire to actually see it?

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