The Culture War Rout Is On

So, this week George Takei called Clarence Thomas a “clown in black face” for this dissent in Obergefell. He has since apologized for the remark, claiming that he said it in a moment of anger.

As you know, I’m not one for the Outrage of the Day. What set Takei off was Thomas’ argument that government can not take away your dignity no matter what it does; dignity is intrinsic. Thomas used the internment camps as an example and Takei, who was interred, was angered by that comparison. That’s understandable.

However …

The reaction to Takei’s remarks has little to do with him. It has everything to do with a racial smear campaign that has pursued Clarence Thomas since the day he joined the Court. Just as Takei’s comments have their origin in his long experience with racial and anti-gay discrimination, the backlash to them has its origin in 24 years of liberals slagging Clarence Thomas, all too often in racist language. Thomas is a race traitor. Thomas is an Uncle Tom. Thomas doesn’t know his history. Thomas is an idiotic sock puppet of Scalia (actually, the Scalia-Thomas pairing isn’t even in the top ten for SCOTUS). Thomas never writes any significant opinions (I recently cited his wonderful dissent in Kelo; he’s written many many others).

We’re told that Thomas doesn’t understand or care about race relations. We’re told this of a man who was born in the segregationist South; who experienced vile racism in his early life; who was and is an admirer of Malcolm X; who is thoroughly versed in our country’s racial history; who can cite you chapter and verse about how our country has perverted the law and the Constitution to screw over black people. Thomas is well aware of his race, conscious of it and proud of it. But he the temerity to disagree with liberals about how the Constitution should be applied to the law. And so none of that matters.

But there’s something here even beyond the usual Clarence Thomas race-baiting. Let’s take a step back. For the last week, numerous Republicans have been responding angrily to the gay marriage and Obamacare decisions. Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal, among others, have questioned the Court’s legitimacy. We’re told that this is a sign of how insane Republicans are. But … you’ll see equal amounts of rage from the Left when the Court doesn’t go there way. Hell, just last week, people were responding to Scalia’s dissent with angry tweets and articles about Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, decisions which liberals responded to by … gasp! … questioning the legitimacy of the Court.

Look, it’s understandable that people get mad at the Court when it makes decisions they don’t like. Hell, I’m still upset about Kelo. That’s fine. I really don’t see anything unusual or alarming about anti-gay-marriage politicians being angry about the recent decisions. We have to accept the Court’s decisions as a matter of law; but that does not mean we have to accept them into our hearts. Be angry when you think the Court has gotten it wrong.

What’s striking, however, is how angry the Left gets when they win. Granted, most of the Left is just plain happy about last week’s decisions. But there’s a not insignificant faction that’s just furious that the conservative bench had the nerve to dissent.

As Clark at Popehat recently noted, the Culture War in this country has had two distinguishing features: an incredible series of wins for the Left and an even more incredible series of whinges about it:

The problem I have is that the blue alliance has been on a winning streak, and with recent Blue success in gay marriage, immigration of client populations, university-and-media roll-up, etc. I feel like the culture war is over and the victors are going around (metaphorically) humiliating and shooting survivors of the losing side, and conducting mop-up operations. Witness team Blue forcing bakers to bake cakes and forcing photographers to shoot photos for partnerships that they consider immoral. Witness blue team arguing that innocent people should go to jail for rape, because – and I’m quoting Ezra Klein here – we “need to create a world where men are afraid.” Red team men, I take that to mean. Football players. Frat boys. Not nice guys like Ezra.

Look at how the reasonable Left, who would never question the legitimacy of the Court, responded to last year’s Hobby Lobby decision. Just to remind you: the Supreme Court decided that the government could force almost all employers to provide unrestricted contraception coverage to their employees. But because of the RFRA, they decided that a small subset of businesses — privately owned or closely held businesses — could refuse coverage for a small subset of birth control methods that they considered abortificients. It’s exactly the kind of compromise that the Left always claims to want; one that respects our diverse and pluralistic country. In fact, it’s better: they got about 99.5% of what they wanted, with a small bone thrown to religious conservatives. Even better, the Court’s decisions was grounded in a law that can be repealed, not in any supposed First Amendment rights of corporations. By any definition, it was a big win for them.

And yet .. the “reasonable left” who would never question the legitimacy of the Court, responded by proclaiming that we were in a corporate theocracy. They disparaged Catholics on the Court. We were told that it turned back the clock on women’s rights. You can see a bunch of “reasonable” tweets here, including a comparison to Plessy vs. Ferguson (remember when Republicans comparing SCOTUS decisions to Dred Scott was over the line? Good times.)

That’s when they “lose” by such a tiny amount it’s really a huge victory. But last week, the Left won outright. And granted, most liberals are responding with jubilation. My FB feed filled with happy posts about the victory of gay rights. But there is a noisy faction that have spent the last week poring through the dissenting opinions to find something, anything to get in a tizzy over. Jon Stewart has done multiple segments mocking the dissenting opinions and the politicians who didn’t like the rulings. And then, of course, you had Monday’s afterbirth when liberals screamed that the Court has “struck down” limits on mercury emissions (it did nothing of the kind).

So, on it’s own, Takei’s remarks are nothing — something dumb said out of anger. But in the larger context, it was the intersection of two ugly trends: racial animosity toward Clarence Thomas and incessant left-wing whinging about a political battle they have won.

So, yeah, Takei’s apology is fine (Thomas, I suspect, does not care either way). But it’s nothing compared to the long smear campaign against Clarence Thomas and the vitriol with which far too much of the Left has responded to a decision that went their way.

The Culture War is over, guys. You’ve won. Hell, I’m on your side for most of these social issues. We’ve won. Do you really have to ride down your defeated foe?

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    I suspect Thomas doesn’t care because he’s so much smarter than they are, which they also are aware of….part of what drives them nuts.  It’s not as if they can claim that he’s stupid – he’s obviously smarter, and better educated, than his detractors, which is the ultimate punch in the gut.  They have to ask themselves, privately, “what does Thomas know that they don’t?”

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  2. CM

    For the last week, numerous Republicans have been responding angrily to the gay marriage and Obamacare decisions. Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal, among others, have questioned the Court’s legitimacy. We’re told that this is a sign of how insane Republicans are. But … you’ll see equal amounts of rage from the Left when the Court doesn’t go there way. Hell, just last week, people were responding to Scalia’s dissent with angry tweets and articles about Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, decisions which liberals responded to by … gasp! … questioning the legitimacy of the Court.

    Are the those liberals running for POTUS though? Would you not expect a higher standard?

     I really don’t see anything unusual or alarming about anti-gay-marriage politicians being angry about the recent decisions. We have to accept the Court’s decisions as a matter of law; but that does not mean we have to accept them into our hearts. Be angry when you think the Court has gotten it wrong.

    Isn’t the issue that the primary candidates are saying things that suggest they’re not going to accept them?

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  3. CM

    Witness team Blue forcing bakers to bake cakes and forcing photographers to shoot photos for partnerships that they consider immoral.

    Those are examples of shooting the survivors? What?

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  4. Xetrov

    Are the those liberals running for POTUS though? Would you not expect a higher standard?

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/hillary-clinton-on-hobby-lobby-deeply-disturbing/373736/

    Then moderator Walter Isaacson asked Clinton about the Supreme Court’s hours-old Hobby Lobbydecision, and suddenly she came alive, delivering a fiery and impassioned reply.

    “I disagree with the reasoning as well as the conclusion,” Clinton said, almost before Isaacson had his question out. “I find it deeply disturbing.”

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  5. CM

    Compared to saying that the next president must stop same-sex marriage for the survival of our country? Or that the Court needs to be scrapped? Or calling on followers to “resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat? I would certainly say that describing a decision as “deeply disturbing” is a “higher standard” than any of those, particularly when none of those POTUS hopefuls or their supporters will be required to marry anyone of the same gender.

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  6. AlexInCT

    He sure does move those when he isn’t bothering to put up <a href=”https://www.google.com/search?q=image+of+a+straw+man&biw=1696&bih=814&tbm=isch&imgil=KgDPmXQv3C9MmM%253A%253B2MUGUwrpCAfdeM%253Bhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Findependentaustralia.net%25252Fenvironment%25252Fenvironment-display%25252Fstraw-man-climate-science%25252C4752&source=iu&pf=m&fir=KgDPmXQv3C9MmM%253A%252C2MUGUwrpCAfdeM%252C_&usg=__GvPvNuGSt65FkcTD1X0EOg2Cl3Y%3D&ved=0CDcQyjc&ei=2YecVYuHKYmHsAX7yYRA#imgrc=KgDPmXQv3C9MmM%3A&usg=__GvPvNuGSt65FkcTD1X0EOg2Cl3Y%3D” target=”_new”>one of these</>….

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  7. CM

    How is someone stating that they personally find a decision “deeply disturbing” comparable to saying they won’t accept the decision, the Court should be disbanded, the actual survival of the country is at stake (to provide just some examples)?

    Even if for some reason you disagree, how am I moving the goalposts?

    Alex I don’t even think you know what a straw man is. You’re always quick to accuse but whenever challenged this is you:

    http://img-aws.ehowcdn.com/default/ds-photo/getty/article/94/119/177411453_XS.jpg

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  8. Nobody

    how am I moving the goalposts?

    By starting off your response with “Compared to saying…”.  When you demand a comparison, that is moving goal posts.  Either Xetrov’s example is valid or it ain’t.  Xetrov never claimed that “deeply disturbing” was irrational compared to something else, nor did he claim that your examples were rational.  Get a clue.

    How is someone stating that they personally find a decision “deeply disturbing” comparable to saying they won’t accept the decision, the Court should be disbanded, the actual survival of the country is at stake (to provide just some examples)?

    Nobody is claiming that they are comparable, you hopeless twit.

     

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  9. CM

    By starting off your response with “Compared to saying…”.  When you demand a comparison, that is moving goal posts. 

    But I didn’t demand a comparison. Xetrov offered one.

     

    Nobody is claiming that they are comparable

    Apparently Hillary’s response was not a higher standard (according to Xetrov). How was that not a comparison?

    you hopeless twit

    Just attaching personal insults to everything is rather pointless as it doesn’t actually mean anything. You also might want to think about expanding your personal insult horizon. You vainglorious meatpole.

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