09 August 2010

A Conversation

The scene:
The headquarters of “Family Values for U.S., Not You,”
a leading think-tank.

SHE: Well, I admit I was disappointed in Judge Walker’s verdict.

HE: Sweetheart, we didn’t stand a chance! Our lawyers didn’t even present our good flimsy arguments.

SHE: I just keep thinking that, if only I’d taken the stand to testify —

HE: And miss out on one more opportunity to terrify the voters? Are you serious?

SHE: What do you mean?

HE: From the very beginning, we’ve been trying to depict gay people as scary. We’ve hinted that they may be child molesters, or that they may convert children to a gay lifestyle, and we’ve made it clear that this would be the very worst thing that could ever happen.

SHE: Because that’s what would happen. And it would be the worst thing ever.

HE: [Pause.] Right. But my point is that, by telling the court that you feared for your physical safety if you testified, you made the public idea of the Gay Boogie Man even scarier than ever! Bad enough that the gays might corrupt straight people — now we’ve put out the idea that the gays might kill us! It’s genius!

SHE: But if I’d been able to explain to the court why it’s wrong to overrule the will of the people —

HE: This time!

SHE: — then maybe the judge might have sided with us.

HE: He’s openly gay. We needed a judge who was biased the right direction, a straight who hates gays. That’s why we’re saving ourselves for Scalia.

SHE: He hates gay people?

HE: He’s compared gay sex to bestiality! Gee willikens, you think Judge Walker was biased? He’s an empty scale compared to Scalia.

SHE: So all we have to do is bring this case to the Supreme Court! And then Scalia will take care of everything!

HE: Exactly! That’s been my plan, all along. Hurry up and get to Washington. You see, sweetheart, in the 21st century, all politics is personality. And the courts are just more politics, not less.

SHE: But Scalia can’t overturn a ruling on grounds of homophobia, can he?

HE: He’s done it before — but this time, he won’t have to! He’s the smartest guy on the court. He’ll come up with some intellectual cover. State’s rights, probably — that’s always useful when you want to reject a minority group. Will of the voters is good, too, though it’s trickier. Mostly, though, he’ll talk about the consequences of legalizing gay marriage, and he’ll argue that these are contrary to the traditional, moral underpinnings of our society.

SHE: Didn’t Judge Walker anticipate those objections and successfully disarm them through the use of logic and the evidence presented at trial?

HE: Logic won’t matter to Tony in a case like this. His real argument will be: Because I’m the daddy, and I say so. But he’ll probably belittle Walker, call him every insulting name he can think of, and that’s the only part the media will focus on. Why, jeepers, Tony’s so smart, people won’t even understand half of what he’s saying. Look at his ruling in Bush vs. Gore in 2000. It made no sense at all. Total gibberish. But it did the trick.

SHE: Shouldn’t we be worried about Kennedy? He’s ostensibly the swing vote, and he wrote the majority opinion in Lawrence versus Texas in 2003, overturning Bowers versus Hardwick. People say he actually believes in civil rights for homosexuals — for everybody! And Walker pretty much addressed him directly in his decision. Even quoted him! That doesn’t leave Kennedy much room to disagree with the Walker decision.

HE: I’m not worried. Kennedy will feel the pressure — from Tony, for starters. And Stevens won’t be there to influence him. Kennedy will hold his nose, but he’ll knuckle under, just the way he did in 2000.

SHE: My goodness! Once the Supreme Court rules in our favor, then gay marriage will be effectively demolished for at least a generation!

HE: That’s right! You see, we really didn’t need to put on a good show in California. All we have to do is appeal — and keep raking in the money in the meantime.

SHE: [Thoughtfully, after a long pause.] But what happens to us after that?

HE: Look, the issue of gay marriage has been a useful tool for our side for years now. You don’t lose by winning! And once we do win, voters will want to stick with the winning team. We’ll use this wedge to start chipping away at other so-called rights and freedoms that the perverts enjoy. Some state Republican Party platforms are already proposing new anti-sodomy laws aimed exclusively at gays. We’ll wipe out hate-crime laws; we’ll reinstate every kind of discrimination we can think of. We’ve still got lots of work to do. And believe me, these are issues that bring out the votes — and the money.

SHE: So that we can protect the morals of our society!

HE: So that we can keep power to ourselves! Shoot, even Obama voters backed Prop 8.

SHE: I almost feel sorry for Obama. After Walker’s verdict came out, his spokesman said yet again that the President opposes gay marriage but supports equal rights — and Walker had already pretty much ruined that for him, showing that those positions can’t be reconciled. For a former professor of constitutional law, Obama must feel pretty uncomfortable right now.

HE: I admire your Christian charity, but really, this is good for us. At some point, Obama is going to have to come out and say, “Look, I think this thing is going to happen, sooner or later, without any action on my part. It may take 40 years, but it’s coming. I know that’s disappointing to many of you, who believed me when I campaigned on Hope, but too bad. I’ve got other priorities right now, and on the question of gay rights, Hope is the only policy I’ve got: I hope things get better. I hope somebody else does something about this. And I hope I’m reelected.”

SHE: If he says a thing like that, he’ll lose so many supporters!

HE: Exactly! You see, it’s all good — for our kind.

SHE: Well, thank you. You’ve made me feel better. Do you want to come over for dinner? I haven’t had time to cook, of course, but John is ordering in Chinese food for the kids.

HE: That would be lovely. And will little Timmy be there?

SHE: Why — yes.

HE: How is Timmy these days? I don’t see enough of that boy! Such a bright, sturdy lad. That Little League practice is certainly paying off, isn’t it? Such a fresh complexion. And that boyish smile! He’s going to break hearts — he probably already has!

SHE: Uh. [Pause.] Timmy’s fine.

HE: Well, then, let me just close up here, and I’ll meet you in the parking lot.

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