The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was one of my two favorite shows from the days when I had cable and used to watch TV a bit more. Today I pulled it up online and watched his show featuring former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, half of which focused on gay marriage and the difference of opinions Stewart held on Huckabee’s opinions expressed in his most recent book: “Do The Right Thing.”
As an aside, I never previously noticed the delicious double entendre in that statement: Do the right thing a la Spike Lee’s movie, as in doing the correct thing, as opposed to a GOP take on do the right thing (which would obviously be exhorting one to do the devoutly conservative thing). They aren’t always mutually inclusive.
Ever an open and engaging interviewee, Governor Huck admitted he was disenchanted with the way the pro-life movement in America had conducted themselves. In a lot of ways, Huck is a renaissance type of Republican, not really given to the same red-meat, arrogant rhetoric of his party-mates, and even admitting that blind mantras of slashing government a la Grover (the muppet) Norquist. Heck, Huck even supports funding for the the arts! The heresy!
“The party of Lincoln should be reaching out to blacks, Hispanics, gays and so forth and so on.” — former Calif. Senate Candidate, Michael Huffington
“I guess this makes us so forth and so on ….” — National Transgender Advocacy Coalition President, Vanessa Edwards Foster
But it seems one point Huck won’t recant is the dogmatic homosexuals-are-the-unclean automatic myopia. One would have thought he’d be a little more circumspect than the rest of the red-meat crowd, and he is tamer rhetorically. But devout he is, and Stewart took him to task on it.
Some of the points of highlight from the Jon Stewart – Mike Huckabee exchange:
Jon: “you talk about how marriage is the bedrock of our society, why would you not want more couples [to marry] … why would you want that precluded for an entire group of people?”I couldn't have stated it any better. "Check and mate" Mr. Stewart
“in your book, you write that it is corrosive to society to allow them have all the privileges that the rest in society enjoy.”
“Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality.”
“A loving financially secure gay marriage beats the hell out of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline any day.”
Mike: “The only way we can create the next generation is through a male-female relationship.”Actually we know better than that. Remember the Test Tube baby anyone? In-vitro fertilization?
Mike: “Marriage is a privilege, it is not a divine right…. Marriage still means between a male and a female.”Indeed, words and definitions do matter. As defined, privilege is a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor; especially such a right or immunity attached specifically to a position or an office. Privilege by its nature is not equal treatment, but special treatment. If marriage is a privilege, then who is the arbiter of this privilege in a non-theocratic (we’re still advertising we’re democratic here – freedom of religion and all) government and society? Marriage per Huckabee is then not a “legal or moral entitlement” decided by law. If marriage is not binding by law, then what is government doing being involved in enacting law against it for anyone, or even deciding who may be recognized as being married and able to claim next of kin, property inheritance, etc. It’s not law.
“Words do matter. Definitions matter.”
Mike: “Those who support gay marriage have a lot of work to do to convince the rest of us….”As marriage is simply a privilege deigned upon us by some shadowy set of individuals, who is it specifically we’re having to work to convince? Keep in mind, not all marriages are church ceremonies. Clearly that means that just going to the church involved to convince them isn’t going to work uniformly. Some churches already support and will marry same-sex couples. That sounds arbitrary and privileged, doesn’t it?
Is this something that only people of certain monetary means should be privileged with? What impact does that have on impoverished individuals who get married every day – how do they manage to get this privilege? If it’s not a right or a law passed down from our elected leaders, who has to be paid or bribed (if that’s the case) in order to be married?
Yeah, everyone hearts Huckabee (except maybe Dustin Hoffman who’s wondering if this was his Ishtar II). But Mike, methinks you stepped in it here. As you said, marriage is a privilege … not a right. That means that if the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut have already passed their laws, it’s their responsibility to privilege their citizens thusly. And it will never be taken away by anything the federal government does because they are a legal body in a federalist nation that passes laws. Rights. Not privileges.
“We've got gays working there. If they can demonstrate long-term relationships, we make same-sex benefits available just as we do with common-law marriages. Gays are productive people. Some fly airplanes, some work in breweries.” — Pete Coors
Neo-cons in America are probably frothing at the mouth right now. They’re both furious and frenzied over this prospect (especially considering there is still a Full Faith and Credit Clause in the Constitution, ensuring that the law of the land passed in one state is recognized as such by the others). Then again, neo-cons are beatific at this revelation as well. Think of the phobia this will generate and the heavy-duty fundraising windfall this will produce!
Yes America, there is still one recession-proof industry that will always have job openings: neo-con, religiopolitical, gay-despising, red-meat political advocacy and lobbying organizations. Line up!
Putting an excellent final-point on this, Jon Stewart opined, “I think it’s a shame that they have forced gay people to have to make their case that they deserve the same rights as someone else.”
Indeed, why should some people in America accept the fact that we will never have the right to deserve equal consideration? Where was it I read that “all men are created equal”? Maybe someone should sue them for false advertisement.
One last observation on this (which will lead to my next blog) … note how the only rights discussed on The Daily Show, the point Jon Stewart used exclusively, was marriage? Why is marriage the only issue on TV which will make the gay community equal? [… to be continued]
“God did not create gays and lesbians so He could have something to hate!” — Rev. Troy Perry