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DOMA gets a funding boost

Timothy Kincaid

December 14th, 2012

As I have said before, I think that House Speaker Boehner’s defense of DOMA is not inappropriate. The law was passed through legal process and the members of the House at least nominally support the law and thus should be entitled to defend a law that the Executive branch refuses to defend, should they wish to do so. Even one that is so clearly in violation of the Constitution.

But what amuses me about the defense that Speaker Boehner is conducting is that it is, at best, a hangdog averted eyed mumbling defense. There is no “defending the family” or “protecting the sanctity of marriage” here. In the rare rare instance that DOMA’s legal defense gets a comment, it’s about “enforcing the law” or stopping the President from making unilateral decisions about which of Congress’ laws to uphold.

I agree. We don’t want Presidents just ignoring the law. We have checks and balances.

On the other hand, the Justice Department was also correct to find the law indefensible and unconstitutional. Nor do I fault the Senate for refusing to participate in the defense, as it was clearly not the will of that body.

This whole process has been, to me, an illustration of representative democracy at its best, respecting the roles that each other holds.

But it is funny to watch.

I might be less amused if we were losing the argument. Had virtually every DOMA case not gone our way, I be less sanguine about the House’s role.

But I have found it to be a regular reminder that we are not only winning the legal struggle, but the public argument and even the political one. Each victory has triumphal declarations in the press from lawyers and advocates for equality and an echoing silence from Boehner or other Republican leadership.

And now we have one more anecdote to illustrate the extent to which social and political support for DOMA has evaporated. (Rollcall)

House Republicans have quietly raised the value of a contract with a private law firm that is handling the chamber’s Supreme Court defense of a 1996 federal law that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

House Administration Chairman Dan Lungren, R-Calif., signed off in September on a $500,000 increase in the maximum value of the contract with the firm, Washington-based Bancroft. Republicans have raised the cap of the contract twice: first on Sept. 29, 2011, from its original maximum of $500,000 to $1.5 million, and again on Sept. 28 to its new maximum of $2 million.

House Minority Leader Pelosi has conjured up some indignation over the raise but she must have been chuckling as she did so. Two million dollars for a multi-case, multi-state, multi-year defense is chump change, a piffle. The Justice Department budget is tens of billions of dollars per year.

And you have to laugh that a notion which was integral to a presidential campaign less than a decade ago, a bill that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support just two decades past, is now defended in secrecy and silence.

UPDATE
: I prepared this on my phone and failed to include the link. It is now included above. Also, if anyone failed to make the connection, “have quietly raised” means that they didn’t inform the Democratic leadership.

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Priya Lynn
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy said “In the rare rare instance that DOMA’s legal defense gets a comment, it’s about “enforcing the law” or stopping the President from making unilateral decisions about which of Congress’ laws to uphold.

I agree. We don’t want Presidents just ignoring the law. We have checks and balances.”.

Contrary to the common claim, Obama is enforcing DOMA, he has just chosen not to defend it in court.

Robert
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, this article is a crock. You fail to mention the one most important FACT of the entire story and denigrate Nancy Pelosi in the process. Nancy Pelosi is entirerly correct to be indignant about this issue, and I’m sure she didn’t need to “conjur” it up either.

So everypone else knows the main fact Timothy convieniently forgets to mention: THE REPUBLICAN’sPassed the increase in funding in secret, and didn’t bother to inform the Democrats OR THE PUBLIC until just YESTERDAY. Why gee, Timothy, why in the world would any one be upset about that? And gee, this kind of secret funding must not bother anyone since they seem to “conjur up” indignation about it.

We expect at least the truth from you Timothy. I know, you are republican, so it is a little difficult for you to grasp that concept, but at least give it a try, okay? Your readers deserve more than just half the story.

http://www.democraticleader.gov/House_Republican_Secret_DOMA_Contract

“Hiding this contract from voters in the midst of an election season was a cynical move at best, and a betrayal of the public trust at worst. With Americans focused on the creation of jobs and the growth of our economy, Republicans should not be spending $2 million to defend discrimination in our country. We should be embracing our tradition of equality, advancing our promise of opportunity, and securing justice and equal rights for every American.”

markanthony
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

@ Robert-

The whole point of Timothy’s post is that the House leadership isn’t trying to make a larger political win or publicize its defense of DOMA. How on earth did he misleading about the funding process?!?!

Rhonda Frazier-Evans
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

I’m not one to comment often, but this is really partisan ramble. I come here not to view politics, but for gay news. That being said, I’m appalled that they raised the funding in secret. I don’t like them defending it at all, but if they must, let us know how much, and where this money is coming from.

RWG
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

Mr. Kincaid, you are being deliberately misleading, in fact, outright lying, to suggest that President Obama is not enforcing DOMA. Your lie is a common right-wing talking point, often repeated as a weapon against our struggle for equal rights under the law. What a disgrace you are to the gay community to publish such drivel!

Robert
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

@markanthony,

When one leaves out the entire reason a story is in the news (hint: IT’S BECAUSE THEY DID IT IN SECRET), and then slams the Minority leader for her comments, as if she should not be or could not be organicly indignant, and must somehow “conjur” (like a witch?!?!) some reaction, then it’s a crock. And the fact that he neglected that point is VERY importnat. He leaves out the NEWSWORTHY fact of the story.

As far as what “point” Timothy is “trying” to make, well, I’ll let HIM tell us that. Your interpretation of what he means to say is exactly that, your interpretation.

And yes, I do find it offensive as well as disengenious to post a story and leave out the most important fact about the reason it is a story. This is a story PRECISELY because they raised this funding without telling anyone until Dec. 13th, almost 3 months after the fact.

Oh, and Timothy, we all know that the right to “defend” DOMA has yet to be decided. We may find in just a few months that the House had no standing to defend this law. That is a question we now are waiting an answer on from the Supreme Court.

Leaving out facts that hurt your point is bad form. Plain and simple, all your readers DESERVE all the information available in your stories. AND the information WAS available, and should have been included.

Robert
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

And Markanthony,

I see this story as one in which the right wing is actively playing to their base and hiding the facts from voters. If this had been made public during the election they may have lost another seat or two. And coming from a Congress that wants to cut every safety net program under the sun, a million dollars over their allotted budget is telling. This is, after all, the party that’s trying to tell everyone it needs to cut waste and spending, and that Democrats can’t stick to a budget, while they are secretly adding funding because they can’t stick to a budget.

And, by leaving out the facts of the case it make Timothy able to freely feign amusement that Pelosi would be upset about the funding and then make her indignation seem fake. If one KNEW she was responding to a secret funding increase in her statment, then of course it wouldn’t “seem” to anyone that she had to “conjur” up her disdain.

She was RIGHTFULLY upset at the passage of secret funding that was witheld from one part of the House, the Democratic part.

Steve
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

>”We expect at least the truth from you Timothy”

I don’t. I’ve given up on him to be anything but a Republican shill and a defender of everything religious, no matter how immoral.

Timothy Kincaid
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

Incidentally, I don’t believe I’ve ever announced my party registration on this site, nor do I intend to do so.

Timothy Kincaid
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

it’s about “enforcing the law” or stopping the President from making unilateral decisions about which of Congress’ laws to uphold.

I agree.

Oh, I see how that could be seen as an argument that the President is not enforcing the law. That wasn’t my intent and I should have been clearer.

“I agree” refers to the idea that the President (any President) not just make unilateral decisions about which of Congress’ laws to uphold (ie in court).

I certainly wasn’t suggesting that the President was not enforcing the law. For the most part he’s doing so – as I said, this is an illustration of representative democracy at its best, respecting the roles that each other holds.

Robert
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, you don’t need to “announce” your Party afffiliation when you talk about being a member of Log Cabin REPUBLICANS. Kinda goes without saying.

Timothy Kincaid
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

I’m not a member of Log Cabin Republicans. And I’m pretty sure I actually have said that on this site.

Robert
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

I’ve never seen you state that Timothy. And do you really expect us to believe that the guy who can tell us the inner workings of a local LCR chapter, and the fact that two members leaving it was inconsequential. How in the world would you know anything about the local membership and the impact of the Nortes leaving if you were not affiliated in some way?

Not to mention the VERY sppirited defense of LCR, and the Right wing throught the electoral process. You might be trying to deny it now, but you let your political affiliations stand on their own in every comment and story you post. You may have never “written” your affiliation in exact words “I am republican”, but you don’t have to. EVERY article you right has the slant of your politics.

And I see you still haven’t addressed the fact that you left out the most important aspect of this story to score your nasty little comment about Pelosi.

You need tostand up and take ownership of what you write.

Robert
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

Oh, and most people don’t attend political functions of groups they disagree with. Unless they are reporters, and you already admitted you are not one of those.

FirstAndrew
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

@Robert –

Where’s your daily updated news blog? Timothy is one of the major contributors to this site. Whether you agree with him or not being, being nasty is unnecessary.

Does anyone else feel like the vitriol of the comments section is increasing? I can’t even be bothered to read them usually.

Timothy Kincaid
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

Robert,

My only interest in correcting your false assertions about me is in that ensuring that others don’t mistakenly think that your “facts” are factual.

You are, of course, entitled to believe anything you like.

markanthony
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

I 2nd FirstAndrew’s point.

Interesting, the Roll Call article points out that defense funding is coming from the House’s staffing budget.

Robert
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

@First Andrew, where is yours? AND where is Timothy Kincaides? He does not Own this site, he blogs on it. There is a difference, or is that only imperative when you want to attack someone?

If an individual wishes to work for a blog and let his opinions out, then the readers of the blog (after all the readers are why the blog exists) wish to question him, or even get confrontational about issues, that is the entire point of a blog you know, then it is their right to do so.

My comments are my opinion and as such I will state them.

Also, why is it nasty to insist that all the facts get put into a story? Why is it nasty to insist that authors correct or add to their stories if those stories are laacking? Timothy calls Jim out on his errors and gets as down and dirty in his comments to readers as I do to him. But I suppose thats OKIYAR.

Also, Timothy, you did indeed state in late October that you were not a part of LCR. I correct myself when the facts can be verified. You still neglect to fix the lack of information in your article, which enables you to take a democrat bashing position in regards to Nancy Pelosi’s statement about the SECRET funding talked about here, but neglected in the actual story.

Rob Tisinai
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy is right, of course, when he say DOMA’s defender complain about the president not “enforcing the law.” They complain about that all time. There’s nothing dishonest in pointing that out.

Timothy Kincaid
December 14th, 2012 | LINK

Oh, huh, I just noticed. I actually did use the word “secrecy”.

Regan DuCasse
December 16th, 2012 | LINK

GOOD one, Priya Lynn!
DOMA is being enforced, for sure. Defense in court would be interesting to watch.
All of the stated reasons for it’s existence, any defenses, are not legal singly or collectively.
You know all of what defenses are used already, so it’s any wonder DOMA has any chance of being upheld except for Scalia and Thomas’s contrariness.

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