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Geidner: Christie’s argument has been procedural, not personal

Timothy Kincaid

October 21st, 2013

Chris Geidner

Christie’s entire defense of the marriage law, in fact, has been premised — like Monday’s statement — upon process and not upon his personal opposition to same-sex couples’ marriages, which he has continued to maintain in his bid for reelection.

When the trial court ruled against Christie in September, for example, he did not defend “traditional marriage” or something similar. Instead, he looked to process, with a spokesman saying, “Governor Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this Election Day. Since the legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination.”

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TampaZeke
October 21st, 2013 | LINK

Christie is against a handful of judges “imposing” marriage equality on the state but not opposed to a single man imposing injustice by vetoing a bill passed by both New Jersey houses of the legislature. Then he has the audacity that it should have been accomplished legislatively. And he’s a liar. When he said he would tell his own gay child that he doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage it was NOT a question of procedure!

Ben In Oakland
October 21st, 2013 | LINK

Procedural. So not opposed to the law, even though he vetoed it and said he didn’t think gay people should get married. Procedural.

The usual procedure for a law to become law is to pass it by the legislature, not run it by the people in a popular referendum. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need a legislature. we could vote on EVERYTHING.

Ryan
October 21st, 2013 | LINK

I can smell Christie’s bullshit all the way from Oklahoma. What a sleazy politician!

Marcus
October 22nd, 2013 | LINK

I have a hard time believing Christie is remotely interested in keeping marriage hets-only. It’s all about the antigay segment of the 2016 Republican primary electorate.

TampaZeke
October 22nd, 2013 | LINK

@Marcus, which would make him an even bigger scumbag! It’s one thing to hurt people because you truly believe in your fight but it’s another disgusting thing entirely to pretend to support something that hurts people just for political expediency. And that doesn’t just apply to Christie. It applied to Obama and Bill and Hillary too.

Gene in L.A.
October 22nd, 2013 | LINK

“…Since the legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination.”

Neither the legislature nor the people can make a constitutional determination. Only the courts can do that. This statement is untrue on its face.

customartist
October 22nd, 2013 | LINK

Christie factually said “for me personally”

Marcus
October 22nd, 2013 | LINK

@TampaZeke: Indeed it’s repulsive to knowingly hurt people for political expediency, but our political system is such that some politicians have little choice – the electorate bears responsibility, too.

Either way, I’ve always thought it was equally hurtful whether a Democrat or Republican is doing it, so I’m glad someone agrees.

@customartist: Yes, which doesn’t mean it’s the truth.

Timothy Kincaid
October 22nd, 2013 | LINK

Okay, guys…

Geidner’s point isn’t about what Christie may have said about his kids or at a campaign stop or to his wife over breakfast. It isn’t what Christie believes or thinks or politically schemes. It isn’t about whether he’s a good guy, a bad guy, or a hypocrite.

Geidner’s point is about how Christie argued in court and when he debated this issue.

Christie’s political position (not his personal opinion) on changing the law about marriage is purely procedural. His argument has CONSISTENTLY been not about what HE believes (which is good for 2004 but pretty crappy for now) but rather HOW the law should be changed.

This may be a bit subtle, but it’s HUGE. It’s a change about presumptions.

Historically, Republicans and/or some conservative Democrats, have argued about tradition, and God, and church, and religious freedom, and fire raining from heaven, and the bases of their arguments have first been in morality, (marriage should not be changed because teh homoSEXshull is evil like a weevil) and then to social fears (heteros will stop marrying and won’t Someone Think of the Children).

Christie does not argue about morality or about family structure. He may say what HE believes as a person, but that isn’t the basis or his argument for either vetoing the marriage bill or for opposing equality.

Instead Christie argues about process. It’s not that marriage shouldn’t be inclusive (though that’s his crappy belief) but rather that if it is going to be inclusive, it should go through a vote of the people.

He’s wrong, of course.

But again, Geidner isn’t arguing his rightness or wrongness.

Rather, Geider is pointing out that this change in position from “BAD! BAD! BAD!” to “I don’t want it but you can outvote me if you go through the right procedures” is a VERY significant shift in the political dialogue.

Geidner’s right.

And his point is much more interesting than whether Christie is a good guy, a bad guy, or a bit too inclined to eat fried foods.

Before we go back to trashing Christie (and feel welcome to do so), does anyone have an opinion about Geidner’s article?

Marcus
October 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Timothy, I understood Geidner’s point, I just didn’t have a comment to make. For what it’s worth, I agree with his analysis. The rhetorical shift has been long in the making; for years, politicians have been trying to cushion their opposition with “I have gay friends,” “I support civil unions because ‘marriage’ is a sensitive word to religious Americans,” etc. Considering that Christie needs to hold on to his New Jersey supporters, it’s unsurprising that he’s avoided homophobic rhetoric, even if he wants to please the 2016 base.

Hunter
October 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Christie’s also very much aware that attitudes have changed dramatically in the past ten years — even the past five — and that there are now court precedents against marriage discrimination, one of which, Perry, calls into question the whole idea of “defining” marriage by referendum: sure, the people can vote (they have, but that should not have happened), and then the courts will overturn their vote.

I also get the feeling, just from what I’ve read of Christie, that he has short patience with the posturing on social issues that consumes the party. (Or in general, for that matter.) He’s really the kind of Republican I used to vote for, before the GOP went crazy: pragmatic and results oriented. I think that’s an aspect that’s part of the subtext of Geidner’s article: he dropped the appeal because he has more important things to worry about.

Rob
October 23rd, 2013 | LINK

So much for not posting in the comment section, and for thinking your readers have no comprehension skills.

You can try to direct the conversation, but people realize that although the argument being presented as a defense is novel in its approach, that doesn’t mean anything. It simply means they learned from the 8 trial and other trials that their old argument didn’t work. It’s simply a new tact in trying to enforce their own private and public views on the issue.

I love the fact that you just can’t seem to resist commenting even after you said you don’t in your own articles. And that you want to control the discussion rather than let people discuss it as they see fit. That was the reason you gave for your no commenting in the comments policy…

I know you missed me…

Priya Lynn
October 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Timothy said “This may be a bit subtle, but it’s HUGE.”.

I’m sure it is…to you.

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