Posts Tagged As: Box of Rocks

Box of Rocks coasts on to another day of victory

Timothy Kincaid

January 10th, 2012

Today the Box of Rocks sat quietly and was bothered by no one. However, Rick Santorum found himself subjected to chants of “bigot” as he entered a campaign event. Which got me thinking, what does Santorum say on his website about matters of equality (Santorum, not santorum… that’s a different website).

In the section of “What I Believe” titled “Appointing Constitutionalist Justices and Judges Who Refuse to Legislate from the Bench”, he says the following:

Rick Santorum is no stranger to the issue of judges. … in 2004 when activist judges sought to legislate from the bench and redefine marriage, Rick spearheaded the debate in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment.

First, let’s consider whether that makes any sense at all. As of 2004, not a single Federal Judge had found anything favorable about marriage. However, a number of state judges had concluded that state constitutions disallowed discrimination against gay people and had demanded that either marriage or some equivalent be provided so that citizens can have equal access, so these must be the judges he’s talking about.

Which seems to suggest that Santorum thinks that as President he could appoint “Constitutionalist” state judges. But surely that can’t be the case. Even a box of rocks knows better than that.

But on to his performance. If I were considering how effective a president Rick Santorum could be, I’d look to the issues he spearheaded. And I’d have to say that on the Federal Marriage Amendment, Rick Santorum was a phenomenal failure.

To pass the Senate and be considered by the states, the FMA had to pass both houses of Congress by a two thirds vote. In the House in 2004 that was 290 votes in favor, and in the Senate it required 67. So Sentorum’s goal, his measure of competency, was obtaining 67 Senate votes in favor of the amendment.

There were at that point 51 Republicans, 48 Democrats and 1 Independent. To achieve his goal, Santorum needed to keep hold of the presumed support of all 51 Republicans and pick up support of a third of Democrats.

But before he could pass the FMA and start campaigning in the states, he had one further roadblock. He needed to get a vote. And if the Senators don’t want to vote on an issue, they can fillibuster – or just keep talking. As long as a Senator wants to talk – be it about the bill or his neighbor’s dog or reading the phonebook (as as happened) – they are entitled to do so.

However, there is a ‘sit down and shut up’ provision to keep any one Senator from disrupting business. If any Senator wishes to end debate and just vote already, he can call for cloture. And if three fifths (60) Senators agree, debate stops immediately and the bill itself is voted on. So before he could get his 67 Senators to send the FMA to the states, he needed 60 who were wanted to take a vote.

He didn’t even get half.

Santorum managed to get three Democrats to vote on whether to vote (Byrd, Miller, and Nelson), but he lost twice as many Republicans who refused to bring the FMA to cloture (Campbell, Chafee, Collins, Snowe, Sununu, and McCain – yes, that McCain). His cloture vote fell flat 48 to 50 (Senators Kerry and Edwards were unavailable.)

So what Santorum is loudly touting on his website is that on the FMA, he is a failure. A colossal failure. The box of rocks doesn’t have a website and is making no claims as to its ability to spearhead anything. On this matter of intellect and wit, the rocks win. Again.

But to really set himself apart from a box of rocks, Rick Santorum goes further to explain his understanding of the judicial process and the roll of the judiciary in a checked and balanced government:

Rick Santorum believes that the Judiciary is a critical part of our system of government, but it is the third branch of government under our Constitution, and should not act like the first. President Obama often prefers when it does legislate instead of Congress. For example, when he refuses to defend the Congressionally approved Defense of Marriage Act.

Okay, it can be difficult to understand the workings of Santorum’s brain, but if I have this correct, when the President chooses not to defend a law he thinks unconstitutional, then the judiciary is acting like Congress. By hearing argument in a lawsuit brought by the State of Massachusetts, the judiciary is, in Santorum’s words, “legislating from the bench” and is “usurping” the role of Congress.

I’m a bit at loss as to what Santorum thinks the Judiciary is to do when a lawsuit is presented. Really, I’m not being facetious. I have no idea what he thinks is the appropriate response when a State sues the federal government for what it perceives to be an encroachment on states’ rights. I suspect that it all depends on what the position of his Church is on the matter.

Although Rick Santorum served in the Senate for twelve years, it’s abundantly clear that a box of rocks has a far better grasp on the separation of powers and role of the judiciary.

Teleprompter reader selected to be NOM’s “Face of Minnesota for Marriage”

Timothy Kincaid

January 9th, 2012

Unable to find anyone qualified to speak authoritatively on the subject of marriage, the National Organization for Marriage and the other anti-gay activists at Minnesota for Marriage have decided that the face of their anti-gay movement would be Kalley Yanta, a former anchor for a Minneapolis-based television station. Which means that the level of intellectual discourse will be as follows:

“If marriage between homosexuals is legalized, what would some of the consequences be?” she asked rhetorically. “Parents who want to opt their kids out of the public school on the day that they’re teaching about homosexual relationships how it should be okay and accepted, and the parents are charged with discrimination and are hauled away sometimes in handcuffs. … We just can’t allow this to happen.

That probably shouldn’t surprise us much. Minnesota for Marriage is releasing a number of Marriage Minute videos to get their views across. The 18 second long Marriage Minute introductory segment displays pictures labeled “Our Families”, “Our Futures”, “Our Marriages”, and “Our Children”. But the Washington Independent notes that they seem a bit confused on what “our” means.

Minnesotans United for All Families, a coalition of more than 100 groups, analyzed the images in the first video released and determined that not a single person in the video was actually from Minnesota.

“While this video is full of stock images, it is strangely lacking in real Minnesotans,” the group said on its Facebook page. “Perhaps they couldn’t find any real Minnesotans willing to support their divisive agenda?”

One image appears to have been taken by a French photographer of a French family, and another is being used on the website of an India-based health-care center.

Oh my, it’s going to be a busy season for that box of rocks.

Box of Rocks takes impressive 3-0 lead

Timothy Kincaid

January 9th, 2012

In the battle of intellect between Rick Santorum and a box of rocks, the rocks are making a surprisingly strong showing. While the rocks haven’t said anything incredibly stupid at all today, Rick Santorum described his position on recognition of gay couples thusly:

The question is do I think I can beat President Obama cuz I have strong feelings on the issue of marriage and other social issues. Everyone on the stage yesterday and the day before has pretty much has the exact same position I have on all those issues. President Obama says he has the same position I have on gay marriage. So people always talk about the… the only difference is between myself and any of them is that when someone asks me a question I answer it.

I must have missed the press conference wherein the President announced that he has the same views on gay marriage as Rick Santorum. But, knowing the President’s positions, we can now conclude that:

Or that Rick Santorum is so incredibly stupid that he doesn’t know what President Obama has said on the subject. (One alternate possibility is that Santorum knows Obama’s position and is betting that his audience does not. Frankly, I don’t think he’s bright enough for that sort of political calculation.)

Box of Rocks – 2; Santorum – 0

Timothy Kincaid

January 7th, 2012

GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum seems determined to illustrate his inability to grasp basic logic concepts. The LA Times brings us his latest.

Reporting from Manchester, N.H.— For the second time in as many days, Rick Santorum waded into the issue of gay marriage, suggesting it was so important for children to have both a father and mother that an imprisoned father was preferable to a same-sex parent.

Citing the work of one anti-poverty expert, Santorum said, “He found that even fathers in jail who had abandoned their kids were still better than no father at all to have in their children’s lives.”

Allowing gays to marry and raise children, Santorum said, amounts to “robbing children of something they need, they deserve, they have a right to. You may rationalize that that isn’t true, but in your own life and in your own heart, you know it’s true.”

Oddly, my heart doesn’t tell me that depriving children of same sex parents the legal and social protections they need will somehow cause imprisoned heterosexuals to be involved in the lives of their children.

Santorum on discrimination

Timothy Kincaid

January 6th, 2012

CBS News:

“I have a question and it’s about gay people,” asked the first man to be called on at a Santorum town hall meeting here today. “They are children of God too. Do they have the right to marriage? Do they have the right to serve in the military? Should they be treated like any other citizen? Under your presidency, would you protect their rights or would you diminish them?”

Santorum answered that he doesn’t believe marriage or serving in the military are inalienable rights, but “privileges,” adding, “It’s not discrimination not to grant privileges.”

It’s not discrimination not to grant privileges? Really?

The sad thing is that he probably believes it.

Yeah, I know it’s a cheap shot. But really, Rick Santorum is just… well, not very bright. It’s not only that his policies are not well thought through or that his views are theocratic. It’s the man… he’s just… okay I’ll say it, Rick Santorum is stupid.

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