There is a difference between a bald assertion and a factual one (or, at least one attempting to support an assertion with facts). Anybody can throw out baseless accusations, but if one wants to be taken seriously, isn’t it a given that one should at least attempt to buttress an argument with something more than a grope or a parroting of somebody else’s talking points? In all candor, this blog as been hammered by some below-the-belt, irresponsible posts authored by David Robertson. Refusing to defend his slanderous claims when challenged or to even attempt to prove his gratuitous gouging, he renders himself defenseless against the charge that his attacks are calculated to accomplish nothing but offend those with whom he disagrees. I have repeatedly challenged him to justify his claims, but he has steadfastly refused to do so. He has a painful disability, and I’ve been willing to consider that a mitigating factor, but his latest posts have crossed the line. What follows is a rebuttal to several “points” raised in his recent The Merits of the Democratic Party. Robertson’s words are italicized in green.
Democrats, on the other hand, point out a simple fact of life: One can’t pull one’s self up by one’s boot straps if one doesn’t have boot straps to begin with.
What does it mean to not “have boot straps” and what have Republicans done to warrant the implication that they don’t care about it? If this is supposed to be taken seriously, David should have cited a couple of issues dividing the two parties to illustrate his point. Every Republican I know favors helping the disadvantaged, so that leaves David’s statement, as with so much of what he writes, hanging irrelevantly in midair.
Democrats are correct to insist that the federal government prosecute white collar criminals working in the financial sector.
Again, nothing. No names, no quotations, no links. Democrats favor prosecuting white collar criminals while Republicans do not because David had a dream about it? Did his niece tell him that’s what she heard at school? Did he hear that at the Moderates Unite buffet?
Did the Democrats go after Timothy Geithner for tax evasion? Did they prosecute Charles Rangel? One can argue the merits of individual cases, but let’s not pretend that the Democrats are better at white collar prosecution than Republicans. Posters below can fire away all they want with links and counter arguments, but when a thread starter levels this kind of charge, he’s under a moral obligation to cite his sources, not play hide and seek.
The primary reason why the Republican Party, in general, is vigorously opposed same-sex marriage is because the Party is under the influence of members who want their religious objections to same-sex marriage codified into U.S. law.
That is patently false. I repeat my earlier criticism when David first opined on Obergefell v. Hodges. David shouldn’t be commenting on a decision that he has not read, and David has no business casting aspersions at others without even understanding what the issue is all about. Had he bothered to read the decision he would have learned from Chief Justice Roberts:
As the majority acknowledges, marriage “has existed for millennia and across civilizations.” Ante, at 3. For all those millennia, across all those civilizations, “marriage” referred to only one relationship: the union of a man and a woman. See ante, at 4; Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 1, p. 12 (petitioners conceding that they are not aware of any society that permitted same-sex marriage before 2001). As the Court explained two Terms ago, “until recent years,. . . marriage between a man and a woman no doubt had been thought of by most people as essential to the very definition of that term and to its role and function throughout the history of civilization.” United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S.(2013) (slip op., at 13).
This universal definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is no historical coincidence. Marriage did not come about as a result of a political movement, discovery, disease, war, religious doctrine, or any other moving force of world history—and certainly not as a result of a prehistoric decision to exclude gays and lesbians. It arose in the nature of things to meet a vital need: ensuring that children are conceived by a mother and father committed to raising them in the stable conditions of a lifelong relationship. See G. Quale, A History of Marriage Systems 2 (1988); cf. M. Cicero, De Officiis 57 (W. Miller transl. 1913) (“For since the reproductive instinct is by nature’s gift the common possession of all living creatures, the first bond of union is that between husband and wife; the next, that between parents and children; then we find one home, with everything in common.”).
The premises supporting this concept of marriage are so fundamental that they rarely require articulation. The human race must procreate to survive. Procreation occurs through sexual relations between a man and a woman. When sexual relations result in the conception of a child, that child’s prospects are generally better if the mother and father stay together rather than going their separate ways. Therefore, for the good of children and society, sexual relations that can lead to procreation should occur only between a man and a woman committed to a lasting bond.
Society has recognized that bond as marriage. And by bestowing a respected status and material benefits on married couples, society encourages men and women to conduct sexual relations within marriage rather than without. As one prominent scholar put it, “Marriage is a socially arranged solution for the problem of getting people to stay together and care for children that the mere desire for children, and the sex that makes children possible, does not solve.” J. Q. Wilson, The Marriage Problem 41 (2002).
Had David sought to educate himself on the relevant issues, he wouldn’t have made such an irresponsible statement. This is no casual oversight. He was urged to read the decision when he made his original claim. The fact that he repeats his false assertion proves he either hasn’t read it or doesn’t care.
It is this writer’s observation that the GOP has way too many members who would like for the USA to become a Protestant fundamentalist theocracy. The Democratic Party stands in the way of that happening, and that’s a good thing.
I asked David just who it is in the GOP that wants to turn the United States into a theocracy, and he never replied. In fact, David celebrated the decision as one that prevented our turning the United States into a theocracy. Quite frankly, I think it’s time to put up or shut up. Who in the GOP wants to turn the United States into a theocracy? It is painfully obvious that David doesn’t have a sweet clue what a theocracy is, so perhaps the following will clear matters up.
Theocracy, according to the dictionary, is the “government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.” The Oxford English Dictionary has this definition:
A form of government in which God (or a deity) is recognized as the king or immediate ruler, and his laws are taken as the statute-book of the kingdom, these laws being usually administered by a priestly order as his ministers and agents; hence (loosely) a system of government by a sacerdotal order, claiming a divine commission; also, a state so governed.
A “sacerdotal order” refers to the priesthood within the theocracy that rules in civil/spiritual affairs under the guidance of a spiritual leader. It is thus obvious that the United States never has been a theocracy–before or after said SCOTUS’ ruling. Political power rests in the People through their elected representatives, not a priestly order. So, unless David is willing to support that claim with the names of Republicans who want to overturn our system of government in favor of a theocracy, his claim is nothing short of slander.
Robertson is under the impression that laws enacted due to the religious beliefs of the electorate are unconstitutional, but he will look in vain for any provision in our constitution to the contrary. Indeed, if David’s insistence that the codification of marriage being defined as one man and one woman is the province of a theocracy, then by his standard, we’ve always had a theocracy because marriage, until a few months ago, was always defined in a heterosexual context. Moreover, six of the original thirteen states had established churches, and the Founders were careful not to displace them in crafting the First Amendment. As liberal scholar Laurence Tribe acknowledged, “A growing body of evidence suggests that the Framers principally intended the Establishment of Religion Clause to perform two functions: to protect state religious establishments from national displacement, and to prevent the national government from aiding some, but not all, religions.” In other words, the purpose behind the supreme law of the land’s First Amendment was, in part, to protect state-established churches. Is that a theocracy?
Religious citizens whose worldview is necessarily informed by their beliefs are equal members of society and have every civic duty and right to participate in political debate and the enacting of laws. They have every right of free speech to have the electorate consider their proposals. Their priests, ministers, rabbis or imams do not decide those issues (as in a theocracy), but the People via direct vote or through their elected representatives determine what laws should govern society. David’s view is, in essence, every bit a bigoted as those he criticizes. What would David say to our insistence that naturalized Mexicans leave whatever they liked about Mexican culture at home when they enter the voting booth? Would that be proper or bigoted in David’s view? Of course, if a U.S. citizen who came from Mexico believes that some things from h/er culture are better than our own, s/he has every right to argue that among h/er fellow citizens for their consideration before a vote. Ditto for religious citizens. To argue that religion is any different is bigoted and is not rooted in any provision of our Constitution.
So, David thinks that the Democrats are better with respect to “bootstraps,” white collar crime, and the concept of a republic with respect to rights. Since he doesn’t support his “argument” with anything approaching reasons to believe him, he has in effect said nothing worthwhile. I feel genuine sympathy for the pain he’s had to endure due to an unspecified disability, but that is no defense or justification for the uncalled-for insults he has published on this blog. His scurrilous posts can be interpreted as nothing other than the unprincipled ranting of a man who seeks not to persuade but to denigrate.
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