Monday, June 29, 2015

Look away, Dixieland




The Religious Right  is entertaining if nothing else.  A Texas pastor threatened to set himself on fire if the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage.  Now we can only wait and see if Rick Scarborough goes through with his fiery threat.

It was a rough week for Evangelical Conservatives, particularly those in the South, who not only saw the SCOTUS open the flood gates to gay marriage, but Dixie flags taken down all over their fair region.  Adding to the Trifecta of Horror is that the Affordable Care Act now appears here to stay, as the SCOTUS also ruled against the faux case against federal subsidies, essentially ending the five-year war Conservatives have waged against "Obamacare."

What's a religious conservative to do now, other than to immolate himself?  It seems our Republican candidates are going to take the case to the people, their people anyway.  Ted Cruz has vowed to make his opposition to gay marriage central to his campaign.  He is not alone in this stance.  We already saw former Governor Huck say that he would openly defy such a Supreme Court decision.  From this point forward, he will answer only to the "Supreme Being."  Very well, Huck, then why bother running for President?

Lindsey Graham was the lone voice of reason, urging his fellow Republicans to look beyond the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage, and instead protect its own vested interests.  But, I well imagine his plea will fall on deaf ears, because many Evangelical Conservatives now believe they are an oppressed class, and that the only one they have on their side is God.

In their fevered minds, the United States has become a heathen nation, destined to fall into the fiery flames of hell.  Time to retreat into the mountains and await the Second Coming, if only they would do so and leave the rest of us alone.  

Unfortunately, they will continue to issue threats and ultimatums, as this is one of the few things they know how to do.  Their perceived political might has been broken, by two conservative judges no less -- Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy -- who joined the damn liberal judges on both decisions.

Roberts made a mockery of fellow Judges Scalia, Thomas and Alito's comments on King v. Burwell, pointing out that you can't throw out an entire health care act over a few poorly chosen words.  It is the intent of the legislation that matters and clearly the subsidies were meant to be provided to all those who needed assistance, not just those at the state level.

Justice Scalia fumed at the majority decision, using a bunch of flowery phrases to highlight his dissent.  But, it has been clear from the get-go that he and Thomas and Alito are no more than Right Wing ideologues, perfectly content to rule in favor of conservative interests regardless how poorly the case is presented.  It's an utter embarrassment to have these men sitting on the highest court in the land.

However, you can bet that the conservative faithful will be burning Chief Justice Roberts in effigy.  He has protected the Affordable Care Act before, but one can hardly call him a liberal as he voted to gut the Voting Rights Act and ruled in favor of Citizen United, which opened the flood gates to corporate funding of election campaigns, by essentially bestowing on corporations the rights of an individual.  Roberts swings both ways, so you never are quite sure which side he will come down on.

I suppose it won't be long before law suits are mounted against state governments taking down the Dixie flag.  It is painfully clear that the majority of Americans no longer wants this odious flag flying over state buildings and public spaces, but that doesn't stop individuals from displaying the flag in public as they protest the Alabama's governor's decision to remove the flag from public spaces.  

It's just amazing that these individuals rest their entire reason for being on such tarnished symbols.  However, they should look at it differently, as Dixie flags are destined to become collector's items now that Wal-mart and other companies are pulling them as well as Dixie-related paraphernalia from their shelves.

Slowly but surely the recalcitrance, which for some gives the South its "charm," is evaporating.  Like it or not, the "Redneck vote" no longer turns elections except at the local level.  You will still find Southern hamlets which defiantly buck the mainstream of America, but they will no longer have much affect on the politics of the region.  That is a very good thing!



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