Thursday, September 24, 2009

Craziest Republican of the Day: Steve King

By Michael J.W. Stickings

This may be one of the stupidest things ever uttered by an elected official in American history. Rep. Steve King (R-IA), it is clear, hates the gays, and doesn't have a clue:

So in the end this is something that has to come with a, if there's a push for a socialist society, a society where the foundations of individual rights and liberties are undermined and everybody is thrown together, living collectively off of one pot of resources earned by everyone. That is, this is one of the goals they have to go to is same-sex marriage because it has to plow through marriage in order to get to their goal. They want public affirmation. They want access to public funds and resources. Eventually all those resources will be pooled because that's the direction we're going. And not only is it a radical social idea, it is a purely socialist concept in the final analysis.

Of course, this is not just stupid, and ignorant, and bigoted, and crazy, but totally nonsensical:

-- How is same-sex marriage "living collectively"? King obviously doesn't get it. Same-sex marriage is, lest we forget, marriage, the union of two people. Gays and lesbians marrying, as they do elsewhere (like in Canada), would hardly usher in some collectivist utopia.

-- Where is the "push for a socialist society" in America. King no doubt things that Obama is a socialist, but he clearly doesn't know what socialism is, or at least doesn't recognize it. Nothing Obama is doing is socialist, and there's nothing in Obama's or the Democrats' agenda that is socialist. Health-care reform? No. There is no talk among Democrats of a single-payer system (which is hardly socialist -- just come up here to Canada, not much of a socialist bastion), and even the public option as Obama envisions it would be but a small component of the system. If anything, the various reform packages being considered are all strongly pro-market in their emphasis on competition. If anything, there would be more competition, more choice, under a new system.

-- Same-sex marriage is all about "individual rights and liberties," not "pooled" resources. Gays and lesbians just want to be left alone, to live and to love as they want. What the hell's wrong with that? If anything is "collectivist," it's the moralism of the likes of Steve King, who wish to legislate how people are allowed to live, to regulate how they are allowed to be in private.

-- How does same-sex marriage threaten traditional heterosexual marriage? This is a common point made by the various anti-gay bigots on the right, but I wonder why they have such a low opinion of marriage? Is the institution so weak that divorce would skyrocket if gay and lesbian couples were also allowed to be able to marry? Hardly. Or perhaps King fears that heterosexual men and women would turn away from each other and embrace the gay and lesbian within?

Anyway, I'm sure many more stupid things have been uttered, including by more awful anti-gay bigots than King. The right is littered with them, after all. Still, there's no denying that this is stupid in a particularly crazy way.

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