The Cheap Political Theatre behind The Republicans’ DOMA Outrage

Mar 08 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

It is fairly well-known that political hypocrisy is standard fare in the Republican Party and lately they have not been remiss to manifestly intensify their duplicitous actions on legislation. When President Obama announced that the government would no longer defend DOMA in the courts, Republicans complained that the president was not doing his constitutional duty of upholding the law of the land. Their accusations and complaints portray Republican ideology that employs two standards of behavior depending on the partisan legislation being considered.

Former Speaker of the House and presumed presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich (R-GA), suggested that Obama was “replacing the rule of law with the rule of Obama.” He imputed that Obama could face impeachment for not enforcing the rule of law. If Gingrich and Republicans believe enforcing legislation that was passed according to the Constitution is important, then they should reconsider defunding and repealing the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA). Both laws are on the books, and all government representatives take a constitutional oath to defend the law which means the same approach should apply to each law. Except there is a difference between DOMA and AHCA and it does involve constitutionality as far as DOMA is concerned. The GOP, though, are masters of double-standard when they can arouse emotional religious dogmata of their conservative Christian constituents.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has taken up the legal responsibility of defending the constitutionality of DOMA in court and he is forming a Bipartisan Legal Advisory Board to work out how to defend the law. Boehner further exposed the lying hypocrisy Republicans are known for when he stated, “It is regrettable that the Obama Administration has opened this divisive issue at a time when Americans want their leaders to focus on jobs and the challenges facing our economy.” It is questionable whether or not Republicans listen to their own drivel when they make those statements. Republicans have not spent one minute focusing on jobs or the economy apart from proposing spending cuts that will eliminate nearly 685,000 jobs directly and another 325,000 indirectly.

Republicans provided America with a lesson in hypocrisy over the stimulus bill when they voted and spoke out against the economic assistance measure claiming it did not create jobs, but lobbied for funding and boasted to their constituents they had brought money and jobs to their districts. Newly-elected tea party representatives denounced the Affordable Health Care Act as free government health care, but complained that their government health care took too long to kick in.

Although Republicans campaigned and promised to make job creation their highest priority, they began the 112th Congress by voting to repeal the AHCA and defund it piece by piece. The health law was passed according to the Constitution and Republicans hate it because President Obama supported it. The mandate in the AHCA has been challenged in courts so President Obama gave states the option of substituting their own health law. The question of legality concerns the Federal government’s authority to regulate interstate commerce and will most likely be decided by the Supreme Court. The president’s offer to allow states to opt out of the health law eliminates the need for federal mandates.

DOMA is a different matter because it has to do with equal protection under the law and upends the history of allowing states to set marriage laws. A judge in federal court struck down DOMA as unconstitutional and wrote that, “The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state.” States’ rights are a mainstay issue of Republicans except when a judge rules against a bible-inspired law. There is little doubt that DOMA is unconstitutional, or that it is discriminatory against same-sex couples. When President Obama said the government would stop defending an unconstitutional law, he did not eradicate it from the books or make the court judgment himself like Gingrich and Boehner allege. According to Republican logic, attempts to challenge, vote for repeal, and defund the AHCA is replacing the rule of law with the rule of Christian extremists, homophobic bigots, and rank hypocrites.

The Republican outrage at Obama’s decision to stop defending DOMA in court is political theatre for Christian conservatives and nothing else. John Boehner said job creation is the highest priority and yet he is taking more time and money to defend Christianity than creating jobs. To make matters worse, the Christian-inspired spending cuts and legislative capers will eliminate jobs and continue discrimination against gays and women.

If Republicans were truly concerned that federal laws must be vigorously defended, they would not pursue the AHCA to defund or repeal it; but they are hypocrites. If Republicans cared at all about job creation or the economy like they claim, they would stop eliminating jobs through spending cuts; but they are hypocrites. The problem is that Republicans have no solution or plans to create jobs, fix the economy, or provide affordable health care for Americans. Their solution to every problem in America is to practice hypocrisy as long as it keeps the campaign coffers full and the bible-crowd happy.

Fortunately for America, the Republican hypocrisy has become so blatant that the public cannot help but notice the GOP panders to Christians and corporations when it works in their electoral favor. Republicans will never understand that electoral pandering and hypocrisy are not substitutes for substance and integrity because they are Republicans and hypocrisy is one of the things they do best.

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