Monday, 21 April 2003

More Republican idiocy

I have to wonder if ascending to a leadership post in the Senate requires contracting Tourette’s syndrome. The latest moron: Rick Santorum (R-PA), whose attitude toward homosexuality is (and I quote, believe me I wish I was making this shiz-nit up):

If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.

The most charitable interpretation of this quote (which apparently refers to the Supreme Court’s upcoming case that might overturn the unfortunately-named Bowers v. Hardwick, Lawrence v. Texas—no relation) is… scratch that, there is no charitable interpretation. The dude’s a moron, or high, or something. Compare this made-up quote:

If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to drink alcohol within your home, then you have the right to do blow, you have the right to deflower virgin cheerleaders, you have the right to drink bongwater, you have the right to sunbathe naked on your front lawn. You have the right to do anything.

It makes about as much logical sense. Possibly more.

James Joyner has more; he finds a bit more logical consistency in Santorum’s statement than I give him credit for.

You can read a more benign intent into the quote from the more recent article that most have linked from; however, the original wire story (linked above) puts a bit more context around it—and Santorum’s definitely staking out a vehemently anti-gay position. Also: Matthew Yglesias, along with most of the blogospheric left, isn’t particularly surprised.

Eugene Volokh thinks it’s a faux controversy. Just to be clear, my objection isn’t so much to the position Santorum stakes out as it is to the choice of activities he implicitly compares homosexuality to. For example, heterosexual sodomy, premarital cohabitation, and the sale of sex toys are sexual acts whose constitutional protection might follow from overturning Texas’ sodomy statute, yet Santorum doesn’t complain about them—even though those acts are considered morally questionable in some quarters and remain technically illegal in certain states, including Mississippi; see e.g. Mississippi Code 97-29-105 (distribution of sex toys illegal—up to a year in jail, plus fines), 97-29-59 (“unnatural intercourse”—up to ten years at Parchman, where presumably more “unnatural intercourse” would take place) and 97-29-1 (cohabitation illegal—up to six months in jail, plus fines).

Via John Cole. A bit of surfing with Lexis-Nexis failed to turn up the original source for this quote; it apparently came directly from an interview with this reporter.