Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bachmann Fails Government 101

See, why would you take the time to poke fun at a picture of Michele Bachmann eating a corn dog when all you have to do is wait a few minutes for her to say something idiotic? Eating a corn dog doesn't make someone a bad presidential candidate, but not understanding how the government works sure as hell does.

In an interview with CNN, Bachmann trotted out the tired old phrase "legislating from the bench" in reference to Varnum, the 2009 Iowa Supreme Court decision that allowed same-sex marriage here. She's opposed, she said, to legislating from the bench. She's opposed to judges "substituting their opinion for that of the people," which is what she thinks happened in Iowa.

OK, listen closely, Michele: Judges have one job, and that's to interpret the laws in light of the Constitution. Judges do not consult "the people" before making their decisions. They don't have to. If judges based their interpretation of the laws based on the will of the people, we wouldn't need judges. Hell, we wouldn't even need law schools.

Does Michele Bachmann really not know this?

I mean, I can understand pretending not to know it in order to appeal to the uneducated. But those people are already going to vote for her. How does a real or pretend misunderstanding of how government works help you win over the undecided? The independent? The people who actually know what role the judicial branch is supposed to play?

The CNN interviewer asked Bachmann what harm she thought had been done by the 2009 ruling. She didn't answer the question, but rather said it was more important for people to "weigh in on the laws they choose to live under." In other words, she thought the people should have been able to vote on same-sex marriage.

But what people, Michele? The bigoted? The self-righteous? We had a vote last November and a slim majority of Iowans--incited by out-of-state special interest groups--fired three Supreme Court justices. Not for malfeasance. Not for corruption. For disagreeing with them.

For doing their jobs right, essentially.

I wish Bachmann had attempted to answer the question about what harm had befallen Iowa since gay men and women were allowed to marry. If she were truly honest, she would have had to admit that the state has proceeded apace with nary a blip attributed to Varnum. If on the other hand she was just being Michele Bachmann, she would have come up with something. I have a feeling, though, that she probably would have just echoed what the State claimed during the 2009 hearing might happen if same-sex marriage were allowed--harm to children of same-sex couples, basically. The Court found these arguments specious and unsupported.

Of course, "specious and unsupported" means "perfectly logical" to the people Bachmann is trying to appeal to.

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