While something like half of the commentariat is predicting that the Supreme Court will choose, in its late September 2014 conference, to take marriage equality cases in some form or other, and will give marriage equality in its June 2015 decision to every mother’s son not to mention to every mother’s daughter in the US, there is a minority of the commentariat that is focussing on the other aspect of the future: What will a Tea Party Member feel when he wakes up the morning after SCOTUS gives everybody marriage equality? (More on this one in a moment.)
Sometimes all of science fiction converges to give us a glimpse of the future. This week, an example. On September 8, 2014, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Washington Bureau Chief, Stephen Koff, writes an essay for their site cleveland.com, which suggests this sequence of events next year: (first) Late June 2015, SCOTUS strikes down all marriage equality bans around the country. (second) Senator Rob Portman (conservative Republican, Ohio) who came out for marriage equality when his son, Will, came out to him. (third) This means SCOTUS makes Senator Portman’s position on marriage equality the only one it’s legal to have in the Republican Party. (fourth) In consequence, and a few other factors, for which see Koff’s essay on cleveland.com, Senator Portman wins the Republican nomination in November 2015. Stephen Koff says, “Rob Portman could be the Republican Party’s first post-gay marriage presidential candidate.” He is serious, too.
On the same day, September 8, 2014, hunter, the frequent diarist on DailyKos, writes an essay under the headline, “Could marriage equality help the presidential dreams of Republican Rob Portman? Um, no.” You might think that this headline nailed it and that there is no reason to read further. But you would be wrong. Both of these posts are very long posts, filled with disagreement about a lot of things, but with agreement on a few things, the biggest of which seems to be that, somehow the radical right is going to be emasculated by SCOTUS and by their failure to boss around the Republicans in 2016.
The result of this sequence of events—which didn’t seem to affect either the Washington Bureau Chief of the Cleveland Plain Dealer or the frequent diarist of DailyKos with the same corrosive effect that it had on me—is that after we get marriage equality, the moderate right, moderates, and the activist left agree that we’re going to defeat the Republican Party but not the radical right. That is, we’re not going to defeat the radical right. After everybody can be married who wants it, we are, all of us, going to be subject to attacks from the radical right, who, cut loose from any moderating influences from a national party, are now free to be the savages they are.
We’re going to get the radical right (in hunter’s charming phrase) in their frothing fits. And you thought that getting marriage meant boxing up the wedding clothes and writing thank-you notes and moving on. Silly you. Would it really be better to get out your ole machete and put it under your pillow?
Could it possibly be true that marriage equality enrages them even more than an abortion? Was Justice Ginsberg right all along? This is the first prediction I’ve made on this blog that I really believe. Shit. They’re going to be enraged. And that’s going to be dangerous for all of us, married or not.