Losing their grip


Rainbows illuminated the White House, the Empire State Building, and other landmarks after the Supreme Court affirmed the right to marry from sea to shining sea. As most Americans basked in this milestone’s afterglow, conservative leaders stomped their feet, disparaged the nation’s most influential court, and howled.

“I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch,” thundered Mike Huckabee. “We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.”

The former Arkansas governor wasn’t the only Republican running for president who responded to recent rulings like a tantrum-prone toddler.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal suggested that it might be time to “get rid” of the Supreme Court rather than accept its rulings in favor of same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act.

Ted Cruz, who questioned the court’s “fundamental legitimacy,” wants to subject its justices to periodic national elections. In the meantime, he told Texas clerks, they ought to feel free to deny marriage licenses.

Cruz isn’t likely to get his way with Supreme Court elections. Even if he did, what makes him think the American people would elect justices who oppose same-sex marriage? Polls show that two-thirds of us support this freedom, so doubling down on the wrong side of history would hardly help.

The GOP hopefuls echoed the sore-loser spirit captured in Justice Antonin Scalia’s bizarre dissent. The best part is where he tells the five judges who voted for equality to go hide their heads “in a bag.”

Cruz, Jindal, Huckabee, and the rest of their gang are in for a reality check when the 2016 general elections roll around. Their antics are bound to enrage more voters than they engage.

And the Republican Party and its operatives may well find that disparaging LGBTQ communities — on top of snubbing Latino, black, and low-income people — keeps them locked out of the White House.

Most of these conservative rants invoke religious freedom as a justification for denying same-sex couples the same rights everyone else has. This gross generalization is baffling. Plenty of faith-based communities welcome people regardless of their sexual orientation.

These guys should meet my rabbi — and her wife.

Besides, if prominent Republicans are so respectful of organized religion, why are they shaking their fists at Pope Francis for demanding climate action?

Why aren’t they making more noise about the string of fires destroying southern black churches in the wake of the Charleston massacre and the national soul-searching it triggered?

Some conservatives get it. They’re imploring GOP leaders to stop pandering to their base about God, guns, and gays. Unless Republicans realize what Americans actually want from our leaders in 2015, “they’ll pay the price for decades,” says Arthur Brooks, president of the generally right-wing American Enterprise Institute.

When my kids were toddlers, I found long stroller rides a great way to stave off impassioned outbursts. Sometimes, one or both of them would conk out before we rolled up to the playground.

Strollers don’t come big enough for even Dennis Kucinich-size presidential candidates. They surely can’t accommodate Scalia, Clarence Thomas, or Samuel Alito either. So could someone please hand these guys a pile of crackers and a sippy cup, then give them all a timeout?

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