A Clown Car Crossover Extravaganza

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal' by Zach Weiner, 12 June 2015.

Two stars of the 2016 GOP Clown Car strove for fabulosity in a crossover clusterdiddle for the ages. Steve Benen of msnbc brings us the Tales of Two Petty Whines in the wake of marriage equality; first up, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s (R) grasp of constitutional law has long been a little fuzzy. In January, the Republican presidential candidate said Supreme Court rulings don’t set the law of the land because decisions need to be enshrined by lawmakers through “enabling legislation.”

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks to guests gathered at the Point of Grace Church for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff on April 25, 2015 in Waukee, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)The problem, of course, was that this was gibberish.

Huckabee’s argument was presented in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, which arrived on Friday. Right on cue, the former governor made a similar argument to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos yesterday.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So are you calling for civil disobedience?

HUCKABEE: I don’t think a lot of pastors and Christian schools are going to have a choice. They either are going to follow God, their conscience and what they truly believe is what the scripture teaches them, or they will follow civil law. They will go the path of Dr. Martin Luther King, who in his brilliant essay the letters from a Birmingham jail reminded us, based on what St. Augustine said, that an unjust law is no law at all. And I do think that we’re going to see a lot of pastors who will have to make this tough decision.

He added moments later, “I’m not sure that every governor and every attorney general should just say, well, ‘It’s the law of the land,’ because there’s no enabling legislation.” When Stephanopoulos asked if he would enforce federal law if elected president, Huckabee said it would depend on Congress passing “enabling legislation.”

Mr. Benen makes the first, obvious point, that, “There won’t be ‘enabling legislation’.” Mr. Huckabee is, in all seriousness, pulling a screeching monkey out of his ass and telling you it’s a rabbit prophesying in a hat.

There is also the question of civil disobedience, and while most can agree it has its place, one wonders if our Republican neighbors can tell the difference. In tihs case, the proposition is a matter of civil disobedience in assertion of a right to discriminate and harm. In Jesus’ name, you know. Amen.

But wait, there’s more!

Because Mr. Huckabee really isn’t so unique in demanding the equality of being superior under the law, that one’s rights are fouled by a prohibition against fouling those of others. Indeed, that is true, also, of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. The Devil, as they say, is in the detail:

For the last several years, Republicans have complained bitterly about President Obama’s respect for the rule of law. Every time the president relies on executive actions to implement his policy agenda, GOP officials – even at the highest levels – lash out wildly, accusing Obama of overseeing a lawless, tyrannical presidency.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), speaks at the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Legislative Conference and Presidential Forum in Washington, D.C., 10 March 2015. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)He ignores laws and court rulings he doesn’t like, Republicans say. He’s shredded the Constitution, the argument goes, en route to creating a dictatorship.

Indeed, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has helped lead the charge, telling Fox News last year that Obama has shown a flagrant disregard for the law and democratic norms. “The pattern we’ve seen under President Obama, disregarding the law, is really one of the most troubling aspects of this presidency,” the far-right senator said. “When he disagrees with the law … he simply refuses to comply with it.”

The GOP apoplexy has never really made any sense, but as of yesterday, the complaints have taken an ironic twist. Politico reported:

Ted Cruz has some unsolicited advice for the states not specifically named in last week’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage: Ignore it.

“Those who are not parties to the suit are not bound by it,” the Texas Republican told NPR News’ Steve Inskeep in an interview published on Monday. Since only suits against the states of Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky were specifically considered in the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which was handed down last Friday, Cruz – a former Supreme Court clerk – believes that other states with gay marriage bans need not comply, absent a judicial order.

To Mr. Cruz’s credit, at least he isn’t inventing some faery-tale “enabling legislation”. To the other, he is calling for government officials to refuse to enforce the law.

You know, because it’s only Constitutional if Christians can opt out of the Constitution at will.

And, well, isn’t that the bigger punch line?

This is, after all, the presidency we’re talking about. Both of these men, Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, would have you listen to their appeals that they should be selected to undertake a sacred oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

And they will, right after we make a religious freedom exemption so Christians can be above the law.

____________________

Image notes: Top ― Detail of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal by Zach Weiner, 12 June 2015. Middle right ― Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks to guests gathered at the Point of Grace Church for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff on April 25, 2015 in Waukee, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) Bottom right ― Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), speaks at the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Legislative Conference and Presidential Forum in Washington, D.C., 10 March 2015. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

Benen, Steve. “Huckabee sees merits of civil disobedience”. msnbc. 29 June 2015.

—————. “Cruz urges officials to ignore Supreme Court ruling”. msnbc. 30 June 2015.

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