Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Klein, Rehnquist, and Santorum's "opinion"

Slow Saturday, huh?

Ion and I visited the local Borders today, and Klein's Hillary book was on prominent display. I'm in the process of cajoling her to make a post on that book. It accuses Hillary of sekrit lesbian affairs. I'm unsure as to which is worse: the fact that the book makes up lies about her or the fact that calling someone a "lesbian" is meant to slander her good name. However, I'll leave Ion to speak on this - she's looking into getting a copy of the book so she can address it more fully.

Many news sources are saying Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist will retire soon. His immenent retirement is even mentioned in my most current issue of 'The Advocate.' That issue says that O'Connor's retirement should be coming up; guess it came out just before her news.

Update on Santorum's book: CNN had a brief bit about the book. (You can get a copy of it here). Even the conservative Torie Clarke is peeved by his charge that women are happier at home. She says:

CLARKE: I disagree. I know women of all sizes and shapes and ages who have chosen many, many different paths. And they all put a lot of thought into it and lucky they can make the sorts of choices. You know, I think what's going to happen with this book is, some of those more inflammatory quotes are going to get a lot of mileage and the Santorum people will spend a lot of time saying, well that was taken out of context and you have to look at this aspect of it. And it will become a big, political battle. And there will be lots of ads and lots of counter ads.

And as I say, at the end of the day, I think it's a wash. But I would be interested to see as the campaign goes on, it's going to be one of the toughest campaigns, how many of those things does he go back and revisit and say what I really meant to say was. (Transcript here).

To this, Talkinghead Begala says:

BEGALA: It wasn't an off the cuff statement. Everybody says stupid things. But it was a book that apparently he's been working on for a year, you say. This is what he believes. And that's OK. He has a right to those opinions. But the state of Pennsylvania, a lot of those working moms are going to say, wait a minute, I'm a Republican, I may even agree with him on abortion. But I don't want to be lectured that I'm somehow a bad mom.

This statement stood out to me: "This is what he believes. And that's OK. He has a right to those opinions."

This will probably sound awful, but I don't think I agree with that. Yes, I believe Santorum has the right to say the things he says. After all, that's Free Speech. But I've begun to wonder how far the excuse, "Well, that's his opinion" goes. We're all taught to respect opinions, but the minute I hear a right wing fundamentalist say that gays will corrupt children, I stop believing that anyone should care about his opinion. What about Phelps? Should we let him off the hook because "God hates Fags" is his opinion?

Of course, I'm not saying we should refuse to let Phelps or Santorum speak, or lock them away for what they say. That would be against Free Speech, as I said before. But I don't believe that opinions should be held so highly. Begala said, "That's okay. He has a right to those opinions." But I don't think it is okay. Because his opinions are wrong.

Of course, from here we can go into a philosophical discourse on why my opinions should matter more. And I do want to avoid that. For the time being, I'll merely point out that I don't speak against women having careers, and I've never compared gay sex to bestiality. I think those two points should speak highly of my opinion.


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