Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Obama Won't Defend DOMA

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) went into law in 1996, supported by large majorities in both House and Senate, and was signed into law by Bill Clinton as Americans closed their eyes to the strange new idea that gay and lesbian couples might want to marry. The law said that states did not have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states, and further stated that in any federal policies regarding marriage "the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."

DOMA is simply anti-gay bigotry encoded in law. It's hard to imagine that we have come so far in fifteen years, but public opinion turned a major corner during those years, and this law is simply an embarrassment to our country at this point.

Today our President did something Presidential. He announced that DOMA is unconstitutional and the administration is not going to defend it any more.

The AP is as good a source as anybody.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama ordered his administration on Wednesday to stop defending the constitutionality of a federal law that bans recognition of gay marriage, a policy reversal that could have major implications for the rights and benefits of gay couples and reignite an emotional debate for the 2012 presidential campaign.

Obama still is "grappling" with his personal views on whether gays should be allowed to marry but has long opposed the federal law as unnecessary and unfair, said spokesman Jay Carney.

First word of the change came not from the White House but from the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Obama had concluded the 15-year-old Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was legally indefensible.

The decision was immediately welcomed by gay rights organizations and vilified by those on the other side. Some Democrats in Congress praised the decision, while it drew criticism from some Republicans and the office of their leader, House Speaker John Boehner, all surely a preview of coming political debate over the latest development in the long-running national conversation about gay rights.

The outcome of that debate could have enormous impact because federal laws and regulations confer more than a thousand rights or benefits on those who are married, most involving taxpayer money — Social Security survivors' benefits, family and medical leave, equal compensation as federal employees and immigration rights.

"Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA," Holder said in a statement explaining the decision.

As well, the social landscape has changed. Government drops defense of anti-gay-marriage law

As required by law, the White House sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner explaining the decision (note, transcript taken from OCR, probably has errors in it, even after extensive editing):
February 23, 2011
The Honorable John A. Boehner, Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
Re: Defense of Marriage Act

Dear Mr. Speaker:

After careful consideration, including review of a recommendation from me, the President of the United States has made the determination that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA"), 1 U.S.C. § 7, 1 as applied to same-sex couples who are legally married under state law, violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 530D, I am writing to advise you of the Executive Branch's determination and to inform you of the steps the Department will take in two pending DOMA cases to implement that determination.

While the Department has previously defended DOMA against legal challenges involving legally married same-sex couples, recent lawsuits that challenge the constitutionality of DOMA Section 3 have caused the President and the Department to conduct a new examination of the defense of this provision. In particular, in November 2011, plaintiffs filed two new lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA in jurisdictions without precedent on whether sexual-orientation classifications are subject to rational basis review or whether they must satisfy some form of heightened scrutiny. Windsor v. United States, No. l:1O-cv-8435 (S.D.N.Y.); Pedersen v. OPM, No. 3:10-cv-1750 (D. Conn.). Previously, the Administration has defended Section 3 in jurisdictions where circuit courts have already held that classifications based on sexual orientation are subject to rational basis review, and it has advanced arguments to defend DOMA Section 3 under the binding standard that has applied in those cases.[2]

These new lawsuits, by contrast, will require the Department to take an affirmative position on the level of scrutiny that should be applied to DOMA Section 3 in a circuit without binding precedent on the issue. As described more fully below, the President and I have concluded that classifications based on sexual orientation warrant heightened scrutiny and that, as applied to same-sex couples legally married under state law, Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional.

Standard of Review
The Supreme Court has yet to rule on the appropriate level of scrutiny for classifications based on sexual orientation. It has, however, rendered a number of decisions that set forth the criteria that should inform this and any other judgment as to whether heightened scrutiny applies: (1) whether the group in question has suffered a history of discrimination; (2) whether individuals "exhibit obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics that define them as a discrete group"; (3) whether the group is a minority or is politically powerless; and (4) whether the characteristics distinguishing the group have little relation to legitimate policy objectives or to an individual's "ability to perform or contribute to society." See Bowen v. Gilliard, 483 U.S. 587,602-03 (1987); City a/Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Crr., 473 U.S. 432, 441-42 (1985).

Each of these factors counsels in favor of being suspicious of classifications based on sexual orientation. First and most importantly, there is, regrettably, a significant history of purposeful discrimination against gay and lesbian people, by governmental as well as private entities, based on prejudice and stereotypes that continue to have ramifications today. Indeed, until very recently, states have "demean[ed] the[] existence" of gays and lesbians "by making their private sexual conduct a crime." Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 578 (2003).[3]

Second, while sexual orientation carries no visible badge, a growing scientific consensus accepts that sexual orientation is a characteristic that is immutable, see Richard A. Posner, Sex and Reason 101 (1992); it is undoubtedly unfair to require sexual orientation to be hidden from view to avoid discrimination, see Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of201O, Pub. L. No. 111321, 124 Stat. 3515 (2010).

Third, the adoption of laws like those at issue in Romer v. Evans, 517 U. S. 620 (1996), and Lawrence, the longstanding ban on gays and lesbians in the military, and the absence of federal protection for employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation show the group to have limited political power and "ability to attract the [favorable] attention of the lawmakers." Cleburne, 473 U.S. at 445. And while the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act and pending repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell indicate that the political process is not closed entirely to gay and lesbian people, that is not the standard by which the Court has judged "political powerlessness." Indeed, when the Court ruled that gender-based classifications were subject to heightened scrutiny, women already had won major political victories such as the Nineteenth Amendment (right to vote) and protection under Title VII (employment discrimination).

Finally, there is a growing acknowledgment that sexual orientation "bears no relation to ability to perform or contribute to society." Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677, 686 (1973) (plurality). Recent evolutions in legislation (including the pending repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell), in community practices and attitudes, in case law (including the Supreme Court's holdings in Lawrence and Romer), and in social science regarding sexual orientation all make clear that sexual orientation is not a characteristic that generally bears on legitimate policy objectives. See, e.g., Statement by the President on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of2010 ("It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed.")

To be sure, there is substantial circuit court authority applying rational basis review to sexual-orientation classifications. We have carefully examined each of those decisions. Many of them reason only that if consensual same-sex sodomy may be criminalized under Bowers v. Hardwick, then it follows that no heightened review is appropriate a line of reasoning that does not survive the overruling of Bowers in Lawrence v. Texas, 538 U.S. 558 (2003).[4] Others rely on claims regarding "procreational responsibility" that the Department has disavowed already in litigation as unreasonable, or claims regarding the immutability of sexual orientation that we do not believe can be reconciled with more recent social science understandings.[5] And none engages in an examination of all the factors that the Supreme Court has identified as relevant to a decision about the appropriate level of scrutiny. Finally, many of the more recent decisions have relied on the fact that the Supreme Court has not recognized that gays and lesbians constitute a suspect class or the fact that the Court has applied rational basis review in its most recent decisions addressing classifications based on sexual orientation, Lawrence and Romer.[6] But neither of those decisions reached, let alone resolved, the level of scrutiny issue because in both the Court concluded that the laws could not even survive the more deferential rational basis standard.

Application to Section 3 of DOMA
In reviewing a legislative classification under heightened scrutiny, the government must establish that the classification is "substantially related to an important government objective." Clark v. Jeter, 486 U.S. 456,461 (1988). Under heightened scrutiny, "a tenable justification must describe actual state purposes, not rationalizations for actions in fact differently grounded." United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515,535-36 (1996). "The justification must be genuine, not hypothesized or invented post hoc in response to litigation." Id. at 533.

In other words, under heightened scrutiny, the United States cannot defend Section 3 by advancing hypothetical rationales, independent of the legislative record, as it has done in circuits where precedent mandates application of rational basis review. Instead, the United States can defend Section 3 only by invoking Congress' actual justifications for the law.

Moreover, the legislative record underlying DOMA's passage contains discussion and debate that undermines any defense under heightened scrutiny. The record contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships -precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against.7 See Cleburne, 473 U.S. at 448 ("mere negative attitudes, or fear" are not permissible bases for discriminatory treatment); see also Romer, 517 U.S. at 635 (rejecting rationale that law was supported by "the liberties of landlords or employers who have personal or religious objections to homosexuality"); Palmore v. Sidotti, 466 U.S. 429, 433 (1984) ("Private biases may be outside the reach of the law, but the law cannot, directly or indirectly, give them effect.").

Application to Second Circuit Cases
After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in Windsor and Pedersen, now pending in the Southern District of New York and the District of Connecticut. I concur in this determination.

Notwithstanding this determination, the President has informed me that Section 3 will continue to be enforced by the Executive Branch. To that end, the President has instructed Executive agencies to continue to comply with Section 3 of DOMA, consistent with the Executive's obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, unless and until Congress repeals Section 3 or the judicial branch renders a definitive verdict against the law's constitutionality. This course of action respects the actions of the prior Congress that enacted DOMA, and it recognizes the judiciary as the final arbiter of the constitutional claims raised.

As you know, the Department has a longstanding practice of defending the constitutionality of duly-enacted statutes if reasonable arguments can be made in their defense, a practice that accords the respect appropriately due to a coequal branch of government. However, the Department in the past has declined to defend statutes despite the availability of professionally responsible arguments, in part because the Department does not consider every plausible argument to be a "reasonable" one. "[D]ifferent cases can raise very different issues with respect to statutes of doubtful constitutional validity," and thus there are "a variety of factors that bear on whether the Department will defend the constitutionality of a statute." Letter to Hon. Orrin G. Hatch from Assistant Attorney General Andrew Fois at 7 (Mar. 22, 1996). This is the rare case where the proper course is to forgo the defense of this statute. Moreover, the Department has declined to defend a statute "in cases in which it is manifest that the President has concluded that the statute is unconstitutional," as is the case here. Seth P. Waxman, Defending Congress, 79 N.C. L.Rev. 1073, 1083 (2001).

In light of the foregoing, I will instruct the Department's lawyers to immediately inform the district courts in Windsor and Pedersen of the Executive Branch's view that heightened scrutiny is the appropriate standard of review and that, consistent with that standard, Section 3 of DOMA may not be constitutionally applied to same-sex couples whose marriages are legally recognized under state law. If asked by the district courts in the Second Circuit for the position of the United States in the event those courts determine that the applicable standard is rational basis, the Department will state that, consistent with the position it has taken in prior cases, a reasonable argument for Section 3's constitutionality may be proffered under that permissive standard. Our attorneys will also notify the courts of our interest in providing Congress a full and fair opportunity to participate in the litigation in those cases. We will remain parties to the case and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation.

Furthermore, pursuant to the President's instructions, and upon further notification to Congress, I will instruct Department attorneys to advise courts in other pending DOMA litigation of the President's and my conclusions that a heightened standard should apply, that Section 3 is unconstitutional under that standard and that the Department will cease defense of Section 3.

A motion to dismiss in the Windsor and Pedersen cases would be due on March 11,2011. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Sincerely yours,
Eric H. Holder, Jr.

1] DOMA Section 3 states: "In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."

[2] See, e.g., Dragovich v. Us. Department ofthe Treasury, 2011 WL 175502 (N .D. Cal. Jan. 18, 2011); Gill v. Office ofPersonnel Management, 699 F. Supp. 2d 374 (D. Mass. 2010); Smelt v. County of Orange, 374 F. Supp. 2d 861, 880 (C.D. Cal.,2005); Wilson v. Ake, 354 F.Supp.2d 1298, 1308 (M.D. Fla. 2005); In re Kandu, 315 B.R. 123, 145 (Bkrtcy. W.D. Wash. 2004); In re Levenson, 587 F.3d 925,931 (9th CiT. E.D.R. Plan Administrative Ruling 2009).

[3] While significant, that history of discrimination is different in some respects from the discrimination that burdened African-Americans and women. See Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200, 216 (1995)(classifications based on race "must be viewed in light of the historical fact that the central purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was to eliminate racial discrimination emanating from official sources in the States," and "[t]his strong policy renders racial classifications 'constitutionally suspect."'); United States v, Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, 531 (1996) (observing that '''our Nation has had a long and unfortunate history of sex discrimination'" and pointing out the denial of the right to vote to women until 1920). In the case of sexual orientation, some of the discrimination has been based on the incorrect belief that sexual orientation is a behavioral characteristic that can be changed or subject to moral approbation. Cf Cleburne, 473 U.S. at 441 (heightened scrutiny may be warranted for characteristics "beyond the individual's control" and that "very likely reflect outmoded notions of the relative capabilities of' the group at issue); Boy Scouts of America v, Dale, 530 U.S. 640 (2000) (Stevens, J., dissenting) ("Unfavorable opinions about homosexuals 'have ancient roots. '" (quoting Bowers, 478 U.S. at 192».

[4] See Equality Foundation v, City o/Cincinnati, 54 F.3d 261, 266-67 & n. 2. (6th Cir. 1995); Steffan v. Perry, 41 F.3d 677, 685 (D.C. Cir. 1994); Woodward v. United States, 871 F.2d 1068, 1076 (Fed. Cir. 1989); Ben-Shalom v. Marsh, 881 F.2d 454, 464 (7th Cir. 1989); Padula v, Webster, 822 F.2d 97, 103 (D.C. Cir. 1987).

[5] See. e.g., Lofton v. Secretary o/the Dep't o/Children & Family Servs., 358 F.3d 804, 818 (lith Cir. 2004) (discussing child-rearing rationale); High Tech Gays v. Defense Indust. Sec. Clearance Office, 895 F.2d 563, 571 (9th Cir. 1990) (discussing immutability). As noted, this Administration has already disavowed in litigation the argument that DOMA serves a governmental interest in "responsible procreation and child-rearing." H.R. Rep. No. 104-664, at 13. As the Department has explained in numerous filings, since the enactment of DOMA, many leading medical, psychological, and social welfare organizations have concluded, based on numerous studies, that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as likely to be well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents.

[6] See Cook v. Gates, 528 F.3d 42, 61 (1st Cir. 2008); Citizens for Equal Prot. v. Bruning, 455 F.3d 859, 866 (8th Cir. 2006); Johnson v. Johnson, 385 F.3d 503, 532 (5th Cir. 2004); Veney v. Wyche, 293 F.3d 726, 732 (4th Cir. 2002); Equality Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, Inc. v. City of Cincinnati, 128 F.3d 289, 292-94 (6th Cir. 1997).

[7] See. e.g., H.R. Rep. at 15-16 (judgment [opposing same-sex marriage] entails both moral disapproval of homosexuality and a moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality"); id. at 16 (same-sex marriage "legitimates a public union, a legal status that most people ... feel ought to be illegitimate" and "put[s] a stamp of approval ... on a union that many people ... think is immoral"); id. at 15 ("Civil laws that permit only heterosexual marriage reflect and honor a collective moral judgment about human sexuality"); id. (reasons behind heterosexual marriage-procreation and child-rearing-are "in accord with nature and hence have a moral component"); id. at 31 (favorably citing the holding in Bowers that an "anti-sodomy law served the rational purpose of expressing the presumed belief ... that homosexual sodomy is immoral and unacceptable"); id. at 17 n.56 (favorably citing statement in dissenting opinion in Romer that "[t]his Court has no business ... pronouncing that 'animosity' toward homosexuality is evil").

The Atlantic has a good review of the "10 takeaways" from this decision. Also a good discussion at the New York Times. It's a little complicated, but a giant step in the right direction. It moves public policy along in a positive direction, and it is absolutely refreshing to see the President make a bold statement after these years of inconsistency on the topic.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"DOMA is simply anti-gay bigotry encoded in law."

no, it isn't

"this law is simply an embarrassment to our country at this point."

no, it isn't

"Today our President did something Presidential."

yes, he did

he told Muommar Gadaffi that violence against his won people is unacceptable

hopefully, he will follow through when Gadaffi continues and destroy the Libyan aircraft that are engaged in this crime against humanity

"He announced that DOMA is unconstitutional and the administration is not going to defend it any more."

actually, Obama hasn't been appointed to the Supreme Court and doesn't understand his role:

Congress passes laws

Obama enforces laws

Supreme Court decides if the laws are constitutional

ignoring the legislature is what dictators do

February 24, 2011 6:07 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Yay Obama!! Let freedom ring for every American citizen!

As an American, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

How about you Anon?

I hope someday you'll join us to support "liberty and justice for all!"

February 24, 2011 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we already had liberty, justice and freedom before Obama announced that he would ignore yesterday that he would refuse to enforce Federal law

gay relationships aren't marriage

nothing unjust about that

it's just the facts

February 24, 2011 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

gay relationships aren't marriage

That's your personal opinion probably based on your religious beliefs. This is America, we are all free to have our own religious beliefs.

we already had liberty, justice and freedom before Obama announced that he would ... refuse to enforce Federal law

"We" who -- heterosexuals?

America used to have laws that denied blacks and whites the right to marry each other. Fortunately we have had elected officials and judges smart enough to realize that such limits on adult citizens' right to choose who they will marry are unconstitutional. Former Constitutional law professor and current US President Obama reached the same conclusion as so many other judges, legislators, and citizens have, that limiting gays' right to marry is as unconstitutional as those anti-miscegenation laws were.

We did not have "liberty, justice and freedom for all" when DOMA was being enforced and defended because DOMA denies gay people their Constitutional right to "liberty, justice and freedom" and to equal protection under the law just like we did not have "liberty, justice and freedom for all" under anti-miscegenation laws before Loving v. Virginia was decided by the Supreme Court. Unequal protection under the law is injustice. Adults being denied the legal right to marry the person they choose is not liberty or justice or freedom; it is discrimination and unconstitutional.

February 24, 2011 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Former Constitutional law professor"

did he ever teach?

"and current US President Obama"

yes, he is President

he applied for the job of chief law enforcer in America and the American people hired him in good faith

he has now chosen to discriminate which laws he will enforce, based on his bias

he will be impeached if he axts on his words

"reached the same conclusion as so many other judges, legislators, and citizens have, that limiting gays' right to marry is unconstitutional"

gee, had he just gotten around to thinking it over

face it, he's making a political judgement, nothing else

I assume that since future President Palin doesn't think Obamacare is constitutional, she'll be able to choose to ignore it

"We did not have "liberty, justice and freedom for all" when DOMA was being enforced and defended because DOMA denies gay people their Constitutional right to "liberty, justice and freedom" and to equal protection under the law"

DOMA doesn't deny anyone liberty, justice or freedom

DOMA doesn't deny anyone protection under the law

you're out of your mind

"Adults being denied the legal right to marry the person they choose is not liberty or justice or freedom; it is discrimination and unconstitutional"

that's not true

anyone can choose to marry anyone of the opposite gender they want

that's what marriage is and it has been that way under all societies and religions so it's not an idiosyncratic definition

February 24, 2011 1:44 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

sorry anonymous, but United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt declared DOMA unconstitutional IN 2009 so your argument are moot.

The Obama Administration simply said they cannot defend article 3 of DOMA anymore. but if the religious right wants to, maybe they can defend it in court as vigorously as they defended Prop 8 in court.

Oh wait. They didn't. The witness stand is indeed a lonely place to lie.

February 24, 2011 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Anon asked..."Former Constitutional law professor"

did he ever teach?

President Obama taught constitutional law for twelve years, from 1992-2004, at the University of Chicago Law School where notable conservatives like Robert Bork, John Ashcroft, and Liz Cheney studied. Thanks for this clear demonstration of your ignorance about President Obama's life. You probably think he's not an American citizen either, don't you?

Maybe you should listen to Karl Rove: "Within our party, we've got to be very careful about allowing these people who are the birthers and the 9/11-deniers to get too high a profile and say too much without setting the record straight," Rove said.

Rove compared the birther movement to the John Birch Society, the group that William F. Buckley and other mainstream conservatives shunned in the 1960's for its far-right views. The group's founder Robert Welch, for instance, called President Dwight D. Eisenhower a "conscious, dedicated agent of the communist conspiracy."

Rove said that today's Republican leaders should say, "we've got better things to talk about," and then the issue will go away.

he has now chosen to discriminate which laws he will enforce, based on his bias

You are a regular laugh riot. You've got your knickers in a twist over Obama's decision about a single law, DOMA, but you were oddly silent when President Bush issued more than 750 signing statements to modify hundreds of statutes passed by Congress.

President Obama has not modified the statute and has said DOMA will still be enforced. I repeat, Obama said DOMA will still be enforced, but lawsuits against its constitutionality will no longer be defended by the DOJ, saving taxpayers lots of money. If Congress wishes to defend its unconstitutional DOMA statute in court, it is free to do so.

President Palin

Oh thanks for another laugh! Palin can get herself carved on Mount Rushmore right next to President Huckabee!

February 25, 2011 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Here's one you might like Anon.

Town hall question: "Who's going to shoot Obama?"

Here's the latest evidence that nothing has changed in post-Tucson America: A person at a Tuesday town hall with Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., got up and asked, "Who is going to shoot President Obama?"

The exact wording of the question is not clear because, the Athens Banner-Herald reports, there was a lot of noise at the event. Perhaps more significant than the question was the response of the crowd and Broun, who is a member of the Tea Party Caucus and one of the most right-wing members of Congress.

The question prompted a "big laugh" from the crowd, in Oglethorpe County, Ga., according to the Banner-Herald. Broun, for his part, did not object to the question. He said in response:

"The thing is, I know there’s a lot of frustration with this president. We're going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we'll elect somebody that’s going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare."

Whoever asked that question will probably be hearing from the Secret Service shortly.

It's also worth noting Broun's own history of inflammatory rhetoric. In November 2008 he warned that Obama may try to impose either a Marxist or a Nazi dictatorship on the country. He has also, for example, addressed the John Birch Society.

So much for ratcheting down the inflammatory rhetoric.

February 25, 2011 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thanks for this clear demonstration of your ignorance about President Obama's life."

no problem

yeah, I haven't read his books

heard they're almost as good as the book "How to Quarterback in the NFL", written by Joe Theisman when he was third string behind Sonny and Billy

"You probably think he's not an American citizen either, don't you?"

I've got an open mind about it

"Maybe you should listen to Karl Rove"

you kind of drive your own roller coaster, don't you?

remember to hold on to your loose marbles

"You are a regular laugh riot."

you think it's funny that we have a President thinks he can ignore any law he decides is unconstitutional

he'll be replaced soon

"I repeat, Obama said DOMA will still be enforced, but lawsuits against its constitutionality will no longer be defended by the DOJ, saving taxpayers lots of money."

that should about as well as all his other policies

"Oh thanks for another laugh! Palin can get herself carved on Mount Rushmore right next to President Huckabee!"

I don't think the current polls showing Huckabee in a dead heat with Obama for the presidency in 2012 are getting a lot of laughs in the White House

February 25, 2011 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The poll results the WH finds funny are the double digit leads Obama has over Huckabee. I'm sure the WH is loving the current average that shows Obama 5.5 points ahead of Mike Huckabee.

The Palin v. Obama polls are even funnier!

All of them show Obama with double digit leads over Palin, and the average shows Obama 15.2 points ahead of her.

February 26, 2011 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ho ho ho!

Fox has Palin down by 21 points compared to Obama.

President Palin, what a pipe dream!

February 26, 2011 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gay marriage is not the automatic winner for the right that it was as recently as the 1990s when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.

Even among evangelicals and other conservatives, opposition is eroding, especially among a younger generation that doesn't see anything all that wrong with gay and lesbian couples.

The numbers certainly give Huckabee and his fellow opponents of gay marriage reason to worry.

Surveys in the last year show that for the first time more Americans are accepting than disapproving of "homosexual relations" (52-43 percent in a Gallup poll). Both Gallup and Pew Forum surveys last fall showed the gap is narrowing between those who disapprove of gay marriage itself and those who accept, suggesting acceptance will soon win out.

White evangelicals who form the core of the Republican right (and the tea party movement) remain the most opposed to gay marriage. However, even that opposition is easing, and it is significantly weaker among younger Christians, as Huckabee lamented. Not even a majority (just 48 percent) of white evangelicals said they opposed gays serving openly in the military, in a poll taken just before Congress voted to repeal the "Don't ask, Don't tell" (DADT) law last December. Even most Republicans under age 45 said same-sex couples should have the same benefits as opposite-sex couples, according to an Associated Press-National Constitution Center poll last summer.

As authors Robert Putnam and David Campbell write in their sweeping new study of faith in the United States, "American Grace," given these trends "homosexuality will become less attractive as a wedge issue in politics and will likely cease to be a potent issue at all." If anything, homosexuality is becoming a dividing line within the Republican Party rather than between Republicans and Democrats, as shown by the boycott of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference by some groups of social conservatives (and not others) over the presence of the conservative gay organization, GOProud.

Mike Huckabee, a possible 2012 presidential candidate who is far and away the front runner among Republican voters when it comes to social issues and moral values, this week conceded that reality. The former Baptist pastor noted that younger evangelicals have shown an "alarming" trend toward acceptance of homosexual relationships that could complicate political prospects for a candidate like himself who sees gay marriage as a moral threat on par with abortion.


Proposals to deny citizenship to what immigration hardliners call "anchor babies" born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents are unpopular with the public. Fifty-seven percent oppose changing the Constitution's 14th amendment that grants automatic citizenship to anyone born on American soil. Thirty-nine percent favor changing the amendment and 4 percent are undecided.

Republicans are roughly split on the issue with 49 percent saying the amendment should be left as it is and 47 percent favoring a change to the Constitution. Democrats want to leave the amendment as it is by a 66 percent to 32 percent margin and independents agree by 56 percent to 39 percent. Those sympathizing with the tea party movement favor a change to the Constitution to eliminate the automatic birthright by 57 percent to 39 percent.

February 26, 2011 10:22 AM  
Anonymous a new coat of shellack said...

"The poll results the WH finds funny are the double digit leads Obama has over Huckabee. I'm sure the WH is loving the current average that shows Obama 5.5 points ahead of Mike Huckabee."

"current average"?

the LATEST poll is by Newsweek

came out Tuesday

Huckabee ties Obama

Romney is two points down

I'm sure neither is a source of comfort for the White House, especially considering neither has even announced that he's running

sure, Palin is down 11 but that's not the whole story

she is well known and shown formidable political skills despite having to stare down the establishment on both sides

yes, Barry was laughing when he walked up the driveway to 1600 Pennsylvania in January 2009

after all, he had just pulled a fast one on the American people

but he looked pretty grim after the movement Palin founded and the candidates she supported gave him the shellacking of his life last fall

Obama has only sunk in the public eye since

he turned in a joke of a budget

and has performed dismally in the Middle East

while other leaders have called on Gadaffi to step down, Obama hasn't even mentioned him by name

his big display of decisiveness is to send Hillary to Europe to consult

meanwhile, Libyan ambassadors worldwide beg us to intervene and their military leaders defect

our help could easily tip the scales and end a lot of suffering quickly

and Obama does nothing

"The Palin v. Obama polls are even funnier!"

when Palin begins to take apart Obama's record in public debate, you won't hear any chuckling from across from Lafayette Square

it'll be a new coat of shellack!!!!

February 26, 2011 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I predict your new coat of shellac prediction will become just as true as your President Huckabee prediction did.

February 27, 2011 10:27 AM  

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