What is it with anti-marriage conservatives and bestiality?
It seems as if they bring up inter-species relationships whenever they contemplate same-sex marriage. It's ludicrous the think that an animal is either logically or legally equivalent to an adult human being, but their ridiculousness has quite a pedigree--just ask former Senator Rick "man-on-dog" Santorum. The latest conservative to betray his innermost thoughts on the subject is McCain's primary challenger JD Hayworth (h/t: Alex Koppelman at Slate). Hayworth's inappropriate comparison makes me wonder if he secretly idolizes "Mr Hands:"
You see, the Massachusetts Supreme Court, when it started this move toward same-sex marriage, actually defined marriage -- now get this -- it defined marriage as simply, quote, "the establishment of intimacy." [...] Now how dangerous is that? I mean, I don't mean to be absurd about it, but I guess I can make the point of absurdity with an absurd point -- I guess that would mean if you really had affection for your horse, I guess you could marry your horse.
Koppelman noted that--surprise, surprise--Hayworth was making things up: the phrase "the establishment of intimacy" does not appear in the text (PDF here) of the Goodridge v. Department of Public Health decision as a definition of marriage. Hayworth was a guest on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show last night, and she called him on it:
MADDOW: [W]hat you said about "the establishment of intimacy" being the definition of marriage in Massachusetts, I don't think it's true, sir.
HAYWORTH: Well, that's fine. You and I can have a disagreement about that.
MADDOW: Well, it either is true or it isn't. It's empirical.
HAYWORTH: OK. OK.
MADDOW: All right.
HAYWORTH: Well, I appreciate the fact that we have a disagreement on that.
Hayworth's "disagreement" isn't just with Maddow, but with the discrepancy between his manufactured quote and the actual, factual document. Steve Benen delivers the coup de grace to this disturbingly familiar attitude:
And this is why conversations with conservatives never seem to go well. Reality is an inconvenient detail that can be twisted, manipulated, and frequently ignored.
In a normal, sensible debate, one side might make a provocative claim. The other side can challenge the claim, and provide evidence. If it's proven false, the first side moves on to some other claim. Lather, rinse, repeat.
But that's not how Republicans work. They make claims that aren't true, and after being corrected, either repeat those claims again anyway, pretend the matter is subjective, or both.
It's genuinely painful to listen to clowns for whom reality is meaningless.
Check out Candace Chellew-Hodge's piece at Religion Dispatches, where we speculate in the comments that Hayworth is in a "stable relationship."