Andrew Sullivan, has taken the art of ‘fisking’ a medium futher by recording a pod-fisk – that is, a podcast that criticises a public broadcast by someone else, clause by clause. In this case, the subject is President George W Bush, defending the malicious proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage.
I am not usually a fan of lengthy fisks. It is ironic that it was apparently Sullivan who coined the term, since he crafts some fantastic self-contained essays, which I prefer.
The genre works well in audio form, however, especially when the subject matter is all style and no substance. Sullivan does an excellent job, arguing that the entire point of the federal system is to allow diversity of law and lifestyle, and that an issue as divisive as gay marriage should be solved at the state level. His assessment of why the President is supporting the ammendment – as a short-term political smoke-screen – is damning.
I have always thought that the existence of homosexual relationships would be life- and love-affirming for everyone else. They demonstrate that love is not the same thing as the base desire to procreate. It is a higher thing.
Sullivan also takes Bush to task over the suggestion that ‘activist judges’ are somehow overriding the will of the people. The British Judiciary have been accused of the same thing recently, as their interpretation of the Human Rights Act has led to some politcally damaging court rulings. In both cases, the argument is that since existing laws have led to counter-intuitive court rulings, then clearly it is the law that is wrong, and not the political attitudes that consider those rulings undesirable. In these cases, no-one dares to suggest that the values enshrined in documents such as the US Bill of Rights, may better capture the values of the people to whom they apply. If those same people have a differing view of a particular case, then perhaps it is they who are the hypocrites. It is not the fault of their existing laws, or the judges who apply them. In this situation, we seem short on conservative pleas to “respect the rule of law”. But as The Daily Dish continues to point out, that has never been on King George’s agenda.

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