Chuck Todd, now with his own show on CNN, is another. In an exchange with newly-nominated Republican candidate for Congress from South Carolina, Mark Sanford, he asked the pointed question about Sanford's position on marriage equality:
“Who are you to deny love between two men or two women, when you are somebody who talks about following his heart, regardless of the laws and traditions of the state of South Carolina? Why are you sitting in judgment of same-sex couples, when you have had the life you have had?”Sanford, you may remember, resigned in disgrace after his infamous disappearance from home and work, leaving a message that he was walking the Appalachian Trail. It later came out that he was in Argentina with his mistress. His wife divorced him, he is now engaged to the "love of his life." He will try to ride the wave of "forgiveness" that Southern evangelicals are known for (which I also think masks a fascination with "bad boy" types.)
Whatever that may be, Sanford dodges and obscured Todd's question. Acknowledging that he had voted for DOMA when in Congress before, he says he saw no reason to change his position now. Then he tried to say that what's going on at SCOTUS now isn't really about gay marriage but about state's rights and federalism, [yeah, like the Civil War wasn't about slavery but about states' rights, huh?] and he thinks it's wrong for a small group of non-elected judges to decide for the whole country what is best left to local voters in states. After all, he says, one size does not fit all -- implying that it would be appropriate for some states to allow it and others not.
This is what I really don't understand about this concept of what should be left up to the states. On something as fundamental -- and don't both sides claim that marriage is a fundamental -- or even God-given -- right? So why doesn't one size fit all on this question? Should we also allow each state to decide whether to go to war or pay federal taxes or the right to vote? What about racial equality? Is that an individual state decision?
I don't get it -- except as another example of how priniciple can't stand up to prejudice.