It’s really sort of amazing. Here’s Marco Rubio — Republican Senator from Florida and hopeless candidate for President of These United States — telling Bob Schieffer, the mummified host of Face the Nation, two totally contradictory statements in a row:
[I]t’s not that I’m against gay marriage. I believe the definition of the institution of marriage should be between one man and one woman.
He’s not against gay marriage — he just believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. No matter how many times I repeat that, it continues to defy my ability to make sense of it. Schieffer, to his credit, didn’t leap out of his chair and scream “What the fuck are you talking about?” He allowed Rubio to continue.
States have always regulated marriage. And if a state wants to have a different definition, you should petition the state legislature and have a political debate. I don’t think courts should be making that decision. I don’t believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.
But State courts have always had the power to decide if laws passed by State legislatures are in accord with the State constitution. That’s what happened in Massachusetts in 2004. And in Connecticut in 2008, and in Iowa in 2009. And also in Wyoming and Alabama and Wisconsin and Arizona and West Virginia and eighteen other states. Of the 37 states in which marriage equality exists, 26 of those states legalized it through the court system.
But Rubio had still more to say about same-sex marriage. He continued:
I also don’t believe that your sexual preferences are a choice for the vast and enormous majority of people. And, in fact, the bottom line is that I believe that sexual preference is something that people are born with.
Rubio agrees the ‘”vast and enormous majority” of folks who identify as gay are born that way. But he apparently also believes that being born gay automatically deprives those folks of the privilege of marrying somebody they love.
Here’s the interview. Rubio’s incoherent and contradictory stance on same-sex marriage is near the end (it begins around the ninth minute):
Earlier in the interview (if you can stomach it) Rubio makes equally incoherent and garbled statements about U.S. policy towards Iran, his reasons for running for office, and climate change. This is classic Rubio — a dedicated refusal to offer up any answer that might some day be used against him. This is the guy who, when asked about the age of the Earth, said this:
“I’m not a scientist, man….[T]here are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created.”
Then followed that up with:
“It’s one of the great mysteries.”
No, it’s not. It’s not a great mystery. Rubio may not be a scientist, but folks who ARE scientist are pretty fucking clear about this NOT being anything remotely like a mystery. By weasling out of the question, Rubio is effectively saying “I’m not a scientist, and I’m not willing to believe anything scientists tell me.” He’s effectively saying “Science can go fuck itself in the neck.”
But there’s one brightly illuminated, internally consistent, deeply suppressed thread that ties all those disjointed positions together. It’s this: Rubio wants to get elected, and he’ll attempt to avoid saying anything that might possibly cost him a vote. If he has any strong opinion about anything at all, he’ll strangle it in the crib before letting it interfere with his ambitions.
You know what’s really a mystery? How a person is able to stand erect while having a spine made of Jello.
I’m not a social scientist, but clearly, this guy is clearly a dick.
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I’m not a social scientist, but clearly, this guy is a dick.
I do not like this guy, and I certainly don’t think he would be good for the country, or the world, in a leadership position (including the one he has). But the marriage equality position is really not that messy. Remember, Rubio is a lawyer, and he seems to understand the difference between what he wants, and what the law may provide as well as an executive’s role in the legal system.
Here’s a different way of looking at his statements by syllogismic (my new word) analogy (which does not reflect anyone’s personal views as far as I know):
It’s not that I’m for federal income taxation;
I think that taxation should be done at the most local of levels, fee for service;
But the U.S. Constitution gives the U.S. Congress the power to tax.
Ergo, the U.S. Congress may impose and define an income based tax.
I have to disagree, Doug. I don’t see any way he can reconcile his statement “I believe the definition of the institution of marriage should be between one man and one woman” with his claim that he’s not against gay marriage. He may, in fact, NOT be personally opposed to marriage equality — or he may be personally opposed, but understands the law doesn’t support his position.
The sad fact is, Rubio lacks the integrity to make his position clear — whatever that position is.