Debate Magazine

Of Love and Lawn Mowers: Conservatives Don't Get Consent and Consciousness

Posted on the 07 August 2015 by Doggone
Conservatives say stupid things they think are clever. 
The more extreme the Tea Bagger politics, usually the dumber and less insightful the comment.  Facts are not on the side of the radical right wingers like Rep. Steve King of Iowa in his opposition to same sex marriage equality.
Conservatives are consistently poor on understanding the law -- I would opine it is not that they are incapable, it is they don't want to understand it.  Conservatives are also sadly consistent in being insulting to not only gay people but to women generally, and to the very institution of marriage they claim to be defending.
Here is the latest from Rep. Steve King, consistent with his history of ill-conceived and stupid statements.  From Think Progress:

If You Want To Marry Your Lawnmower, Steve King Believes That’s Now Legal

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is one of Congress’s most vocal opponents of marriage equality, and he hasn’t backed off since the Supreme Court ended the debate with its June decision in the Obergefell case. He’s proposed a resolution to have Congress reject the ruling because it “perverts the definition of marriage” and assert that states and businesses can refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. This week, he added some colorful rhetoric to punctuate his point.
As reported by journalist Matt Taibbi, while introducing Mike Huckabee at a campaign event on Thursday, King claimed that according to the Supreme Court’s ruling, “You can marry my lawnmower.”
This, however, was not even the first time King had contemplated lawnmower marriage. He’s actually been making the remark since just after the ruling came down. In late June, he was quoted as saying, “Their ruling really says anybody can marry anybody — and eventually it will be in any combination. I had a strong, Christian lawyer tell me yesterday that, under this decision that he has read, what it brings about is: It only requires one human being in this relationship — that you could marry your lawnmower with this decision. I think he’s right.”
King has a long history of making incendiary remarks about the LGBT community. He opposes nondiscrimination protections because he believes people will pretend to be gay in order to file suits; he called such protections “special rights for self-professed behavior.” If people are afraid of discrimination, he believes they should just hide their identities in the workplace so that nobody knows they’re gay in the first place. He thinks same-sex couples who want to marry are just friends, and he doesn’t expect to see any gay people in heaven.
Incidentally, Sen. Chuck Grassley, fellow Republican from Iowa and fellow opponent of same-sex marriage, was tweeting pictures Friday of a rig he set up to mow his lawn with three lawnmowers at the same time. His decision to highlight his marriage of three lawnmowers the day after King’s latest remarks may have just been a coincidence.

No one should have to live by hiding their identities in order to work, to have a place to live, or to be treated fairly and equally by any branch of government. I can think of no one less qualified to lecture anyone on who is and is not going to heaven than King, or his buddies in hate - and lies.
There is nothing in the SCOTUS decision that says a marriage only requires one human being.  There is nothing in the SCOTUS decision that says anyone can marry anyone either - marriage is still restricted to two people at a time, and there are still restrictions on matters such as age of consent, and biological relationships.  Incestuous relationships have not become legal by the most recent SCOTUS decision.
We have something similar from people like Rick Santorum, who make equally vile and offensive claims about bestiality -- which is, sadly, legal in some red-neck states, and which at least one teabagger politician has admitted to engaging.  Which sheds a little context on these holier than thou bigots, and explains were maybe they get their ideas about the evil sexual practices of others - from projecting their own behavior.  From the HuffPo:
For Senator Thad Cochran, Mississippi memories are neither sacred nor precious. Campaigning in Pine Belt, Miss., Senator Cochran recalled "fun" "adventures" roaming the Pine Belt countryside, "Picking up pecans... indecent things with animals." (Props to the Clarion Ledger's video proof.)
Here is the thing; lawn mowers and farm animals are just two groups that lack any capacity for consent.  So far as I can see, even the most rabid, drooling knuckle draggers DO acknowledge that same-sex marriage involves consent, as does sex between people who are not married.
Conservatives struggle with the concept of consent.  They have attempted for example to redefine the legal concept of rape to be only forcible rape. Everyone remembers Sen. Akin who insisted that any rape that resulted in pregnancy was not "legitimate rape".  That definition he and other teabaggers espoused of forcible rape would exclude any victim of statutory rape -- right wingers like the supposedly religious Duck Dynasty preacher encourages marriage to underage girls.  He recommends wives who are vulnerable and dependent and who are easily dominated and ordered around.  Donald Trump, accused of marital rape, used through his attorney that a husband cannot rape his wife as a defene of sexual assault.  And of course, we have seen too often the defense of rape of those who are drugged or otherwise unconscious that it is not rape if the victim did not say "No" due to incapacitation.  In conservative states, in fact, the legal age of consent has always been low, for either sex in the context of statutory rape or child marriage.
From OnTopMag:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum claims that the Supreme Court's recent ruling striking down state bans on gay marriage proves his “man on dog” warning was correct. In 2003, Santorum predicted that if the high court struck down state laws criminalizing sodomy in Lawrence v. Texas, then “you have the right to anything” including pedophilia and “man on dog” relationships.
...The decision “has certainly opened the door for a variety of other things that are going to happen,” he answered when asked whether the ruling would lead to polygamy.
It is hard to tell what the pervy consevatives actually believe or understand -- pervy because they pursue underage girls, commit adultery, and are consumers of porn to a greater degree than non-conservatives. 
Do they really believe we will have rampant bestiality?  Do they really think people will be able to marry garden equipment?  I doubt it, although some of the more gullible certainly do believe ridiculous things from figures like King and Santorum (the perennial presidential wannabee, not the other stuff dubbed with that name.  There are a LOT of poorly educated and highly propgandized folks on the right, who want to stay that way, an exercise in aggressive willful ignorance.
No, I think this is just their way of trying to denigrate and disparage and demean their fellow Americans, and to exploit the rabble for their profit.  However you parse it, it is ugly and should be beneath our political discourse.  It drags us down as a nation.  Shame on the right; shame shame SHAME.

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