From the estimable Charles Kaiser to the editor of the New York Times last week (emphasis added):
Re “Justices, 6-3, Legalize Gay Sexual Conduct in Sweeping Reversal of Court’s ’86 Ruling”: The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Lawrence v. Texas is a triumph of justice and common sense, but it is also a triumph of politics.
The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan only after a Democratic Senate rejected Robert H. Bork. The rest of the margin of victory was provided by two appointees of President Bill Clinton, the first president to be elected after openly courting lesbian and gay support. If Mr. Bork had not been rejected, or Mr. Clinton had been defeated, Bowers v. Hardwick might have lasted much longer as the law of the land.
Moral? Politics matters. If you want to imprison doctors for performing abortions, outlaw stem cell research, or lighten the burden on taxpayers earning $86 million a year* . . . if you want to protect the right of hunters to buy armor-piercing bullets and silencers, assure that contested presidential elections will go the Right way, or jettison the separation of church and state . . . if you want more cuts in funding for after-school programs and arts programs and drug treatment programs so that we can responsibly afford to lower the taxes of people earning $86 million a year . . . if you favor depleting the Social Security Trust Fund in order to lower the taxes of the ‘little people’ – folks earning just $300,000 a year, say – then you should send a contribution to the Republican National Committee.
(And there are other reasons! One-party control of all three branches of government! Looser environmental regulation! Tighter limits on veterans’ benefits!)
Between the RNC and what the President is able to raise for his uncontested primary fight, your side is expected to have well over $500 million dollars to win the White House in 2004. You can make it half a billion and ten.
Or . . . if you take the other side of this . . . if you don’t want your tax dollars used to federally prosecute a man for holding up a protest sign in a crowd of Bush supporters (see June 25), or if you’re not a fan of increasing media concentration . . . consider sending $10 to the Democratic National Committee (of which, newcomers to this site please note, I am treasurer). Click here.
*Had the Bush tax cuts been in effect in 2000, the latest tax year for which data is available, the 400 Americans who showed income of $86 million or more would have saved an average of $8.3 million each, lowering their federal tax burden from 22.3% to a somewhat more bearable (though in Bush’s view still too high) 17.5%.
‘If this is class warfare, then my class is winning.’
– Warren Buffett
Tomorrow: More On Your Credit Score