Republicans, The Colbert Bump & Same-Sex Marriage

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins went on The Colbert Report Tuesday to discuss his book, Personal Faith, Public Policy, as well as, of course, the California Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling.PageOneQ:

“I’ve read the constitution forwards and backwards,” Colbert continued, “and I see nothing in there that protects gays.

“Why,” he asks Perkins, “do these judges keep seeing gay things in the Constitution?”

“They’re afforded the same rights and privileges as you and I are,” Perkins responded. “They don’t have a right to marry just as you and I don’t have the right to marry anybody we want to. We don’t have a right to marry our first cousin…” […]

“There is a reason,” Perkins continued, “that in public policy, that we work to strengthen and uphold the institution of marriage, because that is…really the building block for society.”

“Do you keep Kosher?” Colbert asks. “I think it would really be better for the anti-gay-marriage side if they obeyed everything in the Bible, not just the anti-gay-marriage part. Don’t you?”

“When did Jesus talk about gay people?” he presses further. “Because I keep on looking for that so I could win some arguments.”

Recently, Henry Farrell caused plenty of blogosophere buzz about research (pdf) demonstrating that The Colbert Bump — the phenomenon whereby those who appear on his show receive a bump up in their support — is realish. Thing is, it only works for Democrats!

The graphs:

Now Tony Perkins knows this. He knew what he was walking into and that we bloggers would be laying in wait. I’ve always believed one thing you’ve got to give to Tony Perkins and his crowd is that they totally and completely believe in their cause. I’ve always respected their willingness to go before a hostile audience and make their case:

PERKINS: We need to address all of the issues that concern people… If you ask your audience the issues that concern them I imagine that all of these issues somewhere would register, and as Christians…

COLBERT (to audience): Do any of these register with you?

AUDIENCE: No… Nah…No… No…

PERKINS: None of them?

AUDIENCE: No… (laughter)

COLBERT: Do you even know what they are?

AUDIENCE: No… (inaudible)

PERKINS: Why don’t you tell them?

COLBERT: It’s my show.

I don’t like Tony Perkins or his argument and I believe we will beat him fair and square in the public sphere. But I admire him for his willingness to put his arguments out there in every forum imaginable. I think he sees the writing on the wall, knows that the tide is turning and he’s going to lose and lose big and lose especially big with young people. So rather than duck that fight he goes on Colbert.

I’m a Democrat and I’d like to see more of us taking our message, taking our arguments, right out into the heart of the other side’s media message machine. And I’d like to see us do that with gay marriage and gays in the military and all of the rest of the social justice issues that I’d like to see at the heart of our message.

RELATED: The joyous news that NY Gov. David A. Paterson has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, like California and Canada.

Here’s video of the funny and eloquent speech the governor gave at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Leadership Awards dinner on April 7 on the subject.

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  • JSpencer

    “I’m a Democrat and I’d like to see more of us taking our message, taking our arguments, right out into the heart of the other side’s media message machine.”

    Speaking as a voter who has supported republicans, democrats, and independents – but who has been driven closer to the democrat camp by events in recent years, I'd like to see that as well. People who are immersed primarily in a “media message machine” that reflects their own views really need to be challenged. Interesting difference in the graphs showing the “Colbert bump”. I wonder what's at the heart of that?

  • runasim

    For once, I stopped thinking about the meanings, effects and implications, and just wallowed in the pleasure of hearing Colbert express what are my own views on Biblical arguments. I'm repeatedly struck by how God and the Bible are made to prove whatever people believe anyway, because of cultural and societal influences.

    Parallel contradictions exist within Islam and every other religion I can think of.
    Yet, many people ignore the parallels and cling to thinking their Biblical 'proof' is inherently superior, beyond doubt and the questions of logical minds.

    To be clear, I make a distinction between referring to sacred texts for inspiration leading to practices that benefit mankind (which can be freely examined and debated) and using those texts as irrefutable proof.

    Go, Colbert!

  • kritt11

    What Runasim said. The Bible also warns us not to spare the rod with children- which is now illegal in most places, and puts women in subservient position to their husbands. This is the very thing that we are trying to fight in Afghanistan, and other ME countries.