I've been following Teddy Partridge's liveblogging of the Prop 8 trial. Since transcripts won't be available for a couple of months, and the SCOTUS upheld the defendants' appeal on youtubing the proceedings, this is the best source for the trial I can find. Alliance Defense Fund has a twitter feed, but I find it hard to follow and hard to search. It's unfortunate, because I wanted to get a defense-sympathetic report to compare.
Although it's liveblog, and thus necessarily paraphrased, here's a section I want to highlight because it's relevant to the recent discussions I've been engaged in regarding voter registration. The witness is for the plaintiffs, and is a historian who wrote a book about marriage in America:
Yes, the form of the republican government was a government based upon consent and voluntary allegiance. Not as a subject, as in Great Britain, which had subjects and not citizens. In breaking away from GB, the founders of teh [sic - yay liveblogging!] American republic formed a union based on voluntary consent. Their best analogy, seen in newspapers and pamphlets at the time, was marriage. In popular periodicals, that analogy was frequently made, that they should consent to be governed as people consent to marriage.
What's absent on the right at the moment is any sense that they have consented to government, if the government is run by the Democratic party. If Republicans aren't in power, it must be because Democrats stole the election. It must be because ACORN stole the election. And if Republicans don't win the next election, the true believers will have to grab their guns and kill everyone who doesn't agree with them. They just can't believe that other Americans - who have all the rights they do - can possibly disagree with them on anything; liberals must just be bad guys.
Someone named Geoffrey Britain gave a response I'd like you to consider, to a comment I made at Jim Simpson's place. My question was regarding a hypothetical method of removing the electoral college, and how anyone could believe that would lead to a tyranny: "Wouldn't it merely decrease the importance of "swing states" in the presidential election, and thus let the true will of the people be heard?" The answer:
The tyranny, would be the coastal urban populations over the rural conservative populations. If simple majority rules then if I don't share the majority's view I have no say in how our government shall be run and am in effect a second-class citizen.
Of course, Mr. Britain is not speaking for Mr. Simpson; however, I have found this attitude prevalent among many on the right. It probably comes out of the myth of us being a "center-right country," whatever that means. In other words, he's saying if the side he votes for doesn't win, then he's not just a minority, but an oppressed minority. It reminds me of last fall's Republican assertion that health reform in the U.S. Senate needed "80 votes" to be legitimate. It's a sense of entitlement that I find obscene.