Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Republican Scum-Baggery, No. 2009A: Karl Rove

A little exposé about the "family values" of the right.


Just say no to marriage with cynical, opportunistic, morally-bankrupt, power-mad troglodytes.

From Glenn Greenwald and

Rove: champion of "traditional" divorce.

Karl Rove is an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage, citing "5,000 years of understanding the institution of marriage" as his justification. He also famously engineered multiple referenda to incorporate a ban on same-sex marriage into various states' constitutions in 2004 in order to ensure that so-called ""Christian conservatives" and "value voters" who believe in "traditional marriage laws" would turn out and help re-elect George W. Bush. Yet, like so many of his like-minded pious comrades, Rove seems far better at preaching the virtues of "traditional marriage" to others and exploiting them for political gain than he does adhering to those principles in his own life:

Karl Rove granted divorce in Texas

Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, has been granted a divorce in Texas after 24 years of marriage, a family spokesperson said. Dana Perino, the spokesperson, said: “Karl Rove and his wife, Darby, were granted a divorce last week. The couple came to the decision mutually and amicably, and they maintain a close relationship and a strong friendship" . . . A family friend told POLITICO: "After 24 years of marriage, many of which were spent under incredible stress and strain during the White House years, the Roves came to a mutual decision that they would end the marriage."

Rove obtained his divorce under Texas' "no-fault" divorce law, one of the most permissive in the nation. That law basically allows any married couple to simply end their marriage because they feel like it. Texas, needless to say, is one of the states which has constitutionally barred same-sex marriages, and has a Governor who explicitly cites Christian dogma as the reason to support that provision, yet the overwhelming majority of Texan citizens make sure that there's nothing in the law making their own marriages binding or permanent -- i.e., traditional. They're willing to limit other people's marriage choices on moral grounds, but not their own, and thus have a law that lets them divorce whenever the mood strikes. That's the very permissive, untraditional and un-Christian law that Rove just exploited in order to obtain his divorce.

There's debate and dispute among various Christian theologians and sects over whether divorce and re-marriage are permissible and, if so, under what circumstances. But what is clear is that the attribute of permanence is every bit as much of a part of "traditional marriage" as the need for a man and a women -- hence, the vow before God of "till death do us part" and "that which God has brought together, let no man put asunder." The concept of "no-fault" divorce is certainly repugnant to most Christian and traditional understandings of marriage. Yet those like Rove who have devoted endless efforts to barring gay citizens from marrying on the ground that our laws must enshrine Christian concepts of "traditional marriage" continuously take advantage of laws that enable them to end their own marriages on a whim, and even enter new marriages with their so-called "second, third and fourth wives," which only seems to intensify their "traditional marriage" preaching.

I've long thought that the solution to the cheap, cost-free moralizing that leads very upstanding people like Karl Rove to want to ban same-sex marriages (which they don't want to enter into themselves, and thus cost them nothing) is to have those same "principles" apply consistently to all marriage laws. If Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and their friends and followers actually were required by law to stay married to their wives -- the way that "traditional marriage" was generally supposed to work -- the movement to have our secular laws conform to "traditional marriage" principles would almost certainly die a quick, quiet and well-deserved death.

UPDATE: Actually, this is Rove's second divorce. His first wife was "Valerie Wainright, a wealthy Houston woman from the Bush social circle, but the marriage could not withstand his consuming preoccupation with politics." They divorced after three years of marriage. So the one that was just terminated was Rove's second "traditional marriage" to end without death doing them part. His next traditional marriage will be to his third wife.

Did I mention that Rove believes it's vital that our secular laws enforce precepts of "traditional marriages" and bar everything else?

Texas is one of those conservative bellwether states that obligingly, for our purposes, shows how well in practice the good christian lifestyle works out: they have one of the higher incidences of teen pregnancy in the nation, and rank quite badly for abortion and violent crime. The state also ranks in the lower tiers for high school graduation rates.

(Greenwald's column has several links to supporting material which did not transfer, and which I'm too lazy to replicate. See the link above for details.)

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