NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, is childishly suggesting that the Obama For America campaign ad featuring actress Sarah Jessica Parker advocates polygamy and incestuous marriages. Yesterday, on their NOM Blog, they posted the video and an excerpt from an article by Carson Holloway, writing at CatholicVote – the same site where NOM Cheshire Cat Thomas Peters, their “Culture Director,” writes. From the NOM Blog:
In this ad Parker characterizes the president as “the guy” who, among other things, “says you should be able to marry anyone you want.”
…So now the president is now not content to advocate redefining marriage as being possible between two people of the same sex. He is now in favor of redefining marriage so that it can be any union at all — which is to say, he is in favor of abolishing any publicly normative definition of marriage. If “you should be able to marry anyone you want,” then you should be able to marry someone who is already married, you should be able to marry your father, your mother, your sister, your brother, whoever. Taken as stated, the president’s position, proclaimed by his actress-spokesperson, is to personally advocate polygamous and even incestuous marriages.
To be fair, NOM includes the paragraph below — an embarrassingly false statement to boot – from the Holloway piece, but the damage, as it were, is already done, and the childish suggestion that the Obama For America campaign ad advocates polygamy and incestuous marriages stands. The article, read in total, is a childish attack on Obama, a childish attack on the left, and a childish attack on Sarah Jessica Parker, and a childish attempt to make impotent a very effective ad:
No doubt the president does not really intend to say this. But why not, at least on the logic of the left-wing marriage nihilists whose rhetoric he is parroting? Conservatives say that same-sex marriage is a step towards the destruction of marriage. Their liberal opponents respond that this is childish, that letting gay people marry does not threaten any existing marriage. But that response completely misses the point, which is this: the argument by which the left defends same sex marriage is inseparable from an argument that marriage should be anything anybody wants it to be, which is the same thing as saying there should be no publicly normative definition of marriage, which is the same thing as destroying marriage as a public institution.
Co-founder and former NOM Chair Maggie Gallagher has derided those who hold NOM accountable for what they post on their website, claiming that just because they post something it does mean they endorse it. But NOM is not a news aggregator, nor do they post items that oppose their views — unless they add an explanation as to why they oppose it. Unfortunately in Gallagher’s case, publication is endorsement, officially or not, unless stated otherwise, if it falls into their overall mission.
And the Southern Poverty Law Center (who, in my personal opinion, is readying to add NOM to their official certified anti-gay hate group list, next time it’s updated.) In late March, the SPLC’s Mark Potok explained:
For more than a year now, gay rights activists have alleged that NOM is playing a shell game, avoiding the most egregiously false defamations of gay people on its own website, but linking directly to others who don’t. The charge had enough impact that Maggie Gallagher — who co-founded NOM in 2007, is past chairwoman of the board, and remains a key NOM spokeswoman — felt forced to respond.
In a Dec. 9 post entitled “A Link Is Not An Endorsement,” Gallagher said such an argument “would lead to the absurd conclusion” that NOM agrees with the editorial positions of The New York Times or The Advocate, an LGBT newspaper. She didn’t mention the fact that the anti-gay article “leaders” on NOM’s site are almost always presented without any hint of criticism and, to all appearances, do seem to be endorsed by NOM. Some are simply republications of essays without any introductory commentary, while others feature laudatory introductions.
The NOM/Holloway piece builds on the right wing’s attack of anything Obama and since that now includes Sarah Jessica Parker, an actress who played a character who wrote a sex column, in their eyes, all the better.
Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress notes:
The Daily Caller, in its efforts to discredit some of President Obama’s celebrity surrogates, has decided that the most effective way to push back against people like Sarah Jessica Parker is to imply they’re ugly and synonymous with their roles. In an item entitled “Sarah Jessica Parker sticks her nose into 2012 campaign,” Neil Munro apparently thinks it’s clever to play off a fact that some people don’t like Parker’s looks, calling her “the celebrity horse that Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign is betting on.” And he goes on to suggest that Parker is defined by the fact that “she played a single New York columnist who meets and sleeps with various men while living in the city. The role made her famous, and also won her a top place in New York City’s social circuit.” The Daily Caller might take a moment surfing over to IMDb for a reminder that Parker was a well-established actress long before she signed on for Sex and the City. And apparently this comes as news to folks, but Sarah Jessica Parker is not, in fact, the same person as Carrie Bradshaw.
The whole thing is an ugly, substanceless slam disguised as a piece of reporting about the fact that, shockingly, some conservatives don’t like the ad that Parker cut in support of the Obama campaign. Parker, by the text of this reasoning, is apparently incapable of supporting the Obama administration effectively because she is wealthy and is an actress. But the subtext is clear: Sarah Jessica Parker is ugly. And she was in that slutty television show, too. This kind of slagging of a successful woman is the last refuge of people with no legitimate arguments who are terrified they’re losing. It’s the rhetorical equivalent of shining a mirror in someone’s eyes so you can run away while they’re distracted.
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