In response to the Obama administration's recent decision to "no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage," Idiot Asshole-in-Chief Newt Gingrich said today that such a move demonstrated "a dereliction of duty" by the president and "a violation of his constitutional oath."
Speaking to the lunatic right-wing website Newsmax, Gingrich presented the following thought experiment regarding Obama's DOMA position:
"Imagine that Governor Palin had become president. Imagine that she had announced that Roe versus Wade in her view was unconstitutional and therefore the United States government would no longer protect anyone’s right to have an abortion because she personally had decided it should be changed. The news media would have gone crazy. The New York Times would have demanded her impeachment."In short, the major problem (one of many) with Newt's ignorant analogy is that Roe v. Wade isn't actually unconstitutional, while DOMA certainly is.
DOMA institutionalizes discrimination based on an archaic religious doctrinal definition of "marriage" as being inherently heterosexual. This definition - which, in effect, denies the right of a US citizen to enter into a marriage with a partner of one's choice, regardless of gender - is actually a violation of both the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Thus, it is unconstitutional and should not be upheld.
Roe v. Wade, on the other hand, lawfully protects women's rights against the very same kind of religious doctrine that DOMA wrongfully enforces. The right of a woman to choose is, in fact, constitutional. The legality of the ruling can be found in the Ninth Amendment (people's rights) as well as the Privileges or Immunities Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
To deem Roe v. Wade unconstitutional would be a wholly incorrect application of law, whereas to deem DOMA unconstitutional is totally correct.
Furthermore, it really should be pointed out to poor Newt that Sarah Palin is a former beauty pageant contender, sportscaster, and half-term governor who attended five different mediocre colleges over five years (University of Hawaii - Hilo briefly in 1982, Hawaii Pacific University for a semester in 1982, North Idaho College for spring and fall semesters if 1983, University of Idaho in fall 1984 and spring 1985, Matanuska-Susitna College in the fall of 1985, and returned to the University of Idaho in the spring of 1986) to finally receive a bachelor's degree in communications with an concentration in journalism in 1987. Her opinion or understanding of the unconstitutionality of anything wouldn't hold much weight even if she had been elected to an office for which she wasn't even running (as Gingrich would have us imagine).
Meanwhile, Barack Obama attended Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years before transferring to Columbia University, where he received a B.A. in political science with a concentration in international relations in 1983. After working at a consulting firm, an NGO, and as a community organizer over the next five years, he went to Harvard Law School where he became president of the Harvard Law Review during his second year. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law in 1991 and graduated Magna Cum Laude. From 1992 through 2004 - a span of twelve years - Obama was a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Obama's opinion and understanding of the unconstitutionality of DOMA makes a whole lot more sense than Palin's theoretical decision-making regarding the legality of Roe v. Wade.
It should be noted that Gingrich also claimed Obama, during his swearing in, took an oath affirming that "he would uphold the Constitution and enforce the laws of the United States." Gingrich, as usual, is wrong. Obama never took took that oath. No president in the history of this country has. The Presidential Oath of Office, as set forth in Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight of the United States Constitution, is clear and is as follows:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."Nothing in there about "enforc[ing] the laws of the United States," as Gingrich suggested. He just made that up.
That and everything else.