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Conservatives intent on wasting tax dollars on losing fight in the name of "fiscal soundness

by: Eric B.

Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 11:27:59 AM EST

Could it be that we've all had it wrong about our benevolent overlord Rick Michigan and Michigan's finest legal mind? Could it be that we've maligned both men on LGBT rights when in fact they're advancing equality on the oblique? It seem possible, given the shoddy quality of the arguments they're using to defend the state's bigoted laws in federal court.

The motion asks Judge David Lawson to rule in favor of the state in a lawsuit filed by five same-sex couples. The motion argues that the 2011 law banning the benefits "eliminates local government programs that are irrational and unfair" and promotes "financially sound" local agencies.

The state's attorneys go on to pose this gem:

"Public Act 297 is a logical and cohesive part of the effort to reduce costs and to address the fiscal insecurity of local governments that has increased exponentially over the past five years," the state's attorneys wrote in the motion. "It is not singular and does not target same-sex couples."

The great thing about this argument is that it raises the uncomfortable points that a) cities and school districts that didn't extend same sex domestic partner benefits are going through the same fiscal insecurity as are cities and school districts that do, and b) that fiscal insecurity is courtesy a broken way of funding local governments that state government has shown very little inclination of fixing. It will be further interesting to see how the state jibes its claim that the law wasn't passed as an act of animus towards a group of people since one of its most ardent supporters just last December told a group of people that the city of San Francisco extorted same sex domestic partner benefits out of American Airlines (incorrect) because gay men are all dying of AIDS before they turn 40 (also incorrect), and how that person has translated this important advocacy into a pillar of mighty support within the party that passed the law in the first place. Or, as my great aunt Gertie once said, "He was digging himself into a mighty hole, and I just kept handing him shovels."

Eric B. :: Conservatives intent on wasting tax dollars on losing fight in the name of "fiscal soundness
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"Fiscal soundness" and "fiscal responsibility" are GOP code words
They mean "we're not going to spend any money on people or causes we or our voters disapprove of."  In this case, this is a perfect example of what conservatives mean when they invoke those phrases.  It also fits the GOP's promise to its working class voters--"we promise to hurt the people you don't like worse than we'll hurt you."

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

Last argument
This fiscal argument is the last refuge for the anti-equality forces.  They realize that the kind of out-and-out bigotry of past arguments has basically already been struck down by even the Supreme Court, so they are smart enough to at least cloak this in "fiscal responsibility."  They are only really fooling themselves, though, because everyone can see right to the motive, which has been the same as always.  

It's an equally ridiculous argument, and I think they'll find that out very soon.

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