Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dumb, Blonde, Republican: Margaret Hoover on Bill O'Reilly

God help me if I ever get my wish and end up on some program like "The Factor." Just keeping up with the auctioneer's style of delivery that some the guests have would be one of the biggest problems. I have listened to the audio of this encounter now three times, and only in conjunction with the transcript at "Media Matters," did I begin to understand everything that was said, and who said what.

Of the three, Gretchen Carlson and Bill O'Reilly make the most sense, Margaret Hoover makes the least:

An accurate transcript is linked to in the above video window, that takes you to Media Matters.

Right away, Bill seems to get it wrong, and misnames the group the "World Polygamy Association" when in fact, as noted by Media Matters, it's the "World Polyamory Association." (CONTENT ALERT)
"All right, Hoover (Margaret). I did not know this, but I had said from the jump if you OK gay marriage, then you have to do plural marriage, which is now -- has a name, triads. Three people getting married. There is a group in Maui, Hawaii, called the Lessin's adversary group -- advocacy group, and it's World Polygamy [sic: Polyamory] Association. They're associated with that. And they want to be married.

So, No. 1, I'm an oracle. And No. 2, how you can deny them under equal protection under the law?"
Bill's been beaten to the punch by a number of people, including myself, but admittedly he has a bigger pulpit so we can give him that one. Until the O'Reilly's of the world start to talk about it, usually the rest of us don't know. Typically though, when you wish to control an issue, partly by ridicule, you pick a ridiculous example. The "World Polyamory Association" will now benefit from Bill's largess, it will be interesting to see how much. At present, the have a downward trending website that has a world rank of 4,124,110 with no discernible footprint in the United States. By contrast I have a world rank of 469,519 trending upward and flirt constantly with a top 100,000 ranking in the United States with the Modern Pharisee blogspot. I'm a registered lobbyist on behalf of the legalized polygamy effort (nearly non-existent) in Vermont. By far, I'd be the better choice to pick on or interview, but no one calls, save one timid reporter from the Burlington Free Press that has never called back.

Watching the video is instructive. The leaning forward body language of Ms. Hoover, the energy, the finger stabbing and teeth baring behaviors all reflect the cornered mentality exhibited in the Vermont Legislature during testimony against the Gay "Marriage" bill. What were the witnesses most afraid of? Polygamy. Apparently so is Margaret;
"Here's what I think. First of all, I think it is extremely disingenuous for you to suggest that, if you allow gay people to get married, they're going to have to allow -- that polygamy is then going to run -- rampant across the United States."

Bill: "You just said you have to allow them."

Margaret: "Due process is when we have laws, we then enforce them. We barely in five states have laws that gay people can be married. We have laws in zero states that polygamy can happen."

Bill: "I walk in with the O'Brien twins from South Boston and say, "Hey, you've got to marry me, because you're allowing gays to get married, and I'm in the Lessin's group, the World Polygamy (Polyamory)Association."

Margaret: "You've got to change the law, then. Because the law says it's between two people."
I've "redacted" some meaningless interjections from the discussion and excised some banter. To be sure I've accurately quoted the substance, read the transcript and watch to the clip.

Ms. Hoover, The LAW said two people BEFORE, one of which was a man and one of which was a woman. The law then was changed in several states (and changed back in one) by the courts, stating that denying the benefits of marriage to gays was unconstitutional. Thus marriage supposedly survives as a social contract, but is made available on a non discriminatory basis to homosexuals as well as heterosexuals. Equal protection under the law. Hoover then tries a dirty debate tactic and Gretchen Carlson jumps right on it:
Margaret: "Not multiple people. By the way, the last time polygamy was on the rise? 1896, when Utah became the 45th state in the union. Not a massive movement going mainstream."

Gretchen (Fox & Friends co-host): "Thirty years ago we didn't think we'd be where we are today."
Bingo. This is what O'Reilly is trying to set up and he succeeds, pinioning Ms. Hoover who continues to squirm.

If it is MINORITY rights you respect and defend, then at what point does a minority rise to the status of protected? Polygynists are not vocal, they try to stay to themselves and live their lives quietly for the most part. Polyamorists are a bit more vocal and the most likely to marry Bill's "turtle." They will be militant and loud, advocating for fornicating with anything and calling it marriage.

Then Margaret tries to retreat to the new definition of marriage, showing just how amorally pragmatic she is. She doesn't care about the institution of marriage, she cares about losing power in marriage, which is what would happen if polygamy were legal. This does threaten her and does produce the teeth baring snarling cornered animal look that I have seen in my own friends in the church. Two will do as far as Margaret is concerned, because that protects her status quo.

Gretchen though points out that gender difference was part of the definition of marriage, and now is not. Why then would number need to be part of the marriage definition. In addition, the polyamorist movement declares a need for multiple partners, and as i have famously pointed out, a bisexual needs more than one partner to "sanctify" their sexual relationships in the confines of marriage, so two ill not do, thank you. The rest of the discussion goes as follows:
Bill: "But you're denying them equal rights."

Gretchen: "No. Exactly. I care when the government, and I care when the private businesses of this world are going to be paying for everything with regard to this. I do. Because who's going to be next?"

Bill: "All right. So you disagree?"

Margaret: "I don't buy into the slippery slope argument at all."

Bill: "You'd let everybody do whatever they want?"

Margaret: "That's the slippery slope argument. That's if you allow one thing to happen, then another thing, and another thing."

Bill: "(Margaret), you would let everybody get married who want to get married. You want to marry a turtle, you can."

Margaret: "Due process. I want to abide by the law. If the law says I can marry a turtle, I'll marry a turtle. Last time I checked, we're a Judeo-Christian culture that doesn't allow me to marry turtles."

Bill: "You've got to take a stand. You've got to take a stand, now. You would be for, then, putting the umbrella over all groups."

Margaret: "I am for what the law says. I do not support polygamy."

Bill: "That's a copout. Total copout."

Margaret: "No, I don't support polygamy. I support two people, couples, marriages."

Bill: "OK, but then you have to explain why two and not three."

Gretchen: "And then you don't call it marriage anymore. It's not marriage anymore."
Both Gretchen and Margaret now seem to think "Two" is territory they can hang their hat on having conceded the loss to gay "Marriage." Bill continues to bore in on the idea that this is just as irrational as gender difference definitions in marriage, from a legal standpoint that is.
Bill: "Explain why two and not three? And you can't."

Margaret: "I think that the crux of our foundation of our culture depends on two people."
Bill never hammers the bisexual angle as I have, but he's right. If you say that marriage is a state institution designed to protect the rights of sexual cohabitants, as gay marriage laws now essentially mandate, you can't stop at two. Relying on religious definitions isn't going to work either, since Bill and Gretchen and Margaret, don't even know what their own are.


  1. Of course you can't logically cut it off at 2. There is no logical reason why marriage must mean "2" if it no longer means "man and woman". The only appeal is to tradition, and frankly the whole SSM argument has exploded that appeal. And to be honest, we all know polygamy itself has deep roots in human history and is still practiced in parts of the world.

    Canada already has a constitutional case working through the courts there that is expected to overturn the ban on polygamy -- I wrote about it a while ago on my blog here: http://novaseeker.blogspot.com/2009/04/slippery-slope.html

  2. It is absurd for O'Reilly to say it could lead to marriage to a turtle... I mean come on! A turtle is not a human... Duh... It's just another absurd objection to allowing consensual HUMAN adults to marry.

    How is it not marriage anymore when there are more than two people? Marriage is Biblical and in the Bible it is NOT limited to two people.

    Supporting marriage, supporting committed adults is good for our country. No polygamy is not for everyone, no one is saying it should be...But consensual polygamy, should be legal.

    It's amazing how they bring up the 'cost' to businesses and such. You know that is ridiculous, the cost of responsible Fathers and husbands is by and far less than our society which as of last year half of all children were born out of wedlock.

    Is that preferable to responsible Fathers and husbands? Is that the slippery slope she is talking about? I would say that we are on a slippery slope of NOT supporting marriage and family.