presents himself as a brainy and moderate -- if somewhat pompous -- independent "libertarian."according to Democracy for New Mexico. They have a fantastic piece up as a takedown of Scarantino's latest column about pending Domestic Partnership legislation. My favorite part of the piece, besides the fact-checking (which is always awesome in the blogosphere) is that they don't attack Scarantino so much for his stated partisan allegiance, but that they expose him for misrepresenting a bill in a wretchedly partisan way. It's a 'gotcha', but it's a really good gotcha, and it is exactly what the blogosphere can do best.
Scarantino, presenting himself as rational if disagreeable, attempts to make a broad appeal to the evangelical base of conservative movements, directly borrowing a line touted in defense of Proposition 8. He does this despite claiming that he's "on record supporting this concept", and he then goes on to say that "Every major religion continues to reject homosexual unions." I can't imagine any clear objective in his mind - do religions that support homosexual unions count as minor? Does he, the free and rational thinker he claims to be, think that the silent majority is justified in their fears, especially given that those fears have no real basis in the law? And, most importantly of all, is Jim's column anything more than masturbatory leftist-blaming?
What's a leftist, a moderate, or a genuine libertarian to do in the face of this? Tom Tomorrow of "This Modern World" suggests that we are now in an era of turning a blind eye to such deeds, in the spirit of post-partisanship. It's implied that because the left has been proven right on behalf of our electoral success that we forgive and forget the grievances placed upon us in the past. But post-partisanship isn't about forgetting - the left won with popular support, so it's not like we're forgetting the things we got right. And just because Obama has made a call for national unity and moving beyond party divisions (that'd be the forgiving) doesn't mean that we can't call someone out on blatant, civil-discourse-destroying partisan mud-slinging. Jim Scarantino here has nothing constructive to bring to the table - by advocating an opinion he disagrees with, whose basis in the law is non-existent, he has more or less decided that rather than engaging in a discussion about the boundary between church and state, he will instead claim rightness and hurl vitriol at those he disagrees with. (Really, Jim, fascist as a meaningful insult? This isn't 7th grade, and you are this close to breaking Godwin's Law).
Being post-partisan doesn't mean letting him say whatever he wants in the spirit of discourse (freedom of speech covers that). Being post-partisan means that when someone shows up to the discourse with a pile of unsubstantiated lies and the Cliff's Notes to 1984, we are allowed to ignore them and talk to the actual libertarians in the room. Because at least they are taking the discussion seriously. Because their intent is finding that line between church and state, instead of asserting their line is absolutely and infallibly correct. Because governments and political parties don't deal in infallibility, Jim - that's the realm of the Church.