Former RNC chairman Michael Steele was on MSNBC's "NOW with Alex Wagner" this morning and used the Ron Paul "states' rights defense" to attack gay marriage during a debate on the Prop 8 ruling with Don Choi. But when he was asked by John Heilemann how he would feel if a state passed a law saying he couldn't marry a white woman, he went into an incoherent and belligerent rant about his skin color making bigotry against gays different from racism against blacks, and used the typical conservative tactic of feigned outrage at even being asked the question. Huh? See, he didn't appreciate being asked THAT question when trying to justified HIS flawed position. Hey, Michael, racism and bigotry hurt.
Choi: Michael, I really get lost in some of your vocabulary, all I know is that when I fell in love it was worth fighting for and you can put all this vocabulary and talking about this state and that state, but bottom line is what translates in my book is that you don't think I have the deserve to be married in every state of America.
Heilemann: Michael, I'm curious about if you think it would be okay in modern America where it there would be in some states in America where black men could not marry women? If local states said that was unacceptable.
Steele: First off let's just be very clear about a couple of things.
Heilemann: Just answer the question.
Steele: There are a significant number of African Americans, myself included who do not appreciate that particular equation because when you walk into a room (yea?) I don't know if you're gay or not. When I walk into a room you know I'm black and whatever racial feeling you have about African Americans about black people that is something that is visceral and it comes out. I don't know until later on, until you tell me or some other way so don't sit there and make that comparison.
Heilemann: The analogy is perfect.
Steele: Respect that I don't think it's perfect.
Heilmann: Legally speaking these are immutable characteristics.
Heilemann gives a good explanation why Steele's argument is simply wrong and that not allowing blacks and whites to marry is the same as not allowing same sex marriage. They are both discriminatory. So what does Steele say to swing the debate in his favor?
Steele: In your cultural view it may be acceptable. In mine it is not. And race is a very different category than discrimination.
Republicans never have to make sense on TV. This is another reason why propping up a states' rights, neo-confederate who has libertarian views is a dangerous thing to do on the left. Now Republicans like Steele are emboldened to pick and choose a states' rights argument to justify discrimination. And let's not forget, the states' rights argument was made out of the Southern Strategy of racial politics when the black movement was on the rise in this country during Reagan's days. It's another reason why Steele should be ashamed of himself for arguing this point like this, but he makes a good paycheck immersing himself in Southern Strategy politics so he'll take the payday and sound like a racist against the gay movement any day of the week.