Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bob Vander Plaats, dollar store demagogue

We always knew Vander Plaats was a money-grasping bully. But he has never revealed, with such clarity, the degree to which he is also a judicial anarchist. In Iowa, as in every other state, the interpretation of the constitution isn't made by you or me or Mike Gronstal or Bob Vander Plaats or the Family Leader or the carpetbaggers from the National Organization for Marriage of Washington, DC.
     Only seven people get to decide what the Iowa Constitution means, and those seven people — the Iowa Supreme Court — appointed by both Democratic and Republican Governors, spoke loudly and clearly and unanimously when they found the proscription against gay marriage unconstitutional, so they struck that language. They didn't create a new law or "legislate from the bench," no matter what unprincipled liars like Vander Plaats or Brian Brown say.
     Bob Vander Plaats thinks his self-serving collection of "loving" bigots should be able to second-guess the decision via a mob thumbs-down. To get his way, he's been taking out judges* by abusing the retention vote process, which was never meant to be a means of exacting revenge on justices with whose decisions one disagrees — it's supposed to be a way of removing corrupt judges or those who are simply too old to do their jobs.
     Here's an excerpt from Vander Plaat's asinine remarks in the Iowa statehouse yesterday:
You see, on April 3, 2009, you had a supreme court who stepped outside of its constitutional authority and said Iowa will be a same-sex marriage state. They had no power to legalize it. They had no power to execute that opinion. But they did it anyway. And in the process, what they did was they told the people of Iowa, "Your voice doesn't matter. Your voice doesn't count. They shunned the people of Iowa. They shunned the legislature. They shunned the law.
Oh shut up.

(Via Towleroad)

*Vander Plaats has repeatedly trumpeted his success at conning heterosexual supremacist Christers (with hundreds of thousands of dollars of out-of-state, anonymously-contributed National Organization for Marriage dough) into dumping Iowa justices as some kind of great populist victory. Not really — about 30% of Iowans customarily vote to dump every judge on their ballots, a fact of which we were unaware until Mike Gronstal pointed it out to us.

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