Sullivan gives this Mike Potemra quote a “Yglesias Award” nomination, which is given to “writers, politicians, columnists or pundits who actually criticize their own side, make enemies among political allies, and generally risk something for the sake of saying what they believe.” The quote:
“As someone who favors gay marriage, I think this Sanford scandal underscores a central truth. The anti-gay-marriage forces are stuck making a slippery-slope argument when, in fact, we’re already at the bottom of the slippery slope. Here’s a guy, Sanford, who has not just not a moral and religious incentive to keep his marriage vows, but also a political-survival incentive. Yet the public sense of the sacredness of marriage has declined to the point that even he couldn’t do it. How much more could this institution be eviscerated, by letting a tiny, tiny minority of same-sexers join it? (Gays are a small fraction of the population, and the percentage of them who want to get married is a small fraction of the small fraction. The issue is, as the lawyers say, de minimis.)”
We’ll call this the “What’s another torpedo in a sinking ship?” approach. He still is claiming that allowing gays to marry will “eviscerate” the institution of marriage, all he is claiming is that it won’t be by much. I reject that. I think letting people who love each other enter into marriage strengthens the institution. And it doesn’t matter if they are gay or straight.
*** Update ***
Mike writes in:
I’m not saying gay marriage will eviscerate marriage. As a supporter of gay marriage, I was confronting one of the arguments against it by asking a rhetorical question. I was pointing out that the consequences some fear will result from gay marriage have already in fact happened, so they do not constitute a strong argument against gay marriage.