Patterico's Pontifications

10/23/2010

The Secret Feminist Purpose of Section Two of the Fourteenth Amendment

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:42 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here.]

This adapted from is an old post from my blog, that I consider an “oldie but goodie” to give you guys a little content while I handle some personal matters.  I hope you enjoy it.

Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment deals with apportionment.  It says, in full:

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

This provision has long been denounced by feminists because it was the first time the word “male” was inserted into the constitution.  However, there is good reason to believe that Section Two of the 14th Amendment was designed to advance a feminist purpose.

It’s given away when you look at how it might have functioned.  In truth, Section 2 never went into effect.  They literally never applied it, in large part because the Fifteenth Amendment mooted it two years later.  But if you think about how it operates, you start to see something very curious: it creates an incentive for racist white men to allow white women to vote.

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The Jackie Robinson Theory of the Obama Presidency

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 3:18 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here.]

This adapted from is an old post from my blog, that I consider an “oldie but goodie” to give you guys a little content while I handle some personal matters.  I hope you enjoy it.

Ever since Obama has become president there has been a hyperracialization of every issue of mere politics.  The climax came for me when I went to the Tea Party protest down at the Capital just before Obamacare was passed. When I got home I started hearing claims of some kind of racial incident.  You can recognize intellectually that politicians are liars, but to hear them lying about you is another matter, a real baptism.  And it made me try to understand where this was all coming from.

Now some of it is pure hucksterism.  There is no two ways about it.

But there is also an honest, albeit mistaken, belief that this is a racial issue.  One honest, albeit misguided reason for believing that racism is behind it is that to many liberals, Obama is so self-evidently awesome one cannot rationally be opposed to his policies.  But there is one other reason why liberals assume that the criticism that Obama richly deserves is based on race.  I call it the Jackie Robinson Theory of the Obama presidency.

Let’s go back to Jackie Robinson.  I take it as a given that you know that he was the first black player in Major League Baseball. But he was also something else: a test case.  He was brought into the league first because they believed that he had the disposition, class, and intelligence to keep what was important in mind.  So if some racist fool dug his spiked cleats into Robinson’s leg, Robinson couldn’t grab a bat and give the jerk the beating he richly deserved.  He had to take it, play through the pain and never give back what they threw at him.  It was unjust, but at that time it was necessary, and he got that.  It wasn’t about him, it was about his whole race.  Just as we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ, we can take a moment to recognize another man who suffered unjustly and did not strike back.  What more in the name of love, right?  And maybe that doesn’t merit a tribute song by Bono, but with his quiet courage, and dignity, Robinson opened the door so that people of all colors could play baseball together.

So is Obama the “Jackie Robinson” of the presidency? In the sense that he is the first black man to come into this position, undeniably. But what about in the second sense, that he is a test case?

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To Refuse the Future

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:51 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here.]

This adapted from is an old post from my blog, that I consider an “oldie but goodie” to give you guys a little content while I handle some personal matters.  I hope you enjoy it.

A bad translation of the reasons to drink sake (rice wine) results in a fun turn of phrase.

Do you think that Democrats are working right now to refuse the future?

Or perhaps to refudiate it?

By the way, my favorite bad translation was reported at a Japanese hotel: “You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.”  Now, that is a friendly hotel.

Via Volokh.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

What Ted Olson is Shoveling

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:34 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here.]

This adapted from is an old post from my blog, that I consider an “oldie but goodie” to give you guys a little content while I handle some personal matters.  This post in particular will become relevant because I am preparing a piece on the terrible brief Olson and company filed just last week in this case.  I hope you enjoy this post.

In defending the recent ruling that gay marriage is in the Fourteenth Amendment, and no one apparently discovered that for the first 142 years of its existance, former Solicitor General Ted Olson made this idiot comparison between freedom of speech and gay marriage:

Well, would you like your right to free speech — would you like Fox’s right to free press put up to a vote and say, “Well, if five states have approved it, let’s wait till the other 45 states do?” These are fundamental constitutional rights.  The Bill of Rights guarantees Fox News and you, Chris Wallace, the right to speak. It’s in the Constitution. And the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the denial of our citizens of the equal rights to equal access to justice under the law is a violation of our fundamental rights.

First, every time someone says that it’s a throw-something-at-the-screen moment.  I am sick and tired of morons like Olson equating what is not reasonably in the constitution with what is obviously in the constitution.  Olson has made a great argument for amending the constitution, not making crap up in it.  The reason why the first amendment is not up for a simple majority vote is because someone has put it in the constitution. The claim that excluding gay people from marriage is unconstitutional doesn’t pass the laugh test.

Second, it’s funny you should stay that, Teddy boy, because do you remember a little case called McConnell v. the FEC?  In that case they made a facial challenge to McCain-Feingold on the theory that it suppresses freedom of expression.  A few years later the Supreme Court said the same law was unconstitutional precisely because it had that effect.  And guess who was on the side of the FEC and greater restrictions of expression in McConnell?  Then Solicitor General Theodore Olson.  As in you, schmuck.  You personally argued that congress could vote away our freedom of expression.  Indeed, if your arguments were accepted, Fox News, and indeed every news corporation would have been subject to direct federal regulation if congress only decided to do it.

And clearly this was something you believed in, Teddy boy, given that you are on record saying that if the administration doesn’t believe a law is constitutional, they can decline to defend it.

So basically he tried to justify a ruling not supported by the constitution by citing a principle actually written in the constitution that he personally worked to subvert.

What a complete pile of bull.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]


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