In a column that ran in the Detroit Free Press on Monday morning, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette laid out a weak and hypocritical argument regarding his opposition to marriage equality in Michigan.
He also -- most likely inadvertently -- gave us a great hypothetical that only serves to riddle his own political narrative full of holes.
Schuette begins by asking people to "Imagine what would happen if the attorney general of a state ignored a federal court ruling, failed to uphold the state constitution and paid no attention to the results of an election supported by 59 percent of the people statewide."
No need to "imagine" anything. Schuette has already done all three of those things since taking office.
In June of 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was constitutional, and yet, Schuette continues to use his political capital and elected office to fight against the law. No need to imagine our AG ignoring a federal court ruling -- he's actively doing it.
When voters rejected Gov. Rick Snyder's anti-democratic emergency manager law in November of 2012, it was viewed as a win for preserving the constitutional right of Michiganders to decide the fate of their state. Enter Bill Schuette, who used "pretzel logic" to skirt the state constitution and push the EM law on Michigan communities regardless.
In 2008, Michiganders overwhelmingly voted to approve medical marijuana use in Michigan (63 percent supported it), but that hasn't stopped Schuette, who campaigned against the proposal and has been trying to gut it at every turn since it became law. Ignoring the will of the people? Check.
It's no secret that Schuette has gubernatorial aspirations for 2018 and he's spent his entire political career towing along the right-wing agenda that he thinks will lead him to the highest office in Michigan.
When defending his ill-fated fight against marriage equality in the opinion piece, Schuette begins to blur the lines between justification and juxtaposition: he compares marriage equality to the death penalty.
"Michigan law does not allow for the death penalty. Yet nationally, a majority of citizens support the death penalty for convicted murderers," Schuette writes. "Under the theory advanced by some gay marriage defenders, the attorney general and other elected officials should ignore Michigan's prohibition and apply the death penalty."
Comparing state-sponsored execution to marriage between two loving people may seem like a bit of hyperbole, but for far-right conservatives like Schuette, they'll grasp at any straws they can to maintain the status quo even if it means embarrassing Michigan, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, and keeping loving families from experiencing justice and security.
Attorneys General are supposed to be defenders of the people and democracy, not backwards ideology. Schuette is not a defender of democracy or the people -- he's nothing but a right-wing crusader.