I’ve heard some people talking about what a great victory the anti-retention vote was for Bob Vander Plaats, and it got me to thinking.
I thought this vote was about marriage, not about Bob? But hey, maybe I’m wrong about that.
No, actually, I’m not wrong, and here’s why. The judges were ousted by almost the exact same margin as Terry Branstad’s victory. Remember all those heathen RINO’s that Bob’s people loathed so much who were accused of not being good Christians because they didn’t support Bob in the primary? Yeah, those are the people who came through on the anti-retention vote because they wanted to protect marriage, and that had nothing to do with Bob Vander Plaats. Just over 93,000 people voted for Bob Vander Plaats in the GOP primary in June. Over 500,000 people voted against the three Supreme Court justices on Tuesday. This was a vote about an issue, not a person.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that it was a smart move to have an organized group such as Iowans for Freedom pushing the pro-marriage agenda, but honestly, this whole thing is, and should be, about marriage, and not any one person.
The people who are proclaiming this to be a great victory for Bob Vander Plaats should be ashamed of themselves, because, once again, they are making it about one person, and not the larger issue of marriage. And the marriage issue is so much bigger and more important than any one person. Placing all of the credit on Bob misplaces the focus and does a great disservice to this issue. The headline should not be that Bob Vander Plaats won on Tuesday. It should be that the people of Iowa stepped up to the plate and stood up for traditional marriage. It was the will of the people that won on Tuesday. It was the Constitution that won on Tuesday. It was traditional marriage that won on Tuesday. To say anything else would be bowing to a cult of personality at the expense of giving credit to the institution of marriage as God created it.
Ironically, some of the leaders of the anti-retention crowd making this all about Bob are making the same mistake that the pro-retention crowd made in advance of the election. During the Iowa Independent debate on the issue of retention, retired Supreme Court Justice Robert Albee was asked what the retention election would mean – would it be a referendum on marriage? Albee answered “no,” saying it would be a referendum on Bob Vander Plaats, and Albee wasn’t concerned about that since we’ve already had three of those (referring to Bob’s three failed gubernatorial campaigns). That one comment spoke volumes as to how the pro-retention crowd viewed the retention election. They really thought that only people who had supported Bob Vander Plaats’ personal campaigns would vote against the judges. They thought the rest of the Republicans would follow the misguided steps of Bob Ray. They were wrong, because, once again, it isn’t about Bob, and it never was. It was always about marriage.
This is an important lesson to remember in the future. Marriage is and always will be bigger than any one person. It is and always will be bigger than any one candidate. If people finally get over their past political grudges and their stubborn beliefs that their way of combating gay marriage was the only way to combat gay marriage, marriage could be the issue that reunites the factions of the party that have been at war with themselves for the last few years. We took a good first step toward that goal on Tuesday when people from both the Vander Plaats and Brandstad wings of the party got together and gave three Supreme Court justices who shocked our collective moral conscious the boot.
Now, we must continue to work together on this issue so that an actual marriage amendment can finally be ratified in this state.
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