Aug 20, 2020
Republican A.G. candidate admits you can’t defend anti-gay laws unless you’re willing to defend anti-black laws, too… and he’s just the man to do it!
How often does something interesting happen on a local cable access interview show? If you said “never,” you’re off by one.
Brad Schimel—the Republican candidate for attorney general of Wisconsin—went on the cable access program Eye On Oshkosh last month to drum up votes from all six of its viewers… and six may be overestimating how many people tuned in because the media and the Democratic candidate only just now caught on to the crap that came out of Schimel’s mouth.
Laws against interracial marriage? Sure! He’d defend ‘em!
Transcript via Talking Points Memo:
HOST: “But if you had been attorney general in, say, the 1950s, in a state that did not allow interracial marriage, do you think the proper role of an attorney general then was to not put himself or herself into the mix and say this is wrong?”
SCHIMEL: “Yeah, it is.”
HOST: “Your job is to uphold the law, even if it’s something that we might look back in the future and say that’s absurd?”
SCHIMEL: “It might be distasteful to me. I’ve got to stay consistent with that. As the state’s lawyer, it’s not my job to pick and choose.”
Bring on any law—no matter how blatantly racist or unconstitutional! He’ll fight for it to the bitter end. He’s just that kind of guy.
It’s a disgusting and transparently ridiculous position, of course. The state attorney general is the one who’s job it is to tell the state legislature when they’re behaving unconstitutionally, not to blindly defend anything the legislature does.
But Schimel is stuck. The courts have already struck down Wisconsin’s anti-marriage equality laws were unconstitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court already said, yeah, let’s go with that. So it’s too late to say for Schimel to defend the law on constitutional grounds. That ship has sailed. So what’s a Republican candidate to do? He’s got no choice but to admit he’ll defend bigotry blindly.
And that’s the most important part of this whole story. When anti-gay bigots argue that it’s not really bigotry, remember Brad Schimel of Wisconsin. When it came right down to it, he was forced to admit that you can’t defend anti-gay laws unless you’re willing to defend all bigoted laws. Because bigotry is bigotry.