I'm struck by the stunned silence on the bloggy right to Vermont's momentous decision to pass marriage equality. The reason, I suspect, is that the anti-gay right has placed a lot of eggs in the judicial activism argument. They felt safest there, on procedural grounds, even if the logic of their position brought them into a very radical originalist jurisprudence that would largely eviscerate the social and cultural landscape of modern America (on race, particularly). Ramesh Ponnuru was spluttering only yesterday that a state court's unanimous interpretation of its own constitution
has no democratic or constitutional legitimacy,
which is quite a statement when you come to think about it.
But having staked out such ground, where does Ponnuru have to go to today? He goes here:
Vermont Gets Same-Sex Marriage ... democratically.
And that is the entire sum of NRO's response so far. Telling, no? And so we are left with Rod's giant sigh, which is really a Giant Sigh that human beings ever began to ask questions of a medieval polity which resolved all of human thought and action in a totalist Thomist universe. Yes, there was perhaps a real value in a world where everything reflected the same widely accepted Truth, and all questions had answers, and all answers were a function of religious obedience, and a brilliant Catholic interpretation of Aristotle. But Rod, like all other mature Westerners, must know that that world is over. You either deal with it or you follow Alasdair Macintyre's advice and disappear into a monastery. Modernity is a fact, not a postulate. It cannot be undone as a whole, only in parts - and even they are deperately unstable. It seems to me that thinking conservatives have dealt with this, and have come to some kind of acceptance. Rod hasn't.