Can a Conservative Be Deceptive?

Short answer: Yes.

It appears that there are some conservative bloggers out there that have taken issue with the new message from Save Texas Marriage. This is not completely suprising, as one would expect the traffic to increase as the emails go out from organizations like the Free Market Foundation, Texas Eagle Forum and the Klu Klux Klan – all of which have joined together to support proposition 2.

Over at Voice in the Wilderness, TexasTommy is getting upset over the fact that Save Texas Marriage has appointed a liberal as their campaign treasurer. What I find interesting with this distinction is that TexasTommy appears to have less of a problem with someone from outside of Texas (i.e. Virginia) being appointed the campaign treasurer for Texas Marriage Alliance.

What I find more amusing than not, is that rather than defend their position on supporting bigotry, they instead attack the messenger; or try to muddy the message by confusing their own voters. Take, for example, Kelly Shackleford of the Free Market Foundation, and Liberty Legal. He has sent out a message to his supporters with the following assertion:

2. They continue to falsely state that Prop. 2 will take away their benefits and hospital visitation.

The “they” is Save Texas Marriage. Of course, he goes on to respond with the following:

Response: The specific language from the constitutional amendment is below, showing this to be completely untrue:

SECTION 2. This state recognizes that through the designation of guardians, the appointment of agents, and the use of private contracts, persons may adequately and properly appoint guardians and arrange rights relating to hospital visitation, property, and the entitlement to proceeds of life insurance policies without the existence of any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

Now for an attorney, I am actually suprised by his decision to include the only part of the resoultion that would not appear in the Constitution if amended. He failed to actually put the actual language of the amendment in his letter, which is bordering on deception. For a legal expert, who has claimed to have assisted in writing the Chisum Amendment to HJR6 (the part (b)), it appears that he is determined to continue to fail to tell it like it is. One might go so far to suggest its a little misleading.

In Shackleford's special alert sent out yesterday, he seems to think that God has taken a side on this issue, as he appears to be distressed by the use of the term “God Bless You” in the message that is being distributed by a Presbyterian Minister.

“Deceptive phone calls are now going out telling people to vote NO because of a supposed flaw in the legislation of Prop. 2. There must be a lot of them because we are getting calls from a number of supporters who are confused. The calls from “Save Texas Marriage” are so deceptive that they are even ending the call saying “God Bless You.” One of these starts out from a “Reverend” and says that Governor Perry messed up, and that there is a hidden liberal agenda. The group is even calling seniors who would typically support conservative legislation. Wehave received several calls from people who were extremely heartbroken to learn they were mislead into voting something today they did not believe. This is an all out fraud to deceive voters. Please Beware.”

The fact that he puts “Reverend” in quotations, seems to suggest that he does not believe that a minister of religion could possibly be supportive of civil rights for all Texans. It's odd that Shackleford has taken a position that – if true – would prevent marriages from being legally recognized. Now I understand that he has wanted marriage to return to the basics, but removing the legal protections of marriage seems to be a bit extreme. More importantly, for an organization that has promoted the sanctity of marriage in the past, it seems to have taken on the opposite view.

Now I understand how difficult it can be for some people to admit that they may have made a mistake, but to argue the point that it “doesn't matter” to the detriment of marriage, seems a little hypocritical to me. Just an observation.

Finally, Shackleford concludes with the following lie – in the appropriately titled “Lies to Voters at Polls”:

There has been confusion over how to vote at the polls. If you want to vote to only have marriages between one man and one woman, vote FOR the amendment. Voting AGAINST the amendment will mean that you want to allow homosexual marriages Texas.

Again, for someone with legal training, I can't understand how he got this so wrong. Voting against the amendment does not allow gay marriage in Texas, as it is already illegal (the Legislature reinforced this in 2003 with the Texas Defense of Marriage Act). Voting against the amendment will keep the status quo: gays will still not be able to marry, and marriages from other states will still not be recognized. Voting against this amendment will also ensure that existing contracts and existing rights (like property rights, medical visitation rights) in place. Voting for this amendment will overturn these rights.