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Posted at 4:23 PM ET, 02/24/2011

DOMA misinformation on Fox News

By Jonathan Capehart

I'm slated to see Monica Crowley at a taping of The McLaughlin Group tomorrow. And I'd be shocked if we didn't discuss President Obama's historic decision to no longer defend the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. So, before the drums of the show's classic intro are intoned, I want to clear up a blatant falsehood Crowley perpetuated yesterday on Fox News's "America Live."

"We are a nation of laws, not of men," Crowley said. "We are governed by the rule of law. And what the Constitution says is that the president of the United States doesn't get to decide which laws he likes and which laws he's going to enforce." She was on safe ground and correct with those comments. But here is where she ran right off the rails:

The law is on the books, the Defense of Marriage Act. It is his responsibility under the Constitution to enforce that law, not just to decide, 'Well, I don't like that law. I'm not going to enforce it. To me, that is a form of dictatorship. That is Mubarak Obama.... You can't just pick and choose which law you're going to enforce when you're president of the United States or the Attorney General.

I'm going to leave the noxious "Mubarak Obama" comment alone and focus on what Crowley neglected to tell her viewers. Or perhaps she didn't know. Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder didn't just wake up yesterday and decide that DOMA was unconstitutional. The historic decision was made after months of review and considered analysis. And as I wrote earlier today, a March 11 filing deadline in two DOMA cases demanded that the Justice department "take an affirmative position on the level of scrutiny" to be applied. That's because the Second Circuit, where these cases are being tried, has no precedent with the question of scrutiny.

So, basically, the administration was asked a question. It answered it. Now it is up to that court to decide if it agrees with the president's answer. If pro-DOMA folks want the law defended, they should turn their attention to House Speaker John Boehner, who has been told by Holder that the ball is in his court if he wants to play. In the meantime, DOMA is still the law of the land -- and will continue to be for a while.

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 24, 2011; 4:23 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

FAIL! You haven't answered why it is ok that Obama is ignoring the Constitution on this one. Even if you could, he's still ignoring the Constitution on many others. I feel sorry for you. If you feel your calling is to defend Obama's Constitution shredding, then you've certainly got your work cut out for you.

Posted by: jkhamlin | February 24, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, pretty soon Chuck Lane will come along to tell us how much Gabby Giffords would object to what Obama is doing here.

Posted by: DougJ3 | February 24, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Fox News Switches Gallup Collective Bargaining Rights Poll Numbers"

"Fox News decided that the Gallup Poll reported yesterday, which shows that 61% of Americans oppose reducing collective bargaining rights of government workers, didn’t suit their needs, so they switched the numbers."

this comes on the heels of fox using the "wrong footage of Ron Paul at the CPAC, showing him booed instead of cheered, because they 'accidentally' used last year's reel."

Posted by: ptrppr100 | February 24, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

DOMA is already unconstitutional, according to one Federal District judge, last summer. I understand that ruling has been stayed pending appeal, but not overturned. If there is no appeal, his ruling will be Law.

Not every decision must be made by SCOTUS, which has not yet even agreed to hear any appeals on the issue.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | February 24, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Crowley is completely wrong on this one. As controversial as it may seem, the President is perfectly able to choose not to enforce certain laws he doesn't like. In the 1830s Chief Justice Marshall ruled the relocation of the Cherokees was unconstitutional. President Jackson responded, "John Marshall has made his decision...now let him enforce it!" I'm not saying Marshall's decision should have been ignored, but I am saying that President Obama is constitutionally allowed to refuse to enforce DOMA.

Posted by: open_minded112 | February 24, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Are we still a nation of laws or not? We don't like DOMA, so we won't defend it. We don't like the illegal immigration laws, so we don't enforce that. A federal judge ruled Obamacare unconstitutional but we will just ignore that, because we like that one. We don't want to drill for oil, so we'll just ignore a federal judges order to start issuing permits again.
Our DOJ has become a joke - and a bad one at that.

Posted by: dhbarr | February 24, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I like how people (especially the tea party) love to say something is "unconstitutional" simply because they don't agree with it. Ask any of the people what "constitutional" means and they'll give you the non-answer "adherence to the limitations stipulated by the constitution" but if you ask them which part of the constitution the particular topic violates they can't tell you.

Either because A: they don't know what "constitutional" means or B: because they don't know what the constitution says. In either case, the person making the claims is an idiot for spouting this ditto box nonsense that the entertainers of the media spout at us for ratings.

The defense of marriage act defends marriage but isn't needed because it does not deny access to a civil union or in other words a partnership.

I think people need to focus on real damage to our society caused by corporations lusting after profits for their board and shareholders instead of profits for America and it's people.

I welcome anyone to put forth a convincing argument that will show me just how a man slurping on another mans penis in the privacy of his own home will cause the downfall of this nation.

With our money not being worth anything, the broke government (thanks to the republicans if you look up how we went from surplus to deficit) and a corporatocracy that is festering a vial rot that eats away our entire country.

Posted by: TotalCreation | February 24, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Anus taste good, don't it Capefart?

Posted by: TofuLowersSpermCount | February 24, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

DOMA is still the law of the land -- and will continue to be for a while until it is added to GOP tax cutting bill. Obama wins again he will use DOMA as a negotating tool with the GOP's "read my lip" tax cut. Obama will get them to sign there morals away. Moral Versus Tax Cuts and what wins?

Posted by: weeksmith | February 24, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Religious people are ignorant tools of the Republican Party.

DOMA is an unjust law written by ideological zealots willing to commit intense acts of hypocrisy simply to exploit votes out of angry religious people.

It is funny that the neo-cons call Obama “the mesia” but tragically ironic when it is Republican America that is usually the people exploited by politicians in the name of their God.

I think one state at a time the conservatives lose this battle and millions of dollars spent trying frivolously to oppress a minority of Americans. One thing I've learned about today’s conservative: they have no idea about how to pick their battles.

What happened to conservatism? Mark Twain wrote:

"I was afraid of a united church; it makes a mighty power, the mightiest conceivable, and then when it by and by gets into selfish hands, as it is always bound to do, it means death to human liberty and paralysis to human thought."

What the various religious bodies decide to do about holy matrimony is their individual business and will continue to be, no matter what the court rules about civil contracts.

This is simple stuff people. Would the real libertarians please stand up?

Posted by: getcentered | February 24, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I am puzzled by Monica Crowley's claim that the President is refusing to enforce DOMA.

This Administration has stated that it will of course continue to enforce the law. Why? Because it's the law.

What it won't do is try to make an argument in court that what it sees as plainly unconstitutional is somehow, strangely, constitutional. You'd have to be a contortionist to do that. Congress is free to try to make that case if it believes there is one to be made.

But why does Ms. Crowley misrepresent the President's intentions to enforce it? I don't think that's honest or helpful.

Posted by: ricklinguist | February 24, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Neither the President nor the Justice department get to decide which laws are or are not constitutional.

If it is merely the opinion of a federal judge, then every state is justified in NOT implementing Obamacare. For Obama or the justice department to push implementation is hypocritical and wrong. Either Obama defends DOMA as federal law or they stop Obamacare. They can not choose which they "like".

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | February 24, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

getcentered wrote:
DOMA is an unjust law written by ideological zealots willing to commit intense acts of hypocrisy simply to exploit votes out of angry religious people.
------------------------------------------
And Bill Clinton just went right along with those zealots - does that make him one too?

Posted by: Marin823 | February 24, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Do we not have more important things to address than two men or two women living together? Approx. 10% of the population is homosexual/lesbian. Move on!

Posted by: windmill3 | February 24, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

A "blatant falsehood"?

Hmm! Let's see...

"I'm going to ... focus on what Crowley neglected to tell her viewers. Or perhaps she didn't know."

Yet her alleged misdeed is "blatant"? Her argument is a "falsehood"?

And you have the gall to go on to deceitfully defend despotism?

Brilliant guilt-transference. You'd make a wonderful court historian with such fraud dotting your résume.

Mr. Capehart, you are hereby busted.

Posted by: FraudBuster | February 24, 2011 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Jeez,a conservative on Fox News mistating facts? Please, Joe, tell me it ain't so!!!

Posted by: southernbutnotstupid | February 24, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Jeez,a conservative on Fox News mistating facts? Please, Joe, tell me it ain't so!!!

Posted by: southernbutnotstupid | February 24, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

When writers show bias consistently, then even when they are right, nobody cares. Thousands of liberals wrote about Tea Party hatred, and only scant evidence has ever been produced. The Wisconsin liberal democrats are using Hitler, Mussolini, rape, death descriptions in the debate. Hatred and violence are threatened everywhere. Mass. congressmen talking about needing to spill blood. Union supporters trying to be intimidating. Not a word across the liberal lame stream media. I do not care what side you are on, just report the news accurately. Now no one cares what you say, even if you are correct, you have no credibility, and your outrages previously are shown to just be political theater.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | February 24, 2011 11:42 PM | Report abuse

When I was at UW Law School, there was a tall lanky classmate. He didn't seem to know much or study much, but he got a plum job at Perkins Coie. When Obama came on the scene, my mother asked what I thought of him, and I answered, "I've got his number, he reminds me of a guy I knew in law school." She got enraged, as usual, that I would deign to judge him. Whether the topic ranges from whether non-existent "radiative forcings" exist, or whether MMR causes autism, or the philosophy of Robert LeFevre and the definition of pantheistic autarchism, I certainly wouldn't have passed the LSAT if I didn't catch the lapse of logic here. Mu-barak, Moon Barack Obama - Osama, Cecile B. DeMille. Sputnik, splutnik. King Tut-an-atom, King Tuanhk-Amen. Isratine= Is(is)-Ra-El - El+time. El=Isis+Ra-Time.

Posted by: stanlippmann | February 24, 2011 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Is capehart kidding? I know the WaPo must have wet their pants at the opportunity of putting "misinformation" and
"Fox News" in the same sentence - however - Crowley's comments were 100% accurate. Capehart tries to weakly twist it but looks foolish.

The President does not have the Constitutional authority to pick and choose the laws he enforced. Crowley was clear and correct.

Posted by: manbearpig4 | February 25, 2011 6:39 AM | Report abuse

"Crowley's comments were 100% accurate."

With respect, didn't the Administration explicitly say that it would continue to enforce DOMA?

That means that Crowley's central premise is inaccurate.

From the Wall Street Journal:

"... But Mr. Holder, in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, said federal agencies would continue to abide by the act..."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703905404576164840666335146.html

Posted by: ricklinguist | February 25, 2011 7:20 AM | Report abuse

"Enforcing" a law differs from "defending the constitutionality" of a law. The administration can enforce a law it argues elsewhere to be unconstitutional until the judicial branch makes a decision to agree with them, or enforce it forever if the courts do not agree with their position.

Are there any concrete examples of a failure to enforce the law?

Why is this distinction difficult to understand?

Posted by: 3point14159 | February 25, 2011 7:27 AM | Report abuse

We already knew you didn't like anything about Obama - who he is, what he does, anything at all. So that given why should he try to do anything at all to appease you homophobes? Why should he not say, "GOP-TP - in your face!"
You're declared enemies so please don't think you're going to be treated as anything but implacable foes and rebuked in every way possible?

Posted by: WiseUpAmerica | February 25, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Simply put, the Pres. and the AG have no authority to declare any law unconstitutional. The Supremes and lower federal courts do that. This is yet another reason why this one term cannot end quickly enough. And no, that is not any threat of any sort, just a hope the country can survive it.

Posted by: brussell64 | February 25, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

...Fom what I read, it looks like the Administation as not said it is unconstitutional and we will not enforce it.

Where were all these Repubs who are such experts on the Constitution when the Bush/Cheney clan, chose not to enforce laws that they had issues with? The Repubs list is a lot longer than the Demos.

As far as Monica Crowley opinion...lets just say that she is a perfect example of just how low are some of the law schools adminision requirements.

Posted by: meyer390 | February 25, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"misinformation" and Fox. Aren't they the same thing:).

Posted by: rlj611 | February 25, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

With the exception of maybe George Will and Charles Krauthammer, every shill at the Compost seems to be either gay or a pinko, or worse yet, a gay pinko.

Posted by: ddaly7 | February 25, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

To be in the same room with Crowley...whatever did you do to deserve that?

Posted by: GeneTouchet | February 25, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"Enforcing" a law differs from "defending the constitutionality" of a law. The administration can enforce a law it argues elsewhere to be unconstitutional until the judicial branch makes a decision to agree with them, or enforce it forever if the courts do not agree with their position.

Are there any concrete examples of a failure to enforce the law?

Why is this distinction difficult to understand?

Posted by: 3point14159 | February 25, 2011 7:27 AM
*****************************************
3point14159 makes the basic point here...The administration did NOT say they would not ENFORCE the current law; they said they would not defend it's CONSTITUTIONALITY.

HUGE difference. Thanks, Mr. Capehart and 3point14159.

Posted by: shayladane | February 25, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I think this analysis is lost on the followers of Monica Crowley (witness their comments). DOMA still stands and any truly interested 3rd party can defend it in court - including Congress if Boehner is so inclined. DOJ is acting in the interest of taxpayers when it decides not to take on the expense of defending any law it judges will be ultimately be found unconstitutional, especially when cases are pending that will decide its status.

Posted by: deepierson | February 25, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

It's just astounding that the folks who scream "CONSTITUTION" the loudest don't seem to understand that very document.

It is against the spirit of the Constitution to discriminate against ANY group in our great country. . . . no matter how the "majority" feels about it.

I don't give a rat's behind what any "polls" say about this issue - discriminating against gays and lesbian people is against the Constitution.

If we'd have taken a popular vote in the 1950's-60's, black folks would STILL be sitting in the back of the bus.

1.) Allowing gay people to marry has NO adverse effect on society or anyone else's marriage. If your gay neighbors marry, and YOUR marriage falls apart, that's on YOU.

2.) Our Constitution guarantees equal rights for ALL. . . not just who we as a society decide to discriminate against. It's pathetic and backwards to profess that somehow "gay marriage" will be the downfall of our society. If that's the case, it doesn't say much for "society," does it?

By the way, I'm a happily married straight woman, and I'm all FOR gay people being given EQUAL rights in their personal lives.

You teabagging haters are just blind,deaf and downright dumb.

Posted by: grovelawoffice | February 25, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I have reread the article few times, and I am completely missing your point, Mr Capehart. Ms. Crawley is absolutely right according to the article. The DOMA is a law at leas for now]. Both, the president of the USA and the Attorney General are sworn ( voluntarily, they wanted the job) to upheld the Constitution. They are blatantly derelict in their duty to upheld the law and the Constitution.

Posted by: DSMD | February 25, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

What? Fox News spread misinformation? Really?

This is not the first time a President has decided not to enforce a statute. The President has authority to consider whether a statute is likely to be held unconstitutional by the courts and, if so, not to waste the resources of the Justice Department in defending it. He must notify Congress of his determination so that Congress may consider amendments to the statute which will render it constitutional. As Mr. Capehart says, the ball is now in Boehner's court.

Posted by: charlesbII | February 25, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

What? Fox News spread misinformation? Really?

This is not the first time a President has decided not to enforce a statute. The President has authority to consider whether a statute is likely to be held unconstitutional by the courts and, if so, not to waste the resources of the Justice Department in defending it. He must notify Congress of his determination so that Congress may consider amendments to the statute which will render it constitutional. As Mr. Capehart says, the ball is now in Boehner's court.

Posted by: charlesbII | February 25, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Where were all you right wing lovers of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution when Bush/Cheney were picking and chosing which laws to enforce??

There is a huge difference between what Obama has done and what went on in the Bush/Cheney years...Obama is following the law and years and years of past practice by other Presz...Bush/Cheney just did what they wanted and broke the law..

Posted by: meyer390 | February 25, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This isn't that hard to understand. In some states, gay marriage is legal. The federal government controls some marriage rights, such as getting social security on your spouse's account.

If you are a gay married couple and the feds treat social security for you differently than they do for a heterosexual married couple from your state, that's discrimination. Your state says you can be married, so shouldn't state's rights to determine marriage prevail?

Posted by: dnfree | February 25, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

DOMA misinformation on Fox News
Posted at 4:23 PM ET, 02/24/2011
By Jonathan Capehart

"I'm slated to see Monica Crowley at a taping of The McLaughlin Group tomorrow. And..."

Here's the problem Jon, you write and post the above, and WE see this:

Can only imagine
Absolutely
Without a doubt
A strong indication
Prodemocracy protests
Demands of protesters
Lost touch with his people
Red flags
Can't even describe it
How did that make you feel?
Certainly
God Willing
Feet held to the fire
Put the brakes on that very quickly
Thanks for your insight
It's a tough call
Tackle bigger issues
Bipartisan negotiations
Will definitely have an impact
Tough times, pinch pennies
So, basically, etc., etc., etc...

...and your Blogcestuous Bat Boys from the ABMSNBDNCNNPBSR Public-Private, Government-Media Complex @ the moveon.ogre belfry sewer, see:

On Thursday, January 24, 2013, President Sarah Palin announces she believes all Roe v Wade federal funding is unconstitutional and has directed DOJ not to defend it anymore. Further she believes all federal bans on Oil Exploration and Development is also unconstitutional and is removing Administrative opposition, and on top of that she believes all federal funding of School Districts that oppose School Choice will lose that money, until policies are brought in line with the Party that just won the election. What a beautiful dream, eh? More wanted children, lower fuel prices, more civil, well-educated, prosperous people. Oh the Horror!

Posted by: RichNomore | February 25, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the Tea Party MORONS are screeching that Obama is violating the Constitution by not enforcing a law.

It isn't about enforcement, it's about DEFENDING AN UNCONSTITUIONAL LAW IN COURT.

If he did that, he would be violating his oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

But apparently the TPers would be OK with that!

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | February 25, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I remember all to well when Bush was defending some of his corrupt policies and on national tv he stated he did not have to go by the constitution because he was president of the United States. Well guess what not one repub had a problem with that but now they complain but never say what part of the constitution they are blaming Obama of going against. Can't be the health law because Romney passed the almost identical law as governor and all repubs hailed it as the greatest health care law ever.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | February 26, 2011 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Most of the commenters to this piece do not appear to understand the difference between "defending" and "enforcing" a law. President Obama has stated that the administration will no longer defend the DOMA in court, that does not mean that they have any intention of not enforcing it.

Posted by: marshacb | February 26, 2011 3:03 AM | Report abuse


TotalCreation wrote:

… I welcome anyone to put forth a convincing argument that will show me just how a man slurping on another mans penis in the privacy of his own home will cause the downfall of this nation.

With our money not being worth anything, the broke government (thanks to the republicans if you look up how we went from surplus to deficit) and a corporatocracy that is festering a vial rot that eats away our entire country...

*****************************************************

It may not cause the downfall of this nation but it can have huge repercussions if it becomes the life style of the population.

If the two men are in a highly visible, political or military position they can be blackmailed and their highly visible , political or military careers destroyed because the majority of people still may not be able to believe that that kind of behavior is acceptable, even if it is conducted in private, but they will say it is immoral and misguided.

Many men have been held hostage to how they conduct themselves privately and in a homosexual lifestyle “slurping” outside of the civil union could have the same scorn as a heterosexual man when he cheats on his wife.

To the law it may just be a civil union but to the male partner the hurt is just as deep as it is to a wife of a politician or head of a bank.

I think you should still keep your sex life private for the very reason that if you are proud of your homosexually that is fine but others may look upon it with disdain even 20 years from now.

In the Muslim world, you should reference the link below for some additional supporting education on the subject in their religion because in their culture their religion, culture and political worlds are merged into one entity.

In America, even today we are much the same, at least in the privacy of our homes.

http://www.religionfacts.com/homosexuality/islam.htm


Posted by: heffleyjr | February 26, 2011 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Monica Crowley tried hard to impress. Like an ugly dress at the Oscars, people see the fashion, feel pity, shame, and remember - Monica Crowley was the bad dress Fox News wore that day she made her failed statement on the air. I am sure Roger Ailes and Murdock were shocked by her poor choice of words.

Dear Monica, you are no Sarah Palin. Maybe Bachmann, maybe Sharron Angel, but that isn't what you want, is it? Now Monica, as I am sure Fox News has reminded you, you couldn't give communication lessons to a novice like Christine O'Donnell. O'Donnell believes in divine intervention when she is on the campaign trail. You however need prayer if you are going to remain on television.

Thomas Chi
Author
PresidentSarah.Net

Posted by: ThomasChi | February 28, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I had a post on my blog about your article
http://oldpoliticaljunkie.com/?p=718

Posted by: gbachelis | February 28, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

MAYBE OBAMA HAS FINALLY DONE SOMETHING FOR THE GAY COMMUNITY

WILL THE GOVERNMENT CHANGE ITS DEFINITION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE FOR IMMIGRATION PURPOSES? MAYBE YES.

Please Help!

We invite potential DOMA project participants to contact us if they are same-sex binational couples who are married (or planning to marry) and who want to join our campaign to end discrimination in immigration law.

Visit us today www.equality4allnow.com

Posted by: jayrok876 | March 2, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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