KCPW News Director Jeff Robinson had a few questions today for Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz regarding the congressman's determination to block a Washington, D.C., Council decision that provides marriage equality for same-sex couples within the city limits.
The interview is less than five minutes long, but well worth a listen: Robinson asks questions we've all been wondering for some time --- ... particularly, how can Chaffetz, with his big, macho, Republican "get your dirty federal hands off my local government" political philosophy, justify meddling in the affairs of a de-facto municipality lying 2,000 miles from his home turf? Chaffetz gets all technical and Constitutional about it:
Jeff Robinson: Politicians from Utah like yourself complain about the federal government intruding on the sovereignty of the local government here in Utah. It seems like what you're doing is kind of the same thing, but to the people of Washington, D.C.
Jason Chaffetz: No, it's very specific in the Constitution: Article 1 Section 8 says that the United States Congress is supposed to oversee this. Washington, D.C., is not a state; it is treated differently. Our seat of government ... is treated separately and distinctly, and we're just following the Constitution.
Following the Republican anti-marriage rulebook, Chaffetz spins his willingness to interfere in others' private family matters as some kind of courageous stance:
JC: I'm not trying to attack gay marriage per se; I'm just trying to affirm my positive view that I believe in traditional marriage, and I just do. And that's the way I'm gonna vote; and that's the way I believe it oughtta go; and it's not in any way, shape or form a personal attack.
Finally, he depersonalizes his own actions, and they become an "it" -- as though interfering in others' lives is one choice out of many that a principled person might take:
JC: It's not a personal attack on any one individual. It's just trying to stand tall for traditional marriage.
This, of course, relives Chaffetz from having to justify anything.