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5 Conservative Freakouts About Last Week’s Supreme Court Rulings

While many Americans celebrated an epic Pride weekend, conservatives lamented our newly “tyrannical” society

Mike Huckabee

"We must resist and reject judicial tyranny," presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said in the wake of the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision.

Scott Olson/Getty

Conservatives were hit with a one-two punch last week when the Supreme Court ruled not to strip health care access from millions of people, and then gave the whole country same-sex marriage. President Obama tried to discourage liberals from gloating at conservative anger, saying we “should be mindful” and “recognize different viewpoints.” That’s nice, I guess, but we are talking about people who are bitter because they couldn’t deprive their neighbors of health and happiness. In light of that, a little gloating feels like a worthy indulgence. Here are some of the most apoplectic reactions to the King v. Burwell and Obergefell v. Hodges decisions.

1. Tyranny!
Let’s be clear: King v. Burwell was a sign of desperation for anti-Obamacare forces, complete with plaintiffs who didn’t seem to understand what exactly they were suing over and shamelessly stupid arguments that wouldn’t have even been granted a hearing by a less conservative court.  

But conservative true believers are nonetheless determined that this decision was the end of both American jurisprudence and democracy itself. Several Fox News personalities weighed in: Andrew Napolitano called the decision “treacherous” and claimed the high court had seized “almost tyrannical power,” while Charles Payne tweeted that the decision amounted to “another giant step toward Banana Republic” and Todd Starnes declared this the end of the Constitution. Meanwhile, Breitbart‘s Ben Shapiro tweeted, “Words don’t mean anything. Laws don’t mean anything. The law is, apparently, whatever Obama says it is.”

It’s almost like Obama was elected president and given the power to sign legislation!

2. Tinfoil hat time
For some on the right, declaring the end of democracy is too subtle and understated. Instead, they turn to the old-fashioned conspiracy theory. “Death panels will exist,” Sean Hannity declared, arguing that the Obamacare decision means the government will start killing people with morphine overdoses. At Glenn Beck’s website, Wayne Root speculated that Obama, who “lives and rules by the Chicago thug playbook” had “blackmailed or intimidated” Justice John Roberts. Rush Limbaugh didn’t take it that far, but he did imply that Roberts was somehow profiting off the spike in hospital stock prices after the decision. 

3. End times
The reaction to Obamacare had nothing on the utter meltdown that occurred over the idea that gay people can now get married in all 50 states. Even though gay sex never leads to abortion, the anti-choice American Life League nonetheless issued a statement on the decision, declaring, “Our nation has become like a dead body floating downstream, to what destination only the devil knows.” Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum argued that the Supreme Court had ruined the “foundational unit of society.” (Unmarried people don’t belong to society? Who knew.) Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, kept it classy and called the decision “a spiritual 9/11.” And Ted Cruz, another GOP presidential contender, noted that Friday marked “some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history.” Forget the Civil War or Pearl Harbor. Americans getting marriage certificates — that’s when things got really dark for our country.

4. Christianity is illegal now, right?
David French at the National Review argued that “there is no such thing as an ‘absolute’ right to free speech or religious freedom” because “virtually all cases involve balancing the asserted right against the asserted state interest.” Which is a wordy way of saying that if people are out there, right now, getting gay married, then your right to be a Christian must be null and void. “Social scorn is worse than the lash,” he argues. Meanwhile, Glenn Beck declared that the ruling “could mean the end of radio broadcasts like mine.” Because anyone who supports “traditional marriage” is going to be run off the airwaves, apparently.

Sadly, this line of reasoning — that people getting married when you don’t approve is equivalent to being whipped or thrown in prison — was the go-to argument for a number of Republican politicians. Greg Abbott, Jeb Bush and Bobby Jindal all argued that the same-sex marriage decision will somehow, in Jindal’s words, “pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians.” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also flipped out, noting that “the debate over the issue of marriage has increasingly devolved into personal and economic aggression against people of faith.” Did you know that every time a gay couple gets married, another Christian is banned from praying? Yeah, neither did I.

5. Revolution!
Mike Huckabee kicked off a round of empty posturing about how conservatives are going to revolt. “I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch,” he declared. “We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.” Likewise, Allen West threatened that the decision would lead to “civil war,” and Rod Dreher of the American Conservative wrote that “[i]t is time to confront this soberly but realistically, and prepare for the resistance.” Bill Muehlenberg of BarbWire called for “massive civil disobedience and defiance of this homo-fascist decision.” (Shout out to homo-fascist, as a concept.)

It seems that while many Americans were partying in the streets over Pride weekend, some conservatives were sitting in their homes, readying their guns so they could take on the soldiers about to kick in their doors and forcibly gay-marry them. Hope you had fun, guys.

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