If You Find Yourself in Bed with Jeffrey Toobin, Get Out

 

Earlier this week, Richard Epstein wrote about “The Strange Alliances Around the Gay Marriage Cases” in which he favorably quoted Jeffrey Toobin writing in the New Yorker. Epstein said Toobin “rightly notes that Justice Scalia’s dissent in Lawrence should be the blueprint for the new Kennedy majority opinion.”

That dissent, widely derided at the time as hyperbolic, said that the majority decision would undermine marriage law. Now that hyperbolic dissent should be “the blueprint” for ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.

I sometimes have occasion to do research of magazines and newspapers from decades past and this is a pattern. Conservatives issue a slippery slope warning. Cultural elites mock it. Then after an appropriate number of years pass, they acknowledge that the Scalias of the world were exactly right.

All this to say that I was reading the New Yorker article in question today while going through physical therapy. And I nearly had a heart attack when I read the remainder of Toobin’s little Talk of the Town piece.

He says, as is the trend among the supposedly well-read but surprisingly ignorant elites these days, that the only basis for defining marriage as a union built on sexual complementarity is “tradition and bigotry.” He notes that Paul Clement’s arguments in favor of DOMA deal with the “intrinsic connection between marriage and children.” Toobin brings up the fact that some married people do not have children and that therefore “the argument is not likely to be a winning one.”

So he has come up with this: “The link between procreation and marriage itself reflects a unique social difficulty with opposite-sex couples — namely, the undeniable and distinct tendency of opposite-sex relationships to produce unplanned and unintended pregnancies.” Even after repeated readings, the sentence is baffling. Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., the current Solicitor General, understated matters by saying that justifications like that one for “the institution of marriage would hardly be recognizable to most of its participants.”

I read that and nearly shouted.

How could Jeffrey Toobin, of all people, deny that males and females joined as one flesh produce unplanned and unintended pregnancies? How could he find that acknowledgement about heterosexual sex “baffling?”

This is the man who, according to news reports at the time, tried to get the woman he cheated on his wife with to have an abortion when she got pregnant:

In 2008, when Greenfield became pregnant, and when she told Toobin the news, he offered her “money if she’d have an abortion,” says a source. He also allegedly offered to pay for her to have another child later via a sperm donor.

“When Casey wouldn’t have an abortion, Jeff told her she was going to regret it, that she shouldn’t expect any help from him,” claims another source.

If anyone should know about “the undeniable and distinct tendency of opposite-sex relationships to produce unplanned and unintended pregnancies” I would think it would be Jeffrey Toobin.

His confusion about the walls all societies across all time and place have put around this distinct feature of heterosexual sex is, perhaps, not surprising given his reported treatment of his wife, his mistress and at least one of his children, but it is appalling that someone with this confusion should be calling those who understand it “bigots.”

Word to the wise. If you find yourself in bed with this guy either legally or romantically, I’d recommend finding another sleeping partner.

Members have made 44 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator

    I can’t say that I find myself surprised to wake up, blearily start my morning Ricochet, and find myself in bed with Mollie Hemingway. Again.

    • #1
    • March 28, 2013 at 1:59 am
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  2. Profile photo of 10 cents Inactive

    Again? Do you mean this literally? Be careful that you use literally properly. 🙂

    Wish you luck. I would probably edit before people wake up. 

    I will take my advice.

    James Of England: I can’t say that I find myself surprised to wake up, blearily start my morning
    • #2
    • March 28, 2013 at 2:09 am
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  3. Profile photo of Crow's Nest Inactive

    This thread just cries out for one of EJ Hill’s sublime masterpieces.

    • #3
    • March 28, 2013 at 2:53 am
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  4. Profile photo of Scarlet Pimpernel Member

    “The default assumption is that all decisions to reproduce are premeditated and planned for.”

    Beyond that, the default assumption is that we are all autonomous individuals who can control our destiny in all respects–except, apparently, for our sexual orientation. 

    The idea that biology connects sex with procreation is unacceptable, but the idea that biology is inescapable is the premise of support for gay marriage. 

    Fascinating logic.

    • #4
    • March 28, 2013 at 5:17 am
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  5. Profile photo of Mollie Hemingway Contributor
    Mollie Hemingway Post author
    Scarlet Pimpernel: “The default assumption is that all decisions to reproduce are premeditated and planned for.”

    Beyond that, the default assumption is that we are all autonomous individuals who can control our destiny in all respects–except, apparently, for our sexual orientation. 

    The idea that biology connects sex with procreation is unacceptable, but the idea that biology is inescapable is the premise of support for gay marriage. 

    Fascinating logic. · 8 minutes ago

    Edited 6 minutes ago

    More on that — and what it means about our anthropology — here.

    • #5
    • March 28, 2013 at 5:26 am
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  6. Profile photo of 10 cents Inactive

    A study from the I M Feu Ling Think Tank has shown that the offspring from the sexual union of two gay men are well adjusted and are perfect children whereas the offspring from the sexual union of two gay women are more apt to struggle with existence lacking not only y chromosomes but x chromosomes also. The study should not be considered conclusive due to the small sample size of children produced by homosexual unions.

    • #6
    • March 28, 2013 at 5:32 am
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  7. Profile photo of KC Mulville Inactive
    Taliesin:

    The default assumption is that all decisions to reproduce are premeditated and planned for.

    As a father of four, a taxpayer, and a news-consumer who hears every single month that the experts are surprised by the latest “unexpected” economic statistics, I can attest that faith in plans, or in one’s ability to know and control the future, is absurdly over-rated.

    Maybe that’s the problem with higher education. It leaves too many people with the false confidence that they actually know something.

    • #7
    • March 28, 2013 at 5:33 am
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  8. Profile photo of Tim H. Member
    Crow’s Nest: This thread just cries out for one of EJ Hill’s sublime masterpieces.

    Please, please, please, please, please!

    • #8
    • March 28, 2013 at 5:34 am
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  9. Profile photo of Jim Ixtian Inactive
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed Word to the wise. If you find yourself in bed with this guy either legally or romantically, I’d recommend finding another sleeping partner.

    If you find yourself in bed with Jeffery Toobin you may very well have company.

    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: Toobin brings up the fact that some married people do not have children and that therefore “the argument is not likely to be a winning one.”

    Well, for the folks who bring up the issue of marriage not being restricted to older men and women past their child bearing years vis-a-vis the lack of procreative capability in Homosex marriage there’s good news!!! Thanks to the marvels of science, medicine, and technology fertility treatments now allow women to extend their procreative years well into their 50’s, 60’s, and even 70’s.

    Rajo Devi became the oldest woman in recorded history to ever give birth on November 28, when the 70-year-old delivered a baby girl in India.

    There’s more here.

    • #9
    • March 28, 2013 at 5:34 am
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  10. Profile photo of KC Mulville Inactive

    Children baffle liberals. 

    This reinforces my belief that for all their words, liberals see children as mere accidents of sex. 

    Sex and marriage are treated entirely about me; my needs and my pleasures. They show no recognition that sex or marriage might possibly have a dimension to it based on others (marriage being the sharing of life with others, and children being the beginning of life for others). 

    It’s a dimension of sex and marriage that they just don’t see. Children baffle liberals. 

    • #10
    • March 28, 2013 at 5:36 am
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  11. Profile photo of Guruforhire Member

    If I am in bed with Jeffery Toobin, something has gone terribly terribly wrong on many fundamental levels.

    • #11
    • March 28, 2013 at 5:51 am
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  12. Profile photo of RadiantRecluse Inactive
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.
     

    More on that — and what it means about our anthropology — here. · 2 minutes ago

    “Children do not need to be raised by a male parent and a female parent to be well-adjusted, and having both a male and a female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted.”

    When I look at the two adopted children of my sister-in-law and her wife, there is no question that they are better off. Both were abandoned Chinese baby girls, the first left to die of exposure under a bridge, the second left at an orphanage. They are alive, loved, and thriving.

    Yet at the back of my mind, I cannot help but think that the lack of a father’s influence is a disservice to their development. That the courts have already determined that there is no difference between the male and female contributions to child-rearing…well, I’m more out of step than I realized.

    • #12
    • March 28, 2013 at 5:57 am
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  13. Profile photo of 10 cents Inactive

    Well one thing you have to say about Jeffrey Toobin is that he does know a lot about bigotry and breaking traditions.

    The title to this post seems to be the answer to the old age question of “You know when you had too much to drink, when …..”

    I have often wondered what the grandfather, Jeff Greenfield, has thought about his daughter getting “pointers” from Toobin. For me I feel sorry for the child who will have to carry this man’s baggage the rest of his/her life.

    • #13
    • March 28, 2013 at 5:57 am
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  14. Profile photo of mask Inactive

    Mollie – you are indispensable.

    • #14
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:02 am
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  15. Profile photo of Palaeologus Inactive

    Sooo…. that’s the best headline ever.

    In 2008, when Greenfield became pregnant, and when she told Toobin the news, he offered her “money if she’d have an abortion,” says a source. He also allegedly offered to pay for her to have another child later via a sperm donor.

    Too bin or not Too bin: that is the question. The interesting thing about Jeff Toobin is the seeming inadequacy of applicable adjectives to describe the man.

    • #15
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:11 am
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  16. Profile photo of 10 cents Inactive

    I wonder what “well-adjusted” means. What type of metrics are used?

    I worry about the “hidden” problems. Here is something interesting from Japan. Someone told me that Japanese are struggling with allergies because they grow up in almost antiseptic households. That actually germs and dirt help children grow strong. I feel the same way about families. It has helped me that my mother and father had different way at looking at things. There otherness teaches a child the two “registers” of life. Without this life is all in the treble or bass clef and lacks the harmony of having both.

    RadiantRecluse
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.
     

    More on that — and what it means about our anthropology — here. · 2 minutes ago

    “Children do not need to be raised by a male parent and a female parent to be well-adjusted, and having both a male and a female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted.”

    • #16
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:17 am
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  17. Profile photo of RadiantRecluse Inactive
    10 cents:It has helped me that my mother and father had different way at looking at things. There otherness teaches a child the two “registers” of life. Without this life is all in the treble or bass clef and lacks the harmony of having both.
     
     
     

     

     

     

    What a lovely way of putting it…harmony.

    • #17
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:22 am
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  18. Profile photo of tabula rasa Member

    Toobin operates in an irony-free zone.

    Lawyers like him make me despair of my profession. The hypocrisy is stunning.

    • #18
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:28 am
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  19. Profile photo of Scarlet Pimpernel Member

    Thanks, Mollie. Fascinating stuff.

    Meanwhile, a friend pointed me to this classic Monty Python bit.

    • #19
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:33 am
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  20. Profile photo of KC Mulville Inactive
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    More on that — and what it means about our anthropology — here.

    Mollie – thanks for that article by David Crawford. Well worth the read.

    I like and agree with most of what he says. However, I dispute his first section where Crawford asserts that the [marriage is procreation] argument is disproved by the fact that so many married couples don’t have children and that many gay couples do. We encounter that argument all the time, especially here on Ricochet, and it’s worth discussing in itself.

    Consider this: no one would initially see adoption and family as merely two equal alternatives for child-rearing. Plainly, the biological parents forming a family is what we want; it’s only in the absence of biological parents that we encourage adoption. (Why? Because we hold biological parents responsible for the children they create.) The fact that they both exist is not evidence that they’re equal.

    In the same way, marriage is an institution that’s inherently dependent on family and child-bearing (not just child-rearing) – but to accommodate couples who can’t have children, we make exceptions. The exception doesn’t invalidate the fundamental purpose.

    • #20
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:35 am
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  21. Profile photo of Western Chauvinist Member

    Let it be noted BrentB67, I am not responsible for this headline.

    • #21
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:35 am
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  22. Profile photo of Sisyphus Member

    Umm. Pretty much goes without saying.

    • #22
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:40 am
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  23. Profile photo of Scarlet Pimpernel Member

    Was Crawford making that point, or was he summarizing a point that is often made?

    • #23
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:41 am
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  24. Profile photo of Vance Richards Inactive

    Wait a minute. Are you saying sex makes babies? Have you anti-science Right-wingers never heard of the stork?

    • #24
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:42 am
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  25. Profile photo of Mollie Hemingway Contributor
    Mollie Hemingway Post author
    KC Mulville
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    More on that — and what it means about our anthropology — here.

    Mollie – thanks for that article by David Crawford. Well worth the read.

    I like and agree with most of what he says. However, I dispute his first section where Crawford asserts that the [marriage is procreation] argument is disproved by the fact that so many married couples don’t have children and that many gay couples do. We encounter that argument all the time, especially here on Ricochet, and it’s worth discussing in itself.

    He didn’t assert that so much as say that’s what the courts have been ruling. The rest of the piece is devoted to demolishing that complete understanding of human sexuality, freedom, marriage, etc. Or did I read it wrong?

    • #25
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:42 am
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  26. Profile photo of Mollie Hemingway Contributor
    Mollie Hemingway Post author
    Scarlet Pimpernel: Thanks, Mollie. Fascinating stuff.

    Meanwhile, a friend pointed me to this classic Monty Python bit. · 7 minutes ago

    Brilliant! Eerily on point!

    • #26
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:43 am
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  27. Profile photo of KC Mulville Inactive
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    He didn’t assert that so much as say that’s what the courts have been ruling. The rest of the piece is devoted to demolishing that complete understanding of human sexuality, freedom, marriage, etc. Or did I read it wrong?

    No, no – you’re correct about the article. I was in such a rush to go after the argument that I spoke clumsily. My bad.

    • #27
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:46 am
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  28. Profile photo of Palaeologus Inactive
    Sisyphus: Umm. Pretty much goes without saying. · 12 minutes ago

    Tell that to Jeff Greenfield. I dare ya.

    • #28
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:55 am
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  29. Profile photo of D.C. McAllister Contributor

    Um, no, don’t think it’s gonna happen. (sorry, I think I threw up a little in my mouth.)

    SupremeCourt_240.jpg

    • #29
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:55 am
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  30. Profile photo of Ontos Inactive

    Mollie: Please do not adopt their latest language fetish: “heterosexual” not “opposite sex” couples. Please, that’s part of their incrementalism.

    • #30
    • March 28, 2013 at 6:57 am
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