February 24, 2004

My single-issue

I feel like a political orphan right now. And I know I'm not alone.

Roger Simon:

We need someone who can represent the millions of Americans who back a militant stand against violent religious fascism abroad in order to uphold genuine human freedom here at home.

That's it. That's it for me. That is all that holds my interest. I am a single-issue voter, and that is my single-issue.

But now - with Bush's latest - I really don't know what to say, or feel right now. I am with Roger Simon when he says he is at a loss. Me too.

I've been an "orphan" for a while in the political process, and that's okay. I pick and choose, I work things out on my own, I do not follow party-line doctrine. I am for a strong national defense, and for taking the war on terrorism with the utmost seriousness. I believe that no less than our civilization, our way of life, is at risk. I believe that it must be taken seriously, and no longer ignored. Or if we do ignore it, then we do so at our peril.

But now, I don't know what to think. I find Bush's attitude towards same-sex marriage not only disheartening, but gross as well. I've had it.

I'm not asking for complete agreement with the man. I don't believe in complete agreement. PERIOD.

But this shit? I can't go "with him" on this one. I can't. I won't.

One of the commenters on Roger's post says it all for me:

I'm strictly a one issue voter this year and the war on terror easily trumps the same-sex marriage ban amendment. It's not as if Bush can just make it a law by signing an executive order or ramming it through Congress anyway.

It's enormously difficult to amend the constitution, would probably take years, and if it did happen that obviously means that it is supported by the majority of Americans. I'm personally not in favor of the amendment, but if there was sufficient support to allow three-fourths of the states to ratify it, then I have little room to complain. That's democracy.

Josh Chafetz at Oxblog weighs in.

Damn, damn, damn. Unsurprising, but still very disappointing.

Not that this in any way excuses Bush, but it seems to me that the FMA probably won't get through Congress. Assuming that every Republican Senator votes for it, are there really 16 Democratic Senators who will? Has anyone been nose-counting on this? If the wildly more popular -- and equally awful -- flag burning amendments consistently fail to get through, I just can't imagine that the FMA will. Or am I guilty of wishful thinking here?

UPDATE
Doctor Suarez (so glad he and Asparagirl are back) has more to say on this matter.

Allowing same-sex marriage is not a slippery slope. As society stands now, sexual acts between consenting adults of any gender are perfectly legal (thanks in no small part to the court's 2003 reversal of Texas sodomy laws). Despite this, it is still unlawful, so far as I am aware, to engage in sex with a member of your immediate family, a child, or the tenants of a petting zoo. Homosexuality among adults is a legal, albeit uncommon act. Sex among family members or children is a perversion. That line remains fast in our society, and encouraging homosexual adults to engage in legally-codified monogamy is not going to blur the lines of acceptable sexual behavior. There is no planet on which the next "logical" step is letting people marry their potbelly pigs.

Mr. President, there are lunatics overseas trying to kill all 300 million of us. I consider every second you spend fighting to keep people who love each other from proving it to be time in dereliction of your duties as our chief defender.

Thank you, Dr. Suarez, for that.

Posted by sheila
Comments

Does Bush really feel this way, or is he pandering to the right wing of the party to keep his election hopes alive? Dunno.

I think PJ O'Rourke said in "Parliament of Whores" that if Lloyd Bentsen represented the right wing of the Democratic party and Jesse Jackson represented the left wing, that makes for a bird the size of the Chicago Merchandise Mart, and you'd better cover up your car when it flies overhead, or something to that effect.

The same is true for the Republicans. It's the price we pay for not having to include wacko parties (like the Ultra-Orthodox party in Israel )in the process. Another wise man once wrote: choosing whom to vote for is like choosing which bucket of buzzard puke you want to drink from.

Posted by: John at February 24, 2004 12:56 PM

John -

PJ O'Rourke is a personal god of mine. Thanks for this necessary perspective.

Posted by: red at February 24, 2004 1:00 PM

Sheila, try to look at Bush’s statement about the amendment from a standpoint of political strategy. Bush knows that the likelihood of a constitutional amendment ever being ratified is very unlikely. I wish people could see this and not get so worked up about this whole stupid gay marriage issue. By doing this, Bush solidifies his “conservative” base and satisfies the majority of Americans who oppose gay marriage. (This is entirely my read on the matter and I could be far off.) The fact of the matter is that there are many gay people who are adamantly opposed to gay “marriage.” Furthermore, the number of gay people who actually want to get married is not as significant as you might think. The professional homosexuals, those whose very identity rests upon being a full time “gay rights” advocate, tend to make a bigger stink about these non-issues than most run of the mill gay folks.

By the way, if we don’t have a strong leader it won’t matter whether or not gays get to be “married.” They’ll all be buried up to their necks in human excrement while Muslim teenagers throw rocks at their heads. If they’re lucky they’ll just be quickly decapitated.

Posted by: Patrick at February 24, 2004 1:29 PM

Well, your last comment is exactly what I mean when I say I am a single-issue voter. My entire focus is on national security and foreign policy right now ... everything else takes a back seat.

And plenty of women opposed getting their own right to vote.

That's fine. Gay people can feel however they want - and have a multitude of responses to this. Because gay people are not a monolith. They are as diverse a group as are women, blacks, men, whatever.

Posted by: red at February 24, 2004 1:37 PM

Basically what I am saying is:

This shit has no business being in our Constitution.

And again - let me say that I do not need to have complete agreement with politicians, or with others. I don't believe in it, basically. And I fear those who demand it.

I came to call myself a conservative because of my belief in a strong foreign policy and a small government. I do not recognize what is going on in Washington as a small government.

Posted by: red at February 24, 2004 1:42 PM

'Zackly.

Posted by: Ken Hall at February 24, 2004 2:19 PM

Yes, the Musgrave version of the FMA as drafted is a horrifying abomination that undermines both individual freedom and federalism to an unbelievable degree, but that's part of why Josh Chafetz is right and it isn't going to go anywhere. I'd be very surprised if even all the GOP Senators would vote for it.

Personally, I have absolutely no problem with gay marriage, but many of the comments on Roger Simon's blog make a very wise point: the judicialization of contentious issues makes for hardening and polarizing of positions, whereas leaving them to the ordinary political process denies anyone the chance to reach for "perfection," forcing them to interact, compromise, and evolve over time as a changing consensus. It's a consensus that I expect in most places to accept gay marriage eventually, but not if it's being imposed by state judicial fiat (let alone mayoral fiat) on the entire country. Now, reading the federal constitution in good faith, I believe Congress's authority to regulate the effect of Full Faith and Credit gave them all the authority needed to enact DOMA, making this an issue to be decided purely at the state level without any potential impact nationwide, but I don't think it's a totally invalid concern to think that some judge, somewhere would ultimately hold that statute unconstitutional. If so, the alternatives would appear to me to be either a 4-3 majority on a state supreme court imposing its will on the entire country, or writing something like DOMA into the federal constitution, as Jonathan Rauch proposed, something's a VERY far cry from the FMA, and would be able to garner real support as a reasonable compromise. The states would be able to do whatever they want, as would the feds, all without treading on eachother, by statute, and allowing for changes over time rather than freezing any particular policy in place. Which is really as constitutional law should be.

All that is a preface to saying that the President did not endorse any particular amendatory language, so I still hold out some hope for him on this, even if it is yet another manifestation of the unfortuante phenomenon Fred Barnes named "big-government conservatism." But I REALLY don't want this to be the defining issue of the election. Domestic sociocultural/whatever matters are just so much meaningless navel-gazing trivia next to the possibility of us all being dead tomorrow.

Posted by: Dave J at February 24, 2004 2:37 PM

Dave J -

As always, you put some of my vague floating-about concerns into good language ...

"The judicialization of contentious issues."

When you think about the ramifications of that, it is quite terrifying. One can only hope that the system put in place by those Founding Fathers I am so in love with is set up to handle just such issues. Checks, balances ... a system created to lessen the possibility of despotic tyranny - legislative, militaristic, judicial, or otherwise.

Posted by: red at February 24, 2004 2:43 PM

Sheila, you get all the smart readers.

Posted by: Patrick at February 24, 2004 3:09 PM

Patrick -

I certainly hope you include yourself in that! Thank God I have smart readers. I'm too emotional and erratic sometimes if I'm passionate about things. There's always somebody to calm me down. Make me see another side.

Except for when it comes to the Red Sox. Then I am unable to see any side but my own. So be it.

Posted by: red at February 24, 2004 3:11 PM

Ah, I must stand out as a lone voice for reason(or my approximation thereof). I simply can't agree that the "War on terrorism" is the number one priority. Yes, 9/11 was a horrible event, but it IS isolated. We do not live the lives of the Israelis where it happens on almost a daily basis.
Secondly, I can't imagine thinking that somehow Bush would be superior to Kerry on this issue. The war on Iraq has almost nothing to do with the war on terror. The war on terror will be mostly "fought" with intelligence and cooperation with other nations. I wish I could sway you all from the dark side of Dubya.

Posted by: Ron at February 24, 2004 3:49 PM

I wouldn't dare include myself in that. I'm more like you, emotional and erratic. However, I am finally growing up and mellowing out. Considering the fact I will be 33 years old this year, I'd say it was about time.

You know, in times of real stress, in times such as these when issues like gay marriage seem to be overwhelmingly frustrating to me and I am particularly erratic or emotional, I find it very therapeutic to pour some wine, sit back and watch Titanic.

Posted by: Patrick at February 24, 2004 3:49 PM

Ah, I must stand out as a lone voice for reason(or my approximation thereof). I simply can't agree that the "War on terrorism" is the number one priority. Yes, 9/11 was a horrible event, but it IS isolated. We do not live the lives of the Israelis where it happens on almost a daily basis.
Secondly, I can't imagine thinking that somehow Bush would be superior to Kerry on this issue. The war on Iraq has almost nothing to do with the war on terror. The war on terror will be mostly "fought" with intelligence and cooperation with other nations. I wish I could sway you all from the dark side of Dubya.

Posted by: Ron at February 24, 2004 3:49 PM

I'm still waiting for the candidate that says:

"I understand that apart from a few roles that gov't should execute - such as defense - what you really want from your gov't to be left the hell alone.

Posted by: Dan at February 24, 2004 3:51 PM

Ron -

"Reason?" I am glad you put a qualifier on there, and said it is just your approximation of it.

I cannot see it the way you see it. And I am a reasonable person myself. 9/11 was the culmination of a long series of attacks - the 1993 bombing, all the attacks on our embassies, etc etc etc etc

This is exactly what I mean when I say: I feel that we look at 9/11 as an isolated event only at our peril.

I see that event in a much larger context - the context of an inter-civilizational war. I see it in quite apocalyptic terms. I have seen it this way long before 9/11.

it was as though the evidence was right in front of us, but nobody connected the dots.

9/11 was the connector. 9/11 was the wake-up call.

Posted by: red at February 24, 2004 3:58 PM

Oh, and Dubya is the "dark side"? Them Dems ain't no tunnel of bright white light, my friend.

Posted by: red at February 24, 2004 4:00 PM

Patrick -

Well, Jesus, I'm emotional and erratic but I am also damned intelligent. I don't see that the two are contradictory.

There's a ton I don't know, and there are many issues where I have no objectivity - but my brain is always working, even in the middle of emotions.

Posted by: red at February 24, 2004 4:01 PM

Dan -

I wish!! Such simple words, but what so many people are DESPERATE to hear.

Posted by: red at February 24, 2004 4:02 PM

Sheila,

This is another example of the Republicans' fair-weather Federalism that I just can't stand about my party. They'll prattle on and on about local control and states rights up to the point where a state elects to do something that they disagree with, such as gay marriage, medicinal marijuana or euthanasia.

I wish there was a viable third party, I wish the (capital L) Libertarians weren't such crackpots, I wish there were a Federalist Party that favored a strong defense, the doctrine of pre-emption, low taxes, a balanced budget, and a high value on personal liberties. But that just doesn't exist right now, and I'm going to go with Bush over a man who trashed the American soldier and voted against just about every defense program since he was elected to Congress.

Ron,

The black smoke I saw rising with my own eyes makes the War on Terror my #1 priority, for me. 9/11 is an isolated incident because we smashed the government protecting them and killed or captured half of their leaders. I'm not comfortable leaving this to the intelligence agencies which have failed us before and after the attacks, or based purely on cooperation with other nations.

Posted by: Bill McCabe at February 24, 2004 4:02 PM

"I wish there were a Federalist Party that favored a strong defense, the doctrine of pre-emption, low taxes, a balanced budget, and a high value on personal liberties."

Ditto. A thousand times, ditto.

Posted by: Dan at February 24, 2004 4:09 PM

Oh, and Patrick -

What I was really trying to say in my teasing comment is that of course I count you amongst my intelligent readers.

I do not have a dim-bulb reader in the bunch. To mix a metaphor.

:)

Posted by: red at February 24, 2004 4:11 PM

To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens--My priority is a tenacious, unrelenting, unapologetic defense of civilized society against the ever-growing malice of theocratic barbarism. This is the foundation of my current mindset. Sheila is correct. 9/11 was the wake-up call, but this is a threat that has been developing for a long time. Ron says we do not live the lives of Israelis where we face this every day. Perhaps not now, Ron, but all to soon, if these people go unchallenged. I don't want our country to be a place where our families and friends have to worry about being blown into pieces every time they eat at a restaurant, board public transportation, or enter a public arena. 9/11 was an isolated event only in that it occured in this country, and its order of magnitude. We face an enemy whose culture indoctrinates its children to embrace indiscriminant violence. An enemy who is willing to convince its youth and its loved ones to strap on a bomb and randomly kill innocent people requires a vigilant, aggressive response. The Bush Administration grasps this reality. I have never been a single-issue voter, but I am willing to accept(if not relish)many policies I do not support as long as the President continues to aggressively pursue terrorist groups and those groups/countries who support them. If we are not safe, no other issue really matters.

Posted by: David at February 24, 2004 4:51 PM

There are numerous reasons why I oppose Bush, but even for those folks who will be one-issue voters for defense, Bush should not be an automatic choice. Yes, he can be counted on to respond strongly against those who wish to harm us. However, he cannot be counted on to respond wisely - and there is a difference.

Our ultimate success in Afghanistan and Iraq is far from certain at this point. As we've already seen in Iraq, winning a conventional war against a Third-World power is the easy part. The relative lack of attention we've been paying to Afghanistan during the Iraq conflict does not bode well for the future of that effort. We're employing various warlords to keep the peace, even though they oppose democracy or anything else that would dilute their power. The central government has virtually no power and Taliban faithful are patiently waiting for opportunities to strike. The situation in Afghanistan and Iraq is not yet at a crisis point, but if we act injudiciously it could get there very quickly.

I am a Democrat, but I'm no knee-jerk Dem. I will vote for Edwards (my preference) or Kerry over Bush in the general election, because Bush is way too far to the right on way too many issues for me. What really pisses me off is that Bush got the nomination over McCain in the last election by getting in bed with the far right wing of the GOP, in addition to his business cronies. I would have gladly voted for McCain over Gore, and I would vote for him over Kerry or Edwards. If McCain were President right now, we'd be in better shape versus terrorism, and in almost every other conceivable way.

Posted by: MikeR at February 24, 2004 4:53 PM

MikeR,

I absolutely LOVE McCain, and I think he'd make an outstanding President. I'm usually not very passionate about politicians, I rarely like them, but he is a very rare exception. The guy has balls, and will do what's right despite what his party tries to tell him, and he'll call out his party if needbe. I love that, I love people who will stand by what they believe regardless, and point out bullshit whenever it is needed.

Posted by: Laura at February 24, 2004 5:25 PM

I voted for John McCain in the GOP primary, but since then I've often felt glad that he lost. If you want to talk about constitutional abominations, campaign-finance "reform" is at the top of the list, and while Bush went along with it, McCain sponsored it and is obsessed with it. It seems to me more and more that he thinks people voted for him because of it rather than, like me, despite it, and that's why he's lost a great deal of my respect. Would he be doing a better job on national security? I don't honestly know, but I do know better than to expect unmitigated greatness from him: the man is still mortal, after all, lest his membership in the Keating Five be forgotten.

As for John Edwards, my mind starts doing nauseated contortions at the prospect. I've had far too much contact with the plaintiffs' bar to ever trust any of them as far as could them, let alone with the defense of the country. He is a trial lawyer par excellence, down to the tried-and-true canned class-war rhetoric. I cannot help but think of him as Bill Clinton without the sleaze: all style and no substance, other than perhaps skyrocketeting punitive damage awards.

Posted by: Dave J at February 24, 2004 5:46 PM

That should read "as far as I could kick them..."

Posted by: Dave J at February 24, 2004 5:47 PM

Bill, I think you just wrote a platform.

Posted by: Ken Hall at February 24, 2004 5:54 PM

Ken, it's a pity I don't have the resources, connections or organizational skill to do anything with it.

Posted by: Bill McCabe at February 24, 2004 6:26 PM

Laura -

McCain does have balls. He's willing to stand up to both parties, which is why he'll probably never be President. He's certainly not perfect, but his personal integrity is far above average in the political realm.

Dave J -

I have no love for lawyers. As a class they are an abomination, but nevertheless they are the only defense the poor have against the wealthy and powerful. If a company or an individual has no fear of getting sued up the wazoo, they have no absolute incentive to protect the welfare or even the lives of their workers, or the general public.

I favor tort reform that would limit the amount of punitive damages a plaintiff or a lawyer can receive, but which does NOT limit the amount that can be assessed against a guilty party (the excess could be given to charity, or something like that). Otherwise you're placing a set dollar value on human life, and some will inevitably find it more convenient let someone else suffer or die rather than spend a large amount of money to help them.

I'm sorry, I have no patience for the "money is speech" argument. Those who oppose any efforts at campaign finance reform probably also oppose anti-trust legislation. Limiting the advantage of those who possess enormous resources is an integral part of American history, even if we haven't done a particularly good job of it.

Posted by: MikeR at February 24, 2004 6:35 PM

Ya Velcome!

Posted by: Scott Ganz at February 24, 2004 6:51 PM

"I have no love for lawyers. As a class they are an abomination..."

Hold on a second, Mike; I resemble that remark! ;-) Just because I excoriate the plantiffs' bar shouldn't lead you to the conclusion that I'm not a lawyer myself. And having compared it to a host of other systems, I agree wholeheartedly with the basic principle behind contingency fees. Perfect, no, but far better than anything else. And it's a proper complement to the Seventh Amendment's protection of civil jury trials, something either much rarer or non-existent everywhere else in the world.

But all that said, I also believe punitive damages, which serve to penalize a defendant rather than compensate the plaintiff, are essentially indistinguishable in nature and purpose from a criminal fine regardless of what they're called, and thus must be subject to the Eighth Amendment's Excessive Fines Clause or the underlying intent of that provision is evaded and frustrated by semantic word games. I may be mistaken, but although I think the US Supreme Court disagrees with me, I'm fairly sure it's only dicta rather their holding, i.e., they've never answered the question when it was the basis of their decision.

I'm not against all punitive damages, but they ARE getting out of hand, driving whole industries to pull out of particular states that are just too much of a litigation risk. And awards this high really do encourage the filing of some wholly frivolous suits that are meant SOLELY to harass a defendant into settlement: without even arguable merit, that amounts to legalized extortion, but it doesn't matter because 95+% of claims never get as far as trial. It is the potential for unlimited damages, not even the ability of attorneys (and their clients to a much lesser extent) to collect those damages, that encourages this. While it might be some imporovement, even if the damages went somewhere else, it doesn't matter to the defendant, so they would still be a sword in the hands of the plaintiff's bar with which to threaten anyone at any turn.

Furthermore, I know it sounds terribly callous but we do place numerical value on human life all the time. By spreading risk, including the risk of death, the development of insurance was one of the single greatest innovations in the history of capitalism. And no, I know this really is starting to sound like it, but I am not an insurance defense attorney.

As for money not being speech, what exactly WOULD you call limitations on the ability to further a political agenda with which you agree? If free speech is reduced to "you can stand in a corner of a public park speaking," but nothing else (i.e., nothing that really matters), then it's been gutted. As it is, the Supreme Court's current case law essentially says that matters of artistic expression, etc., are essentially more protected than political speech: do you think the Court would say it's OK to stop people giving above a certain amount or at certain times to specified museums? The question answer itself, but that's exactly what McCain-Feingold said with respect to political candidates. Free speech, of course, goes hand-in-hand with free association, and all the snowballing avalanche of election statutes going back to right after Watergate, with their farcical restrictions on "coordination," cut to the heart of that as well.

The simplest reform would be an end to all caps, turning the FEC into simply a clearinghouse for public disclosure and a watchdog for foreign money, which we can and should legitimately keep out. The remedy for, in the infamous words of Buckley v. Valeo, "the appearance of corruption," should be at the ballot box, not in the hands of some bureaucracy that will invariably find more and more supposed evils with which to justify its existence.

Posted by: Dave J at February 24, 2004 7:19 PM

I forget to add one more point about campaign-finance "reform," namely what is perhaps THE most egregious part of McCain-Feingold. The statute bans commercials advocating for or against candidates, by anyone other than the candidates' own campaigns, within 30 or 60 days of an election. What could be MORE of a direct assault on the core purpose of the First Amendment than prohibiting specific kinds of expression based on their political content?!

And, of course, it just generates more bureaucracy and litigation as people try to squeeze into the statute's exception for "legitimate news media" or whatever. As Justice Thomas pointed out in his dissent, the fact the Congress made an express exception for the media means it thinks it could take this exception away if it chose to: after all, journalists really have no MORE right to the protections of the First Amendment than anyone else.

Election law is a game of protecting incumbency by pretending to stand up for high ethical principles. It is a farce.

Posted by: Dave J at February 24, 2004 7:37 PM

Well,

I'm afraid we're just going to have to agree to disagree. I think nothing I say will convince you and vice versa. I think the doctrine of pre-emption is horrifying, so I can't ever agree with those ideas. And Sheila, no, the dems aren't all goodness and light, but they beat the hell out of the GOP in my book. And as long as we have a system like we do, 3rd party candidates for president have no chance of doing anything.

Ah well, I could write pages of stuff about what I think is important and why , but I'm not up to starting a holy war.

Posted by: Ron at February 24, 2004 8:15 PM

Dave J, I have very intimate first-hand experience with the issue of rules and money from my now dormant avocation as a race car owner/driver. Those with the deepest pockets always whine about the rules - they're inconvenient, too hard to follow, unfair, etc. The reason the rich don't like rules is that well-crafted rules limit their advantage - any other interpretation is pure BS. Through careful management of my available resources, I was able to become competetive in a class where most of the top competitors had far greater resources available to them. One of the reasons I'm no longer racing is that our rules became so liberalized over time that I could no longer be competitive in a financially sane manner. Yes, I could have made an all-out effort to obtain greater sponsorship in order to try to stay in the game. However, expending one's time and energy in the effort to obtain funding implies a loss of freedom that I wasn't willing to accept.

It's the same thing in politics. Politicians have to expend inordinate amounts of effort raising money. Most of those who are unwilling to do it either lose or quit. And the sad part is that those "losers" are the very people I want in politics.

In terms of lawsuits, why would attorneys go to extraordinary lengths to perpetrate a fraud that they knew would only put a limited amount of money in their pocket? Plaintiffs might do it out of spite, but lawyers (sorry) are pretty dependable in terms of focusing on their own bottom line. We have to find a way to lessen the incentive for fraudulent and frivolous lawsuits without increasing the incentive for bad corporate or individual behavior.

Posted by: MikeR at February 24, 2004 9:00 PM

It's the elections, people. This may actually be a smart move from Bush (smart for his own interests, that is), because it will corner the Democrats into taking a stance on this and they won't be pleased one bit to be forced to choose a stand on this.

On the other hand, he may lose some support from people who are not in favour of gay marriages, but don't want anything as drastic as a constitution amendment ban.

Which is not likely to be implemented anyway.

Either way, I don't think Bush's statement will have any effect on the trend towards gay marriages, it will only have an effect on the electoral campaign.

Storm in a teacup.

Posted by: ginger at February 25, 2004 2:47 AM

Ginger,

I'm not comfortable with my President campaigning to amend the Constitution in order to deny a class of citizens a right because it is a smart political move. I prefer to think he's doing this because he sincerely believes its the right thing to do, doing it for politics would only make it worse.

Posted by: Bill McCabe at February 25, 2004 6:26 AM

Bill: I know, I'm not defending it, I'm not that okay with it either. I do think it's gross, like Sheila said. It's exploiting an issue that should not be politicised.

I may not feel that strongly on the issue itself, I mean, I don't see marriage as an institution to "defend" from an hypothetical attack by gays, and I tend to be in favour of gay marriages because even if I'm not interested, I don't see how they could be a threat to society. Whether or not they're allowed is indifferent to me. As long as certain rights are given to all partners, such as visiting rights, inheritance, etc. I'd be okay with the "marriage light" civil union idea. I don't know, I tend to understand both sides of the argument.

But all this is secondary, I'm not dismissing the issue, I just think this proposal will get nowhere. It is an electoral move. I do think Bush is probably convinced it's the right thing to do, given his religious conservative background and all, but it's first of all a political card he's playing, and he knows all too well what he's doing.

Otherwise, he'd have raised this just after being elected, not before the re-election campaign.

This is the sort of game that politics is made of, after all.

Posted by: ginger at February 25, 2004 7:45 AM

I feel Bush's hand has been forced by these wacky judges/mayor. It seems pretty clear based on his statements that Bush is in favor of states having full control of the civil union issue, which is good. As a conservative, I'm a federalist and I think states should handle this issue. But, as all of you have so eloquently put it, all this doesn't mean shit if we're turned into freeze-dried coffee tomorrow.

Bush is still getting my vote.

Posted by: Christopher Rice at February 25, 2004 9:34 AM

Ron -

See the thing is - the holy war has already begun. Whether we all admit it or not.

I'm cool with agreeing to disagree though.

Posted by: red at February 25, 2004 10:20 AM

Just remember:

1) Kerry *supports* the amendment!

2) Presidents have no role in the amendment process anyway - they cannot start it, or stop it. They are just bystanders, like me and you.

I have two posts on my page backing this up - right-hand side, at the top:
http://www.fecesflingingmonkey.com/

Posted by: Mike at February 25, 2004 11:37 AM

While GB is pushing his views on married onto the American population, and giving married people tons of benefits while excluding everyone else, many who make a choice to wait, are feeling let down.

I honor the sanctity of marriage. That’s why I think if two people care about each other so much that they want to devote their entire lives, let them. I also think that those who decide not to, should not be fiscally punished. Why is it that more and more, marriage is seeming like a business decision? GB wants to promote marriage in low-income neighborhoods so that these families can garner the financial benefits. But, why should a tax break be a deciding factor when uniting?

That’s why I think this BusinessWeek. online article, “The High Cost of Not Marrying” is so interesting. Here’s an except:

"In a sense, marriage is getting more heightened," says Joan Williams, co-director of the Gender, Work & Family Project at the American University Law School. She thinks Ross is onto something: All this attention to marriage may be making single people feel like second-class citizens.

Consider that married couples get many financial and legal advantages that single people don't enjoy. Probably the biggest discrepancy is with corporate-benefit programs, which are still designed with the prototypical worker being a man with a stay-at-home wife and kids to provide for, says Williams. The extension of benefits to a spouse and children amounts to a pay increase for marrieds that single people don't get. Williams hopes more corporations will embrace "cafeteria plans," which allow workers to pick and choose the benefits that apply to their lives.

Here’s a like to the article:

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/feb2004/nf20040225_6278_db035.htm

Posted by: Lisa Langsdorf at February 25, 2004 1:14 PM

While GB is pushing his views on married onto the American population, and giving married people tons of benefits while excluding everyone else, many who make a choice to wait, are feeling let down.

I honor the sanctity of marriage. That’s why I think if two people care about each other so much that they want to devote their entire lives, let them. I also think that those who decide not to, should not be fiscally punished. Why is it that more and more, marriage is seeming like a business decision? GB wants to promote marriage in low-income neighborhoods so that these families can garner the financial benefits. But, why should a tax break be a deciding factor when uniting?

That’s why I think this BusinessWeek. online article, “The High Cost of Not Marrying” is so interesting. Here’s an except:

"In a sense, marriage is getting more heightened," says Joan Williams, co-director of the Gender, Work & Family Project at the American University Law School. She thinks Ross is onto something: All this attention to marriage may be making single people feel like second-class citizens.

Consider that married couples get many financial and legal advantages that single people don't enjoy. Probably the biggest discrepancy is with corporate-benefit programs, which are still designed with the prototypical worker being a man with a stay-at-home wife and kids to provide for, says Williams. The extension of benefits to a spouse and children amounts to a pay increase for marrieds that single people don't get. Williams hopes more corporations will embrace "cafeteria plans," which allow workers to pick and choose the benefits that apply to their lives.

Here’s a like to the article:

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/feb2004/nf20040225_6278_db035.htm

Posted by: Lisa Langsdorf at February 25, 2004 1:15 PM

While GB is pushing his views on married onto the American population, and giving married people tons of benefits while excluding everyone else, many who make a choice to wait, are feeling let down.

I honor the sanctity of marriage. That’s why I think if two people care about each other so much that they want to devote their entire lives, let them. I also think that those who decide not to, should not be fiscally punished. Why is it that more and more, marriage is seeming like a business decision? GB wants to promote marriage in low-income neighborhoods so that these families can garner the financial benefits. But, why should a tax break be a deciding factor when uniting?

That’s why I think this BusinessWeek. online article, “The High Cost of Not Marrying” is so interesting. Here’s an except:

"In a sense, marriage is getting more heightened," says Joan Williams, co-director of the Gender, Work & Family Project at the American University Law School. She thinks Ross is onto something: All this attention to marriage may be making single people feel like second-class citizens.

Consider that married couples get many financial and legal advantages that single people don't enjoy. Probably the biggest discrepancy is with corporate-benefit programs, which are still designed with the prototypical worker being a man with a stay-at-home wife and kids to provide for, says Williams. The extension of benefits to a spouse and children amounts to a pay increase for marrieds that single people don't get. Williams hopes more corporations will embrace "cafeteria plans," which allow workers to pick and choose the benefits that apply to their lives.

Here’s a like to the article:

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/feb2004/nf20040225_6278_db035.htm

Posted by: Lisa at February 25, 2004 1:15 PM

"...the Gender, Work & Family Project at the American University Law School."

With an institute named something like that, I knew there was more than one reason I didn't go to law school at my undergrad alma mater.

Posted by: Dave J at February 25, 2004 6:10 PM