Jun 7, 2006

leadership disconnected

As I'm sure you've heard, the Senate couldn't even muster enough votes to end debate on the pathetic Federal Marriage Amendment today. This is not at all surprising. The thing had no chance of making it out of the Senate even if they could actually get to vote on it.
What's ridiculous is the timing of this charade. After the massive illegal immigrant marches of April and May, the country finally awoke to the national emergency of our immigration problem. Every poll out there shows that up to 80% of the country wants at the very least a secure border, and a majority want that to include a wall. Immigration policy should come second. So after five years in office and the entire country raising their voices in unison against illegal immigration, the president and Congress finally managed to write a policy to handle the immigration problem. Actually, they made three policies, the president's, the Senate's, and the House's, and none of them are the same. So what do we get? As of now, a few miles of fence along parts of the US-Mexico border, and some cameras. oooh. Basically, lip service.
This brings us back to the marriage debacle. After the Massachusetts and San Francisco marriage breakthroughs of 2004, parts of the country were clamoring for protection of the "sanctity of marraige." It was a huge campaign issue. Probably enough to secure the president's re-election, though John Kerry was similarly opposed to same-sex marriage, though you'd never know it from the coverage. Fast forward to this year. The president's poll numbers are in a freefall based on stagnation in Iraq and an overall lack of public presence to project a strong image. It's a Congressional election year, and a majority of the country is feeling vehemently anti-incumbent. So what do the president and his pals in the Senate do? They bring back up the canard of gay marriage, and their attempt to engrave a state issue into the federal constitution fails once again. But they tried, damnit! And they'll be sure to remind us as campaign commercials start rolling out before November.
What someone needs to remind the president is that our federal system of states' rights is doing exactly what it should do on this issue, exactly the opposite of the "judicial activism" that the president claims is overtaking the nation. Massachusetts approved same-sex marriage (and re-elected nearly all the legislators who supported it), California did so as well, Connecticut approved civil unions, and the Defense of Marriage Act has been upheld thrice by federal judges (so much for that "activism" eh?). Yes, many states have also passed laws or state amendments strictly defining marriage, but that's their right as well. That's how our system is supposed to work. On issues where the several states can effectively make up their own minds, the federal government is supposed to butt its nosey ass out.
This is one issue that the Democrats have consistently correct. No one can hurt my marriage but my wife and I. However, we must protect the Constitution from these petty partisan potshots at all costs.

(a much better dissection of the issue is here)

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