Rove Gets His "Values" Issue Handed to Him
As we said months ago, Bush and Rove would look to run on social and values issues to cement their base and distract voters away from pocketbook and other relevant issues. The Massachusetts Supreme Court decision yesterday on same-sex marriages, while politically convenient for Rove as an issue he can distract voters attention with, also carries with it some degree of risk and contradiction for the GOP, as we outline below.
And while the GOP uses this issue to distract voters and fire up their base next year, the Democrats message to the Log Cabin Republicans should be: are you comfortable being in the same party with these guys? How big is the tent after all? Is winning so much to you guys that you are willing to ignore the panderers and Neanderthals in your midst?
The message from Dems to everyone else, learning from the lessons of the 2002 midterm elections, should be: while the President and the Republican Party divert your attention by debating the need for a constitutional amendment on this issue, which is not a pressing issue to this nation at this time, this debate, staged for political purposes by the far-right of the GOP, is not contributing one more job to this country, is not making us one bit more safe from terrorism, is not helping us find Osama, is not helping us figure out how to prevent another 9/11, is not providing the uninsured with health insurance, and is not forcing Congress to pay attention to the real problems currently facing this nation.
But then, the president and the GOP have no real interest in dealing with those issues anyway, and would rather pander to their base and distract your attention with this debate.
"Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman," Bush said in a statement released shortly after he arrived in London for a state visit. He said the ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court "violates this important principle."
In Washington, congressional Republicans renewed calls for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages.
Bush has said in the past that he supports strengthening the federal definition of marriage as a solely man-woman union. But he has declined to endorse a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and his statement Tuesday gave no specifics of how he believes that stronger definition should be accomplished.
"I will work with congressional leaders and others to do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage," he said.
"When you have a runaway judiciary, as we obviously have, that has no consideration for the Constitution of the United States, then we have available to us through that Constitution (a way) to fix the judiciary," said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.
Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., called the Massachusetts decision "just one more assault on the Judeo-Christian values of our nation."
The idea of a constitutional amendment appeared to be gaining appeal for some Republicans, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., would not rule it out.
"I think when we last publicly were discussing this, we made it very clear that it is our obligation, it is the law of the land passed by this body, and if the courts begin to tear that down, we have a responsibility to address it," he said.
Mr. Bush and Mr. DeLay, among others, allow me to introduce you to your Vice President, Mr. Cheney:
"I think states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that's appropriate," said Cheney, who has an openly gay daughter. "I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in that area.
"I think we ought to do everything we can to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into."
Dick Cheney, October 5, 2000
Perhaps you guys should get together and figure out when Pacemaker Dick needs to be dumped from the ticket.