Monday :: Jun 5, 2006

Wrong Crisis, George!

by pessimist

While the Iranian mullahs' pronouncements are making oil prices rise, rest assured that your Simpleton Sovereign is hard at work in response.

It won't affect your transportation costs, but it will keep those two guys who run the restaurant you like so much from exchanging rings!

Funny thing - few are impressed with such resolute action on the part of C+ Augustus!

Bush set to push gay wedding ban
Jun. 5, 2006

It stands little chance of passing the 100-member Senate, where proponents are struggling to get even 50 votes. Several Republicans oppose the measure, and so far only one Democrat says he will vote for it.

GOP says ‘I do’ to bigotry...

It’s no wonder that the American people are frustrated with the Republican Congress. They deserve action on the challenges we face as a nation - an endless and costly war in Iraq, skyrocketing gas prices and soaring health-care costs. Rather than dealing with real priorities, the Republican leadership is focused on writing discrimination into the Constitution.

The proposed amendment is inconsistent with our values and our humanity. Americans believe in tearing down the walls of discrimination and inequality, not creating new barriers for civil rights.

Bush and the pink herring

The move is seen as a bid to consolidate the Republican political base before November's congressional elections. It would also shift the national debate away from damaging problems such as Iraq and petrol prices to what Mr Bush sees as winning themes.

A diversionary crisis of Bush's gay contrivance

Will this cynical and hopeless political exercise give Bush a boost with his conservative base? Joe Glover, president of the Family Policy Network, is an anti-gay marriage lobbyist who remains sceptical. "I'm going to go and hear what he says, but we already know it's a ruse," Glover said. "We're not buying it."

Conservatives who think Bush has buried the issue denounce the planned event as a ruse.

[I]f pleasing a key element of the Republican Party is the aim, the effort doesn't appear to be working. "Social conservatives are disappointed that there hasn't been more action on the issues that were highlighted in the 2004 election," said Gary Glenn, head of the American Family Assn. of Michigan.

He added: "Increasingly, social conservatives expect real action, not just politically timed attempts to motivate and organize the base."

GOP strategists are unsure how much the gay marriage debate will help the beleaguered party in November's elections.

"There is a significant amount of disenchantment, but most of the disenchantment is on the economic side" of the administration's performance, said veteran Republican strategist Eddie Mahe.

Pat Toomey, head of the anti-tax Club for Growth, agreed. He said the GOP's biggest problem was anger about federal spending and the deficit among fiscal conservatives and small-government advocates.

"I don't think [the gay marriage amendment] is going to help much," Toomey said. "The social conservative wing of the Republican Party is the part that's happiest — their most important thing was getting" conservatives added to the Supreme Court, he said, referring to the confirmations within the last year of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Marriage amendment is merely a right-wing diversion

Regardless of how they feel about same-sex unions, a majority of Americans have great concerns about playing politics with the Constitution for partisan purposes — particularly from a Congress and White House that, from secret wiretaps to secret prisons, have shown little reverence for the Constitution.

[A] majority of Americans believe that deciding who should love whom and what rights should apply is an issue not only unworthy of the U.S. Constitution, but beyond the reach of the federal government.

A number of conservative voices have echoed this belief, from George Will to Rudy Giuliani to William Safire. Even Vice President Dick Cheney has weighed in against it.

Recently, former Sen. John Danforth, a Missouri Republican and an Episcopal priest, called the push to ban gay marriage through a constitutional amendment silly and cited it as the latest example of how the political influence of evangelical Christians is hurting the GOP.

As the leader of a national bipartisan civil rights organization, I couldn't have said it better.

Republican leaders would like to turn the clock back to 2004. After all, they don't seem to have any answers for how to bring our troops home from Iraq, end America's dependence on foreign oil, or get health costs under control.

But the election of 2006 is not the election of 2004. Americans are no more willing today to write discrimination into our Constitution than they were the last time the federal marriage amendment failed. They have much less patience for leaders who use national office to divide Americans instead of uniting them.

It may have worked in 2004, but this year Republican leaders ignore that fact at their own peril.

Event to push gay marriage ban is called a sham

At least two prominent social conservative groups — Concerned Women for America and the Traditional Values Coalition — think the language contains a loophole that would create a right for gays to seek civil unions.

There's a hole in your bucket, dear Georgie! It matches the one in your head.

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