Wednesday, July 14, 2004

apparently the gay marriage amendment has been a total wash so far... it was never going to pass anyway, since even those who oppose gay marriage for whatever reason don't want to look like total bigots. the whole vote was always a sham, an attempt to force democrats to vote against the amendment so they could then point and say: "look at the queer loving democrats! they want to destroy our hetero values by refusing the demonize gayness!" but now they can't even do that, making it all a collosal waste of time when they could've been trying to pass actual important bills like "pass a budget resolution or any appropriations bills".

quoth the fineman:

In proposing a constitutional amendment to define marriage only as "the union of a man and a woman," the GOP's goal was to put Democrats on the cultural defensive and to inspire religious conservatives who form the core of modern the party today. Instead, the White House and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist have exposed divisions among Republicans and, through a well-meaning procedural mistake, allowed the Democratic ticket to wriggle free of the need to cast a potentially harmful vote on the matter.

In the end, Frist and White House strategist Karl Rove couldn't decide whether they really wanted to pass the measure or merely have a vote they could campaign on. The result is that they got neither.

Rather than seek an up-or-down vote on a toughly worded version of the amendment, Frist and his allies (led by Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania) allowed discussion of a second, milder one. But since that one (which would leave latitude to the states) might actually pass, Democrats opted to mount a filibuster. As a result, the central (and only) vote turned out to be on a motion to shut off debate — a harder vote to use in an attack TV ad.

The procedural posture also allowed Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards to slip the noose. Since the motion to shut off debate requires 60 votes, the John-John ticket can pay homage to gay rights by merely not showing up — but can claim neutrality of a sort on the core issue by not having to vote on it.

the motion to end debate only got 48 votes: 48 more than it should've, but way way fewer than would be needed to actually insert homophobia into the constitution.

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