So, everyone else has had a chance to bitch about how the Commander in Thief, the Shrub no one elected, is using Gay marriage as a way to distract the American public from a whole slew of his own, personal sins.
I know many of my friends who were in the military will probably vehemently disagree with me on this, but I don't CARE about W's service record. I like that it seems to be dogging him the way it is, especially with Doonesbury offering 10 grand to anyone who can say they witnessed his service all those years ago, but unless you were there and have a direct reason to be bitter about him "sneaking out of school", as it were, I think that "military service" should be one of those things it's good for a president to have, but not 100% required.
A quick digression to make it clear: If y'all did serve, you should bitch loud and hard. Viet Nam was a nasty war, a political football that resulted in a lot of shattered lives and families. A difference of a decade, and I could have been there as well. End digression.
So, there are things that I DO care about... like the fact the economy is still in the crapper. A "jobless recovery" is newspeak for the condition where businesses have adjusted to a new financial reality by reducing workforces. They are now all making money, but they aren't using that money to hire new people... or if they are, they're outsourcing to lands where they might get some relief through
And those damn WOMDs. We sure showed the world about those, didn't we? We beat a tiny 5th rate army that could've been taken out by your average rag-tag group of South American guerillas into oblivion and proceeded to use the resulting mess as a way of funneling billions of dollars toward a variety of US interests who might have had to actually EARN it otherwise. At least we're guiding this wayward country into a
So, thanks to our man Newsome in California, Bush has been forced to call for that amendment. He was already under intense pressure from the Religious Right to back it, but you might have noticed he was trying to avoid actually doing it. There's a really good reason for that.
Mostly, it makes him a liar: In 2000, he declared that the states should decide the issue. Of course, no he can make that rather odd claim about "activist judges" forcing the states hands, but that ignores the fact that those judges are working within the framework of their state's constitutions... and if the legislature wants to over-rule the judiciary, there IS a means to do so. Massachusetts is going that route, as has Hawaii and other locations.
Yet it isn't happening fast enough, and the religious conservatives, for decades focussing on abortion as their flash-point issue, woke up one day to discover that queers weren't universally hated anymore. Worse, people were starting to ACCEPT them. As in "Who the hell cares who they sleep with?"
So, they latched onto this as the new battleground, in large part because, unlike abortion, this is a fight they could actually WIN. At least, in theory.
The problem is it sort of snuck up on their cultural blind spot, and now the battle is upon us as they panic into error. Yes, ERROR. Because this was the wrong issue to go after by at least 4 years, probably closer to 10.
A decade ago they might have been able to push this off... except Clinton was in the big white house, and it would never have gotten off the ground. Ironically, it simply wouldn't have occurred to anyone before that... it was one of those things that never was going to happen. Sort of like states legalizing medical marihuana.
Now, the problem is that too many people will view this as a deliberate pander to the right, and it is. These are the people, while small in number, they're big in purses. Back in '80 this group was large enough to swing an election... yet the new moderation in this country's religious base (yup, it's there... more people are "spiritual, not religious" in this land than ever, and it's growing faster than any other "religion" as a group -- the unitarians should do really well in the coming decades) means that Bush risked alienating vast swaths of people if he was stupid enough to call for an amendment.
Which is why I'm deliriously delighted that he did. You can taste the fear as he fights for his political life, as he tries to edge close enough to the base conservatives without pissing off the fickle middle... and thusly fails to do either. The conservatives are STILL unhappy with the fact that he keeps trying to mollify the middle by inserting language saying that states could still offer "civil unions" that include the same rights and privs of marriage. Yet the middle is pissed that he's putting up an amendment in any way.
Ultimately, he looks like a wishy washy, and... dare I say it? a wimp (he dared!).
Just like daddy.
And just like daddy this little cultural war is going to burn him badly this November. With a little luck the republicans will stop trying to elect Bush family members... unless they think "third times a charm!" and try to get Jeb (the Shrub's smarter brother) to run ("The Washington DC Hillbillies", anyone?)
It's just a shame we're getting s schmuck like Kerry to replace him. Yet there's the fact that I didn't like Newsome either, and he turned out to have big brass ones that not only made me respect him, I almost actually LIKE him.
I guess that means there's hope. How about that?