Monday, June 05, 2006

He's A Uniter, Not A Divider

You know things are bad over at Bush, Inc. when they revive a bigoted campaign pledge made in the hopes that the Religious Right would be stupid enough to re-elect them and then promptly abandoned once those hopes were realized. So, that constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage you haven't heard of since the presidential victory dance? It's back.

Of course, a 31% approval rating calls for drastic measures. Nixon resigned, for example. Bush, Inc., though -- in a bold fit of strategery -- is opting for something different. Instead of attempting to determine what exactly has caused 69% of Americans to believe he's doing a crappy job, Bush, Inc. has decided to just keep right on truckin'.

According to a Gallup polll conducted in May, only 50% of Americans support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. 50% may sound like a lot, but it's only half. It's not a majority. It's certainly not the 2/3 majority needed in both Houses of Congress to propose a constitutional amendment, and it's nowhere near the 3/4 majority needed for ratification.

Perhaps this is because at least half the country values the Constitution a bit more than our current president does and recognizes that it is a legal document based on the lofty ideals of justice and equality, and that to write discrimination into that lofty legal document would be just a wee bit contrary to what the Founders had in mind. Or perhaps that 50% realizes the existing 27 amendments to our Constitution were written -- for the most part -- to keep the government out of our personal lives, and that the one time we attempted to bring about social change by amending our Constitution (Amendment XVIII: Prohibition), we decided 14 years later that it was a pretty dumb idea (Amendment XXI: Repeal of Prohibition).

But nevermind that. Here's what Bush, Inc. knows: 1) their constituent base of right wing conservative fundamentalists doesn't like gay marriage, 2) liberals and moderates pretty much do, 3) almost everyone is pissed off about the war (hence the 31% approval rating), 4) a bipartisan anti-Bush movement is not good, 5) same-sex marriage is an issue they can easily manipulate to divide Americans and distract us from the real issues that might cause us to notice what a shitty president we have.

Personally, I think it's a pretty big gamble. Because here's what Bush, Inc. doesn't know: My mom supports same-sex marriage. My mom -- a devout Catholic who has never voted Democrat in her life, who thinks homosexuality is kind of "icky" -- is totally opposed to a ban on same-sex marriage on the grounds that "it's not very nice." And if Bush, Inc. can't get her on board, I think it's safe to assume it can't get 75% of the American public on board.

That doesn't mean I'm not going fight this potential same-sex marriage ban tooth and nail -- believe me, my senators will be hearing from me -- but it does mean that I have more faith in what Senator Jefferson Smith (in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) called "a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness -- and a little lookin' out for the other fella, too" than in the smoke and mirrors of today's Republican party. Because after all, that everyday kindness -- in the form of justice and equality -- is "the blood and bone and sinew of this democracy," according to the idealistic and endearing Mr. Smith.


Brian said...

No, no. He's: The Decider!

Brian said...

Oh, and you're forgetting Dad, who frequenlty walks around the house saying things are being gay, and calling people fags.