Thursday, March 04, 2004

Back to 8th Grade Civics for Me

Cedar has a comment on my previous post that takes me to school on the procedures for passing a constitutional amendment. After a two-thirds passage by both houses, the amendment goes directly to the states. Do not pass the President's desk. Do not collect presidential signature.

I guess this makes it an even better tactic for Bush43.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Andrew Sullivan... Turning on a Dime

Andrew Sullivan's support for the war on Islamo-Fascism has collapsed under his passion for pushing the Gay Marriage hubbub at all costs. He's downright testy at Bush over this. He's peeved. He's outraged. He's... hurt.

Andrew, get a grip. Don't take it personally. It's an election ploy.

First, George W. Bush and John Kerry are not that far apart on the issue. Yes, I'm not pleased with Bush hawking a constitutional amendment to placate the religious right. But, let's be real... the "religious right amendment", as Andrew calls it, has NO chance of even making it to Bush's desk for a signature, let along going to the states.

Hey, as a libertarian, there's a lot that does not excite me about Bush and the Republicans, particularly when they start singing "Nearer to God than Thee" with the Evangelical Christian choir. But there are Republican born-again pandering points that I would suggest make the Gay Marriage issue pale in comparison.

Here's one that comes to mind:

Stem Cell Research - what we learn here could redefine the friggin' art of medicine. It could relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for millions. It could provide new industry and livelyhoods for many, many thousands... here... in the United States. But, the rights of a blastocyst, a clump of cells that would be lost on the head of a pin trumps all...

Stem Cell research is GOING to HAPPEN. The products of this research are going to change the world incredibly... for the better. It's going to make the "wonder drug" antibiotics revolution of the 1950s look lame. Hey, if the religious right gets their way, it may happen in South Korea, but it's going to be a reality.

And gay marriage - even if it does not immediately take that name - will be a reality as well. And this will happen in the relatively near future. Here's the bummer part Andrew. It may not happen in your lifetime. And, unfortunately, the importance of the issue is not made more weighty by your mortality. I'm sorry.

Mr. Sullivan has jumped the shark in my book. He has gone from an eccentric, interesting, principled libertarian/conservative thinker (who happened to be gay) to an obsessed, single-issue political scold. He's made a choice and it is the choice of personal self-fufillment that our generation is famous for. War against Islamist fanatics be damned. I want to marry my lover and they won't let me!

I hope he comes out of this soon and regains his insight.
The Best Argument for Same-Sex Marriage Yet

Tim Cavanaugh has a truly revolutionary idea on marriage. Have the government get the hell out of the marriage management business. Hey, I said something similar here. expansion of marriage opportunities would raise valuable dilemmas, the solutions to which may well involve devolution of government interference in the private sector. If it's unreasonable to expect a boss to insure multiple spouses, why is it reasonable when we force her to insure just one? Single people already subsidize their married co-workers and fellow taxpayers in numerous ways; perhaps it's worth reconsidering the social engineering arguments that created this situation. Maybe it's even worth taking another look at the "family reunification" goals of the 1965 Immigration Act. Up until now, we've been content with a vast range of marriage-related governmental intrusions. Gay marriage calls many of them into question. I have no love for [San Francisco Mayor] Gavin Newsom ... but he may inadvertently be steering us toward a truly private definition of marriage.

So far, proponents of same-sex marriage have been content to make mutually exclusive arguments: that gay marriage is no big deal and that it is vitally important. They should be more courageous in their assertions: Gay marriage could well destroy the civic institution of marriage that has been defined by more than a century of governmental tinkering. That's the best argument for it I've heard yet.

Name one "alternative lifestyle" that has done more real, tangible damage to marriage than the well-intentioned government programs and incentives that have tried to financially bolster it.

Be honest now...

UPDATE: Cedar has an observation.