A frequent commenter who goes by the Internet nom de plume DarkSyd requested a comment on this essay
by “Ed” (go read it, as they say, I’ll wait). I have seen discussions
about this issue elsewhere poking around the net today, but wasn’t
moved to write on it. The contention is the President is abandoning the
Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) push having just used it for political
capital in the election campaign and then dropping it. This wouldn’t be
the first time a pol used such tactics, but it is always disappointing
when it occurs.
First, to make my position clear, for myself,
I currently oppose Same Sex Marriage (SSM) for reasons relating to
social engineering. Studies done in Scandinavia have shown that with
the passing of SSM, the rate of children left in single parent homes
has very much been on the rise since SSM was instituted. It was
proposed (and the study produced data to back this contention up) that
this rise was correlated with SSM in that this has encouraged thought
that marriage was not about family, children, and clan, but instead is
a relationship (especially sexual) between two adults. This leaves
children, all too often, out in the cold. But, alas, I no longer know
where I saw the link, but it was on this web
site, interested readers can search. Finally, one of the arguments in
favor of SSM concern “respect” for the gay community. It is my
understanding that all of the legal rights which at issue that might be
resolved by SSM already are available to the gay couples desiring them.
It is “respect” they wish. I fail to see how SSM will achieve that end.
I think Joe Carter’s “recycled” post on this issue is very relevant.
being said, it doesn’t necessarily follow that FMA was the Presidents
highest priority on the campaign trail. It was my impression that both
he and Mr Kerry skirted around that issue where possible. Backed into a
corner by events in Massachusetts and San Francisco, this issue could
not be avoided. However the idea that anything he might have
said on that issue would have mattered very much to most of the
electorate is a little naive. Anyone who thinks that the President
doesn’t now push this issue hard enough is dellusional if they believe
Mr Kerry would have been a better supported of FMA.
claim that the president, in not spending the political capital earned
by the election on pushing for the FMA is abandoning the
fundamentalists who supported him based mainly on that reason.
I’m a little confused by that, where is the voting bloc who would have
supported Mr Kerry except for sticking point the FMA? I think that
constituency was never in play. With Mr Kerry supporting state
sponsored abortions anyhow, anywhere, for anyone and opposing parental
consent for minors, well I think for example the intersection of the
set of FMA opponents and the set of those whose opinions on abortion
mirrors Mr Kerry’s is vanishingly small. The President has chosen to
spend his post election political capital to attack Social Security as
his first major initiative. Currently, I support that idea (not
necessarily his plan) 100%, although I reserve the right to change my
mind pending the results of my ongoing reflections on entitlements and
There is one last point to address, one which ~DS~ has echoed in the past so it must be a familiar meme echoing out there:
a Federal Marriage Amendment or an overturning of Roe v. Wade actually
passed, they would have nothing to run against. They’d have nothing
left on which to point the finger at those godless evil pagan usurpers,
no way to exploit the issue and make people afraid. And fear, ladies
and gentlemen, is the lifeblood of politics. You get out the vote by
exploiting people’s fear of Them.
Now an amendment takes a lot of political will to pass, 2/3 of Senate + House then
it goes to the states. Overturning Roe v Wade requires a judiciary
which will not sqawk when laws overturning it are written. I’m no
expert, but I’ve heard no estimates that indicate either is a realistic
possibility. The Partial-Birth ban passed, but enforcement is currently
jammed in the courts. A more ambitious law likely would not fair much
better. Drumming up support by emphasizing your differences is a
definition of politics. Calling it exploiting people’s fear of them is just a rhetorical ploy.