Thursday, February 26, 2004

Giving them enough rope...

Old Post: My last post on this topic was here.

I've wondered why, when Bush announced his support for a Federal Marriage Amendment, that he did not propose a particular wording for it. One possibility is that, since the president has no real role to play in the amendment process, he's simply stating his support for it and letting Congress decide how to do it. There is another possibility, and that assumes that he really wants the amendment to happen. By stating his support but not proposing an amendment, he's giving the media and his political opponents time to react and stake out their positions. Most Democrats are, predictably enough, stating that they oppose gay marriage (it's not too popular with the general public), but that it's a matter for states to decide, and shouldn't be put into an amendment. However, if they stake out that position, then there are certain ways the amendment could be worded, such as the one I presented below, that would be in line with their position, and their platforms would be pulled out from under them. In essence, Bush is getting them to voice support for an amendment they haven't seen by letting them voice opposition to the amendments they have seen. It's similar to what he did in his State of the Union, "Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year. (Applause from Democrats.) The terrorist threat will not expire on that schedule. (Applause from Republicans.)" If he gives them enough rope, they'll hang themselves. The assumption here is that he's serious about preventing the introduction of gay marriage by fiat, and is more interested in passing an amendment than playing politics with it. A compromise amendment will be much less satisfactory to his base, but it has a much greater chance of happening.

New Post: I'm not the only one who thinks this is a good idea. Above.

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