Facing an angry base who KNOWS they've been sold out on everything Conservatism used to stand for—fiscal responsibility, military isolationism, border security, limited federal government, etc.—Bush and some Senate Republicans are trotting out the only horse they can still run: Gay Marriage.
Funny thing though, it's a sure loser, and they know it.
A Constitutional Amendment requires two days of debate before the 100-member Senate decides — 60 votes are required — whether to consider the amendment on an up-or-down vote. Assuming it survives even that. It then needs to survive Senate passage by the two-thirds majority needed in both houses to send it to states for ratification.
Adding amendments to the US Constitution is a difficult process for a reason. Conservatives used to decry the idea of a "living document" that changes with the shifting culture and priorities of the public. That was until they were facing defeat in both houses of congress.
Of course, Republicans already know this. They don't even expect it to win. What they expect this effort to do is rally that angry base. When the GOP is told in no uncertain terms that religious conservatives will not support them in the midterm races, they listen. So, in another round of meaningless pandering, Frist, et al., will push for a vote to get everyone on record. They can then prove they're on the "right" side of the issue and they gave it shot but those obstructionist Democrats shot it down again.
But this offers the Democrats an opportunity to also go on record and show where their morals lie.
Ted Kennedy put it in blunt terms, "A vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry pure and simple." I'd like to see more Democrats be so clear in their standing on this issue.
Passage of this amendment would restrict the rights of law abiding, tax paying citizens in this country. Regardless of where you stand on homosexuality, can anyone who loves the ideals of America stand by that? Apparently, the President and the dopes who hitched their wagons to the religious right can.
As soon as this piece was posted, this article came across the wires:
Gay Marriage Ban Short of Votes in Senate
In it, we see just how doomed this push is and also how it's being carried for poltical purposes:
"But Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said he will vote against it on the floor but allowed it to survive his panel in part to give the Republicans the debate party leaders believe will pay off on Election Day."
And what's put on hold while Congress debates this urgent issue?
The Pentagon says it needs its money - about $66 billion - right away or delays could begin to affect the conduct of the war in Iraq. The Senate added new relief for farmers and other aid to the package, swelling its cost to more than $100 billion. Bush is demanding that the price tag stick within his $92.2 billion request, plus $2.3 billion to combat avian flu.
The House is expected to consider a $32 billion spending bill that would give the Homeland Security Department $1.8 billion more in 2007 than this year. It also is likely to send Bush a Senate-approved bill to raise indecency fines tenfold, to $325,000 per violation, for television and radio broadcasters.