An amusing piece in today's Boston Globe includes a recap on the Captain and same-sex marriage from Iowa Republican Party Co-chairman Leon Mosley:
In Iowa, I don't care who you are, you do something like that you're going to have to explain yourself. Knowing my state, it's a red state now, it's a conservative state. We've got things that we just grew up with and believe in ... I don't care if I'm governor or not, I don't rubber stamp anything I don't believe in.The illogic of that is powerful, of course. The Captain does get to try to hide himself behind the shrunken shrub of duty. Massachusetts law (207:39) provides the unique procedure for one-day solemnizations. It falls to the governor to approve these. For a long time, that has been nominal, the requests pass through his office like so much offal in a sausage machine.
Some minions check to weed out such fraud as bigamy, but otherwise, this is a pro forma procedure. The count this year included 189 same-sex couples.
Now the Captain's detractors and opponents may say that he claims to resist SSM. Yet he sanctions all those homosexuals becoming legally wed. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.
His I-was-only-following-orders defense doesn't seem to quite make it in early caucus or primary states like Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire, the latter of which must cling to the comfort of Maine protecting it from the Godless civil-union and SSM loving territories on all of its other borders. Shudder.
Down among the sandlappers, Cherokee Country Republican Party Chairwoman Joan Wheeler says that South Carolina's voters don't buy it. "I think it will be difficult for him, because in my opinion it looks like he's doing just the opposite from what he believes. If he signs off on it, he does choose to do it, in my opinion."
So West and South, some say the law of the commonwealth be damned.
The article does not touch on a more essential indicator of the Captain's inability at the helm. He had two to three years to deal with the sluggish General Court and Senate President Robert (don't call me Bobby anymore) Travaglini. Like old ladies afraid gusts would blow up their dresses, they all scurried around looking down. The Captain and legislators knew this issue would be settled soon one way or another. The Captain kept his hands on his skirt.
They waited for the Supreme Judicial Court to settle it. Which it did. Take that, you procrastinating poltroons!
They could have legislated the ersatz marriage, the halfway house of civil unions. They could have done much. Instead, they hung back and hid. The Captain turned his back on the wheel of the ship of state.
Had he acted, he would have had to take responsibility. He's not very good at that. Credit is fine, responsibility is not, and blame is flat out.